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Policy Brief

04 / 2019

Policy Brief of the Bertelsmann Stiftung
dealing with current topics and challenges to the future of democracy.


Policy Brief

Conference Talk

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced a two-year Conference on the Future of Europe. Much remains unclear but one thing: citizens should be directly involved in the discussions on the future of Europe. If accomplished, that would be a novelty. The EU, supposedly so remote from its citizens, could become a pioneer of innovative participation and participatory democracy.



Dear Sir or Madam,

Direct participation of European citizens in an EU conference is unchartered territory – and therefore both an opportunity and a risk. This is precisely why citizens' participation must be carefully designed and smartly choreographed. It should not simply be a communication exercise, but a novel push towards culture change in the EU institutions.

Our latest Policy Brief: "Conference Talk"
by Dr. Dominik Hierlemann

discusses principles and success factors of good participation and depicts three models for the participation of citizens in the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The Policy Brief of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's “Future of Democracy“ program provides analyses of current challenges to our democracy. We hope you find it enjoyable and informative, and look forward to receiving any feedback you might have.

Kind regards,

Dr. Robert Vehrkamp and Christina Tillmann

Overview of previous Policy Briefs


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Responsible for the content:


Christina Tillmann


Program Future of Democracy


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