When: Thursday, Nov 14, 2019, (All day)

Delegation to EU of Catalonia,
227 Rue de la Loi, Brussels, Belgium

Democracy is in crisis. The enthusiasm in the western world that was generated after the second world war as a reaction on fascism, communism and colonialism seems to fade out. Even short flarings like the Arabic spring, have - as of now - led to more frustration than optimism.

Actual trust in democratic institutions and public services is decreasing in Europe at all levels. Social platforms and commercial media force political actors to score high at Twitter and in the public opinion polls to ensure re-election. This in itself leads to polarisation, which is amplified by the use of vast collections of personal data for targeted communication with media readers, social networkers and potential voters.

The Internet, once seen as an excellent mechanism to enable and facilitate democratic engagement and knowledge for all, seems to have become - to a large extent - an instrument for political manipulation by the powerful.

A variety of experiments is ongoing with forms of deliberative democracy, many of them combining citizen representation by election and by lot. For example, in Ireland, Belgium, Iceland, Spain or France (the grand debats).   

Important questions arise: How to fix Democracy for the digital world? Can new digital tools actually help to guarantee democracy and ensure transparency of data use?

This DigEnlight conference will present and analyse these problems. It will show ongoing experiments, discuss remaining challenges and address problems our societies face due to increasing complexity and digitisation. We will zoom in on ethical, market and policy dilemmas that come with digitisation (e.g. artificial intelligence, Internet of Things). We seek to contribute to the search for ways of democratic governance in the digital era.

Presentations and Report

The Report of the conference, as well as the presentations, as far as given by electronic means are available in the Library of this space (see tab on top) in the Folder " Democracy Conference".

For information or questions add comment below (only for registered persons) or send email

Register now