At the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy: bringing local democracy on worldwide scale

Mar 16, 2023

Citizens engagement

Democracy is a global concept, which can potentially find fertile ground in every world corner. The Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy 2023 proved exactly the “power of independent, people-centered independent institutions for protecting and extending democracy in nations from Latin America to Ghana”, as underline online within the presentation of the forum.

Together with two selected ALDA Members – be they the City of Valongo and Labsus – Nadia Di Iulio, Coordinator of both the Civic engagement Hub and the Europe area at ALDA’s, were among the speakers at the Forum, addressing the core topic of direct democracy through:

  • Tools for citizens to be actively involved
  • Participatory processes within key sectors such as health, food and security
  • Digital era and accessibility to digital tools

“Democracy is a system of peaceful decision” stated Mr. Jose Manuel Ribeiro, Mayor of City of Valongo – within its panel on the “tools of direct democracy”, which highlighted the necessity of including children and young people in the building of democracy, since these processes affect everyone.

Global Forum to exchange on citizens’ participation, and on the new tools of modern direct democracy to further engage with CSOs

Exchanging with representatives of Civil Society Organisations and institutions coming from different countries to the Global Forum, from Mexico to France; from Austria to Korea; stressed how not only democracy is a global value, but also practices adopted in certain states may be valuable and efficient, in some others.

Hence, considering this holistic approach towards democracy, ALDA Colleague Nadia Di Iulio shared the positive example of empowering local organisations and actions through the sub-granting scheme. The latter supported grassroot initiatives and street actions in the field of climate-friendly food consumption behaviours, fostering citizens’ participation in the civic space.

As noticeable, democracy can be unfolded in several different way, one of which is also digitalisation and these new participatory and direct democracy tools. Within this realm Daniela Ciaffi, Vice President of Labsus and Professor of Urban Sociology stressed the added value of an horizontal approach to democracy, as also implemented through the cooperation agreement, at the Global Forum Plenary  Conference entitled “Democratic resilience in the 21st century: What are the best ideas for using participation to strengthen democracy?”.

Overall, this international event allowed ALDA to exchange on citizens’ participation, on the new tools of modern direct democracy and to engage with CSOs at global level.


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