DEmocratic Compact: Improving Democracy in Europe


DECIDE is designed to develop, through the establishment of a thematic network of towns and by adopting a bottom-up approach, a democratic compact, namely a set of measures that are needed in Europe to increase the quality of democracy and citizen participation.

These measures will be identified, exchanged, further elaborated and tested by all the project partners. The partnership is composed of 24 partners from 14 countries: 4 countries from the so-called “EU15”, 6 countries accessing the EU between 2004 and 2007 and 4 IPA countries. This will allow an enriching exchange among partners with different track record in the European Union and will contribute to develop a sense of belonging to a common “house”.
The main final outcomes of DECIDE will be:

  1. the establishment of a thematic network of towns committed to increase the quality of democracy and citizen participation in the enlarged Europe
  2. the democratic compact, a set of measures which have been tested and that can be further disseminated and implemented.


DECIDE achieved the following objectives:

  • Empowering citizens to play a full part in the democratic life of the EU;
  • Developing a sense of European identity, based on common values, history and culture;
  • Fostering a sense of ownership of the European Union among its citizens;
  • Promoting intercultural dialogue;
  • Fostering citizens’ participation through volunteering;
  • Promoting equal opportunities;
  • Developing a thematic and long-lasting cooperation between towns;
  • Raising awareness, reflection and debate on the relevance and implications of EU policies on citizens’ daily lives


DECIDE foresees 6 steps, having impact both at the local and at the European level.
Activity 1: Launching International Event
Objectives: promote and launch the project; promote the first exchange among the partners on the addressed topics; define and agree on standard methodological tools; strengthen partners’ and participants’ ownership of the project; promote peer-to-peer multiplying effects (through participants).

Activity 2: Identification: collection of measures to be included in the “democratic compact”
Objectives: create and share on line country based lists of proposed measures for the democratic compact; launch open polls: related results collected and systematised; strengthen communities and partners’ ownership of the project; activate networks of citizens (peer-to-peer multipliers) at the local level; promote and valorise citizens’ role in the construction of a better governance (at the local and at the EU level)

Activity 3: Mid-term International Seminar
Objectives: exchange and debate the proposed measures for the democratic compact; create a first draft of the “democratic compact”; define a concrete action plan and subdivision of roles for the testing phase; exchange, define and agree testing methods and standard tools; enhance partners’ competencies on participatory mechanisms; launch and promote pilot testing phase; strengthen synergies and partnerships with other stakeholders.

Activity 4: Pilot Testing Phase – Local Implementation Processes
Objectives: test the measures included in the democratic compact at national level; draft and share reports on the impact of each tested measure; enhance partners’ competencies and skills in managing and measuring participatory actions; draft and disseminate the updated version of the democratic compact; strengthen the cooperation among partners (through the mobility of the observers)

Activity 5: Final International Seminar
Objectives: assess the testing phase; draft the final version of the democratic compact; promote and disseminate the democratic compact; strengthen the involvement of decision makers in the process; create the basis for the development of the DECIDE network; widely promote the final overall outcomes of the project; enhance partners’ skills and role as actors promoting democracy and citizen participation (also as implementers of EU policies).

Activity 6: Evaluation and Follow-up
Objectives: agree upon and formalise a follow-up action plan; enlarge and strengthen the DECIDE network; elaborate project drafts; activate fund-raising campaigns; foster partners’ – and other stakeholders’ – sense of belonging to the network DECIDE.