European civil society representatives (Culture Action Europe among them) and academics met on 8-9 October 2016 in La Rochelle, France to discuss about “Democracy in Europe and the missing links”. Some 200 activists from citizens’ platforms and representatives from social, human rights, culture and environment organisations from all over Europe gathered together. They discussed complex questions raised by citizens’ disenchantment, practice, and expectation with regard to democracy and in relation to the “democratic deficit” in Europe.
Culture Action Europe hold a workshop on “The decline of democracy and the rise of loneliness: how to fight fragmentation?” to exchange and develop a collective understanding of this specific moment in time in which the concepts of democracy and citizenship are challenged. Starting from an analysis of Worldpoll and Eurobarometer data on the rise of loneliness and the lack of trust in institutions and fellow citizens, participants discussed how civil society organizations can combine their strengths to emancipate our societies, starting from ourselves, our neighbours and communities, everyday experiences and individual versus shared feelings.
This first European Civic Academy – launched by the European Civic Forum and other European organisations – was supported by Civil Society Europe, the coordination of civil society organisations in Europe. The latter gathers platforms and European networks acting for the promotion of a civic space based on fundamental rights, the renewal of European democracy and promoting the transparency of decision making and participation of civil society organisations in European decision-making processes.
In La Rochelle, Angie Cotte from Roberto Cimetta Foundation, was elected as an executive committee member to represent Culture Action Europe at the Civil Society Europe. We congratulate Angie with it!
Find out more about the main issues discussed at the academy in this short report.