Promoting Participatory and Deliberative Democracy

Ursula von der Leyen


The European Commission's work is steered by a College of Commissioners, and led by its President Ursula von der Leyen. The Commissioners work on specific policy priorities that are set out by the Commission President. The European Commission plays an active role in developing the EU's overall strategy and in designing and implementing EU policies. It develops the overall strategy and political direction of the EU.



European Commission – 
New tools and insights to better connect citizens with democracy

In 2024, citizens go to the polls for the European Parliament elections. In the face of reduced trust in governance, increased political polarisation, and growing external threats to democracy, this Results Pack highlights 15 Horizon-funded projects exploring the current challenges to democracy, and testing innovative solutions that support better engagement with the democratic process.

 Brussels, Feb.6.– The 2024 European Parliament election is scheduled to be held from 6 to 9 June. It will be the 10th parliamentary election since the first direct elections in 1979, and the first since the departure of the United Kingdom from the Union. It arrives at a time when, more than ever, the strength of democratic systems operating in Europe is being called into question, and solutions are urgently sought.

Europe is facing a rash of threats to its democratic ideals. Conflict, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have all brought uncertainty to the continent.

In response to these issues, populism is in resurgence, encouraging citizens to turn away from the pan-European ideals and liberal democracy, to instead focus on exclusionary identities and self-interest. Consequently, policies that limit the rights and freedoms of women, minorities, and immigrants are on the rise. 

There is an urgent need to examine the practices of democracy and identify how they can be improved. Horizon-funded research is helping to deliver the answers. 

Trust is an essential component of democracy ...

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