In this interview, London University Professor Martyn Bond gives his assessment of the Parliamentary Assembly’s debate on democracy and tackles the implications of “austerity Europe.”
He recognises the “crisis of representative democracy” and adds: “It’s not that people don’t want greater participation in decision-making. They find themselves frustrated by a system that has concentrated more on representative democracy and less on participatory democracy.”
Professor Bond highlights the assembly report authored by Andreas Gross, which he says sets out measurements for determining the democratic health of member states. Gross’ conclusions provide pointers for developing democracy at the transnational level, for making states more accountable and for restoring the primary role of political institutions.
Democratic renewal would involve “building sound States means developing close links with civil society, encouraging a fearless press diverse in its ownership, promoting citizenship and reducing sovereign debt while at the same time preserving economic growth and social integration, and making existing representative democratic structures more representative.”
The Assembly also invited governments to use the World Forum on Democracy, to be held in Strasbourg in October 2012, to explore ways in which “democracy can be strengthened by deepening it at all levels of the nation State and also by constituting it at the transnational level.”