Ce topic appartient à l'appel Past, present and future of democracies
Identifiant du topic: HORIZON-CL2-2024-DEMOCRACY-01-07

Digital democracy

Type d'action : HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions
Nombre d'étapes : Single stage
Date d'ouverture : 04 octobre 2023
Date de clôture : 07 février 2024 17:00
Budget : €9 000 000
Call : Past, present and future of democracies
Call Identifier : HORIZON-CL2-2024-DEMOCRACY-01
Description :


Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Policymakers, practitioners and researchers gain increased understanding of digital democracy, the challenges and opportunities involved in digital democratic deliberations, the current state of the art and the framework conditions supporting its successful implementation.
  • Informed investment decisions of (any level) government based on mapping future trends, emerging next practices, related participation culture and engagement strategies for building a thriving digitally enhanced public sphere in Europe.


The COVID-19 pandemic made e-democracy more relevant and influential than ever before since access to the physical public sphere was limited. Through digital platforms and social media, individuals continue to voice their opinions, expose and mobilise for social movements, fostering change and raising awareness of democracy and fundamental rights. Citizens turned to digital media and collaborative platforms to deal with public affairs, exercising active citizenship virtually. Digital democracy platforms expand the opportunities for democratic deliberations through better and faster political information exchange, public dialogue, engagement in public decision-making and exercising voting rights in political elections. Digital democracy can also play an active role in creating and deepening societal change. However, digital solutions are also more vulnerable to disruption e.g. cybersecurity and privacy threats, misinformation campaigns or digital lobbying, attempting to impact public decision-making, including political election outcomes, and is likely to bring important ethical challenges concerning digital education and digital literacy, access to information, built-in bias, etc.

Increased level of participation between government and citizens requires radical changes and major investment making public administrations more relevant to the social, economic, political and technological environment. To prepare public administrations for increased engagement with the broader public, structures and processes need to be put in place, human and financial resources allocated, an ecosystem of intermediaries and representative organisations defined, most suited technological solutions identified, making public deliberation and moderation in the digital age an integral part of a governmental and also societal ‘culture of participation’.

For this aim, proposals should investigate - building on existing literature and data - the most recent developments, especially as regards the pandemic-induced innovative e-democracy and e-participation solutions at all levels of governance (international, EU, national, regional, local). Historical analysis will allow the consideration of the wider and long-term impacts of e-participation on democracy, political and civic culture, and international cooperation will facilitate the exchange of good practice and success stories. The framework conditions i.e. rules, policies and processes; ways of working (partnerships, structures, collaboration); people (skills, culture and values, leadership); knowledge (data, learning) that support next level democratic participation (emerging and next practices) should be investigated. Research should pay particular attention to digital inclusion as a key challenge and essential element of inclusive citizen participation in public deliberations for a healthy digitally enabled democracy through equal participation irrespective of citizen's income level, education, ethnicity, gender, religion, language used, ability, geographical location, etc., and to the digital divide between generations.

Based on lessons learnt from existing good practice cases and experiences, proposals should consider the citizens’ perspectives in building digital democracy tools and processes, including related technical aspects (e.g. gamification, artificial intelligence). The involvement of different stakeholders, including public administrations, end-users, political actors and the private sector is strongly encouraged to foster dialogue and understanding between diverse interest groups in democratic deliberations, enhance the legal frameworks and safeguards against threats and challenges (e.g. fraud prevention in e-voting), overcoming polarisation and reaching better public policy outcomes.

Proposals are encouraged to collaborate with the JRC Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy,[1] particularly with respect to new emerging forms of democratic participation – through or assisted by – digital means, as well as to the innovative application of frameworks and methods for citizen engagement in building and experiencing digital democracy tools and processes.