New forms of democratic participation have been flourishing across the EU recently. This is often referred to as ‘deliberative’ or ‘participatory’ democracy. There is, however, a difference between the two terms. Deliberative democracy is ‘the wider political theory that claims that political decisions should be a result of fair and reasonable discussion among citizens’. Participatory democracy involves a transformation of democratic institutions to ‘increase the capacities of citizens for meaningful participation’. The third term often used in this context is direct democracy, which involves ‘direct participation of citizens in democratic decision-making, in contrast to indirect or representative democracy’. In practice, citizens’ democratic participation can take different forms. Figure 4 provides some examples of frequently used models of representative deliberative practices.
Models of representative deliberative processes
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