the global coalition for democracy

2021: Ten years of Democracy International


Celebrating our tenth anniversary has made 2021 both a year of reflection on the past and looking forward to the future.

Our journey has started on 30 June 2011 when activists from around the world met in Belgium to found Democracy International. They knew we needed to "develop, foster, strengthen and advance direct democracy and citizens’ participation on the local, national, regional, transnational and global level.”

We are proud of our work towards that goal over the past decade. During this time, Democracy International has become a meeting space for activists, experts and practitioners working on direct democracy and galvanized action around the world. This would not have been possible without your help. Thank you so much!




Our small thank you: 

For every donation of more than 25 euros, we will award you with an exciting book on democracy.



Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, democratic progress has seemed self-evident. But 2021 has again shown that democracy can be challenged everywhere. More people now live in declining democracies than in countries making democratic advances. Among too many other examples, we are extremely worried about developments in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Here, the Constitution that had been drafted through a participatory process in 2014 has been rendered ineffective by the President.

But the hopeful examples do exist: voters in Switzerland could decide on the country’s pandemic policy twice in a referendum this year. On both occasions, they endorsed the course set by the government, while also opting to strengthen the nursing profession in a separate vote. Switzerland proved that effective crisis management and direct democracy are not mutually exclusive.

Where participatory rights did not exist in 2021, civil society took the lead. Democracy International was part of the first self-organised German national vote. As part of the civil society-led initiative Global Assembly, we supported citizens drawn by lot in officially presenting their climate policy recommendations at COP26 this November.

Read a detailed overview of Democracy International's activities this year:




These examples show: it is not too late to stop us from sliding into a future with less freedom and democracy. As we are battling unprecedented global crises, the way out is not through force and unilateral decision-making, but through using our swarm intelligence to come up with shared solutions. Now is the time for people power!

In the next years, we want to keep working to share and repeat these positive examples, exchange knowledge and forge alliances. With your help we can do it. Become a Democracy International sponsor now and support us in ensuring our democratic future.

Finally, we thank you for your continuous support over the past ten years. You give us the motivation and inspiration to keep working for better. Now, let us get democracy back on track! 




Website Info

Democracy International is a registered association in Germany
(eingetragener Verein e.V.).

Gürzenichstraße 21 a-c
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 (0) 221 669 66 50
Fax: +49 (0) 221 669 665 99

Amtsgericht Köln
VR-Nr. 17139

Full website information here

Data protection - Datenschutz


Democracy International e.V.
IBAN: DE 58370205000001515101

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft
Konto: 1515101
BLZ: 37020500


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