There is a lot of news on the refugees arriving in Europe these days. Yet how can Democracy International contribute to this debate, I kept asking myself? I was lucky to find an answer while listening to Roger de Weck, General Director of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR) at a media conference hosted by the public channel in Switzerland at the end of September.
Roger de Weck said that it was the task of journalists to show how the new asylum seekers could be integrated into Europe’s societies. This medium of presenting solutions, Roger de Weck believes, would lead to compromises, which he views as the most idle form of societal conflict. On a similar note, the German journalist Sonia Mikich coined the phrase that high-quality journalism constitutes the “oxygen of a democracy”.
Like good journalism, direct democracy also entails compromise and debate. For Democracy International, the challenge involves improving the instruments of direct democracy to ensure impact. In this context, we are glad to inform you that we have reached an important milestone for reforming the European Citizens’ Initiative. Moreover, we will host a debate on “What can the world learn from Europe’s refugee crisis?” with our media partner Zócalo Public Square in Berlin on 22nd October 2015.