#SwissBreakfast on „Direct democracy – an antidote to populism?“

Wednesday, 03.04.2019 – Wednesday, 03.04.2019

Swiss policy on the European Union; Bilateral agreements Switzerland-EU; Other files Switzerland-EU

#SwissBreakfast ©FDFA

H.E. Urs Bucher, Ambassador of Switzerland to the EU, cordially invites you to share a typical #SwissBreakfast and join the discussion on „Direct democracy – an antidote to populism?“ on Wednesday 3rd April 2019 from 9.00 am to 10.30 am at the Mission of Switzerland to the EU, Place du Luxembourg 1, 1050 Brussels. 


Welcome speech by Dieter Cavalleri, Minister at the Mission of Switzerland to the EU.

Followed by a discussion between

Claude Longchamp 
Political scientist, historian and chairman of the board of gfs.bern (Gesellschaft für Sozialforschung, Switzerland)

Jo Leinen  
Member of the European Parliament (S&D, Germany)Moderated by
Niklaus Nuspliger
Correspondent NZZ in Brussels

Modern representative democracy is at stake. The challenges come from all sides: on the one hand from the globalised economy, which transcends in many ways the reach of national democracies, and on the other hand from populist movements trying to undermine the rule of law and the separation of powers.

Over the past years a rise in popular votes in countries all over Europe has been observed. The development towards a more participative democracy has perhaps been the most comprehensive in Switzerland. Thanks to its use of the initiative and referendum process, Switzerland has become a reference in discussions about modern democracy.

While the European elections are approaching, voices are being raised demanding more direct participation in the decision making process. Can instruments like the European Citizens‘ Initiative (ECI) unleash democratic potential at the EU level? Can direct democracy help to restrain populist movements and become an antidote to populism? How can governments and institutions meet the demand for a more participative democracy and facilitate a bottom-up approach?

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