Project description

Active involvement of the citizens in the processes of political decision-making is a crucial precondition of a robust, stable democracy. This includes not only the traditional forms of representative democracy, but also making good use of institutions of direct civic participation, such as referendum. Almost 30 years after the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe we want to ask how the Visegrad Group countries have been faring in that regard. What has been achieved and in what areas there is still a lot to be desired? How the experiences of the individual V4 countries with regard to the legal implementation and use of referendum in political practice can be related? What are the prospects for the future improvement of the quality of civic participation in the region? 


The project aims to bring together the perspectives of social scientists from all the Visegrad Group countries in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the use of referendum in the period after 1989. Moreover, the scientific contributions to the project will form the basis for the development of a „Guideline of Best Practices” in this field. This electronic document will be primarily addressed to NGOs, think tanks, journalists, local authorities (primarily, but not exclusively from the V4) who share an interest in the strengthening of civil society and democracy. The project will also involve events, including a three-day meeting/seminar in Lublin as well as a series of subsequent workshops, dedicated to the promotion of active citizenship.


While the project is intended to focus on the analysis and comparison of the experiences of the Visegrad Group, its results might also be beneficial for other countries in the region which are facing similar challenges to the development of a strong civil society and democracy.


The project is generously sponsored by the International Visegrad Fund.