From Fictional to Functioning Democracy:
Developing Concepts and Strategies for an Inclusive and Participatory Europe (FIFUDEM)
The key points of this IDM project are 1) to scrutinize the contexts and causes of illiberal, respectively fictional democracy, 2) to develop concepts and strategies of strengthening liberal, respectively functioning democracy and its functioning political communication as well as active citizenship in an inclusive and participatory EU, and 3) to disseminate the project’s findings through awareness raising activities, events and publications for different targets groups on the local, regional, national, international and EU level. The rationale behind this proposal comes from the worrying erosion tendencies of liberal democracy as well as from the increase of populism, extremism and religious radicalisation in the Danube Region and Central Europe.
All these developments pose challenges to European integration and may be defined as “tribalism”. No matter which form of xenophobia and extremism, if politically or religiously connoted and legitimised, tribalism jeopardises hitherto established European standards of liberal democracy, checks and balances, and the rule of law. Processes of integration are even more challenged by the lack of a European public sphere. At the same time ostracism of critical media and journalists threatens press freedom in many places and forces the national filter of Europe in national media. The main objectives of IDM as a long-year extramural interdisciplinary research institution are therefore to conduct research on European integration and enlargement in its focus region, and disseminating the project’s results through the international IDM publications, events and network as well as through the network of the IDM project partner, the Danube Rectors’ Conference (DRC), including 64 university members. All these various activities aim to affect various segments of the public discourse on the importance of strengthening liberal and functioning democracy and to support active citizenship in an inclusive and participatory European Union. FIFUDEM events & publications: