Digital tools are changing democracy as we know it, bringing along new opportunities, advances and challenges. Online platforms and e-voting practices have given access to the political world where it was lacking before, allowing citizens to be better informed and involved.
It was this reality that was reflected in ECAS’ Digital Democracy Day 2019: Harnessing the Potential of Technology in Elections, held on March 7th. As part of a panel of influential speakers that took part in the event, Federico Anghelè, co-founder of Riparte il Futuro, presented the outcomes and latest developments of the YouVoteEUplatform. As you already know, the project was developed to serve as a link between citizens, political candidates and civil society organisations (CSOs) for the upcoming European elections. Through frequent updates and an interactive quiz tool, YouVoteEU connects voters to the candidate, national party and EU political group that best represents their views and political ideas. This knowledge is enhanced by also showing the positions of registered CSOs on a number of issues that dig into key EU policies and politics. Up-to-date, there are 65 CSOs that have registered to YouVoteEU from all throughout Europe, with this number continuously rising.
Mr Anghelè also took the opportunity to introduce a new video created for and featured on Your Vote Matters. Through light and entertaining graphics, the video sends the important message that there are many versions of the European Union and citizens have the power to choose which one they want to live in through voting for candidates that share their vision.
As testified by the event, e-democracy can further engage citizens in elections and re-store trust in politics. Taking into caution the inevitable challenges, such as disinformation and spread of fake news, technology provides an opportunity to not just practice democracy once every 4-5 years, but on a daily basis. YouVoteEU stands behind this idea and, as information is power, will continue to push citizens to be at the center of democracy and policy-making.