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2020 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in Bern

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2020 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in Bern

19-03-2019

The biggest world conference on active citizenship and participatory democracy comes back to Switzerland

Cologne/Bern, 21 March 2019 - The 2020 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy will take place in Bern, Switzerland from 23 to 26 September 2020. This was announced today at a meeting in the Swiss Capital.

Democracy International will organise the four-day conference together with the Swiss Democracy Foundation and the City of Bern, which has agreed to host the ninth edition of the Forum. The Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy is the oldest and largest conference worldwide on topics related to direct democracy and citizen participation. It is expected to attract around 500 participants from over 50 countries and all continents.

The Forum has become a mayor feature of cooperation and networking between key representatives of civil society, government officials, elections administrators, media professionals and scholars. The now fixed date - just before a federal voting Sunday in Switzerland - is ideally suited to give participants from across the globe a chance to experience modern direct democracy in practice.

Democracy International is very happy that the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy is returning to Switzerland. Back in 2008 the first such world gathering was held in the Swiss city of Aarau: “Swiss practice remains a fascinating example of modern direct democracy and is of great interest to the democracy community at large. We are thrilled at the City of Bern´s decision to host the 2020 Forum, offering participants the opportunity not only to learn about the Swiss experiences, but also about everyday practices on the local and regional levels”, said Bruno Kaufmann, Co-President of the Global Forum and Board Member of Democracy International.

In a media communication the City of Bern underlines, that the City government is delighted to follow in the footsteps of cities such as Seoul, San Francisco, Montevideo, Tunis and Rome, and that it has been chosen to host the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy. The City government considers it a great opportunity to promote the Swiss federal capital as a democracy city and to send a clear sign in favour of more democracy.

The International Organizing Committee now will set about planning the 2020 Global Forum. A first meeting was held today in Bern, in order to define the cornerstones of the Forum. The central focus at the 2020 Global Forum will be on issues such as federalism, e-voting and the possibilities to further develop citizens' rights worldwide. In preparation for the conference, numerous partnerships will be sought, including with the University of Bern, the Polit-Forum Bern, Swissinfo, the Council of Europe and International IDEA. 

The eight edition of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy is taking place later this year, from 2 - 5 October 2019 in Taichung, Taiwan. More info can be found on www.2019globalforum.com.

More information and a brief history of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy can be found here.

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For more information, please contact:

  • Caroline Vernaillen, Global Manager PR & Community Building, Democracy International, Tel. +49 221 669 665 30
  • Adrian Schmid, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Swiss Democracy Foundation, Tel. +41 76 342 39 51
  • Alec von Graffenried, Mayor of Bern, Tel. +41 31 321 65 21
  • Bruno Kaufmann, Co-President, Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, +46 708 23 44 69
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