Keywords: e-democracy, e-participation, e-government, direct democracy, public participation, information systems, social issues, information technology, communications technology, ICT, EU, European Union, electronic democracy, electronic participation, online participation, electronic government, consensus building, e-consultation, electronic consultation
E-participation in the EU policy-making
This paper examines the reasons behind citizens' growing disenchantment with the traditional forms of government and argues for the implementation of initiatives that move from representative democracy to direct democracy. It maintains that this form of governance could only be achieved through knowledge and consensus building within the community. Active participation of people in the political public sphere could be supported by e-initiatives that focus on the single citizen. A case study of a European initiative on e-consultation will be examined using Macintosh's analytical framework for e-participation. Finally, some conclusions are made regarding the future challenges of e-democracy within the European Union's framework.