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For a European Public Sphere Now!

Democracy is under threat due to a disruption of the information sphere, characterized by hate speech, fake news, and fragmentation of public debate. National filter bubbles dominate discussions, leaving citizens disengaged and distrustful. The supremacy of traditional media is collapsing due to social media and streaming services. This digitalization is driving a fundamental structural change in the public sphere, where hate speech and misinformation can undermine democracy.

The European public sphere is dysfunctional due to its national and digital nature, which benefits populists by enabling agitation in national bubbles and allowing opinion-manipulating cross borders. However, digitalization can be used to strengthen democracy. A Europeanization and platformization of the public sphere is needed. Common digital platforms and technologies that follow democratic rules must be developed to offer a democratic, independent, and diverse alternative.

A board that changes.

The Council for European Public Space aims to create a European Public Space constituted according to democratic rules. The think-and-do-tank will develop evidence-based and politically viable strategies to advance the goal of an open, fair, and safe European Public Space. It will advocate for rights and major investments from EU institutions and support existing initiatives from science, industry, and civil society. The Council will be composed of eminent European personalities who represent diverse perspectives towards the common goal of a democratic and more unified Europe.

The Council feels obliged to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to seek and have access to free information according to the fundamental values of democracy, diversity, and social cohesion. A pluralistic and diverse communication oriented to common values and the common good is a fundamental precondition of democracy.

Without a functioning democratic public sphere, there is no future for Europe.

Let us reclaim the public sphere and build the European Public Space now!