Eskerrik asko, Muchas Gracias, Many Thanks!
On behalf of all co-organizers we want to thank you for your active participation in this year’s world conference in Donostia-San Sebastian. In mid-november we all gathered at that beautiful spot on the Atlantic Ocean to engage deeply in conversation on how to make participatory politics and direct democracy a bigger part of a world that faces many hard questions about democracy these days. With your active participation in the plenaries and workshops at Miramar Palace and the special events in City Hall, and with your intense exchange during coffee breaks and long walks and over Pinxto in Donostia-San Sebastian’s legendary bars, you made all the difference in turning this forum into a big success. We believe that all of you, through your contributions and questions, established a better insight into and understanding of the role of local communities, social movements and political culture in sustaining our coexistence on this planet.
We are very grateful to our wonderful hosts in Donostia-San Sebastian, who told us the powerful story of their democratic progress while providing us all with their enormous hospitality and determined efforts to make this Forum happen. No even with hundreds of peole from more than 30 countries and six continents is easy, and this event had its challenges, all of them surmounted by our hosts.”Eskerrik asko, horiek guztiak” (Thank you to all of them). What we take with us from those historic Forum days are many new insights and ideas – and a lot of encouragement to continue our global struggle for more (direct) democracy. As we stated in our common Donostia Declaration on Modern Direct Democracy: ”We want to make clear: our representative democracies need to become much more direct now, by allowing citizens to become authors of direct legislation, agenda-setters and decision-makers. Initiative and referendum rights must be incorporated in all political jurisdictions via rules that are decided by the people themselves and that do not impede their use by the citizens. Such rules must be well-designed and balanced to make our representative democracies truly representative“.
We appreciate the many impressions and takeaways that so many of you have been active in sharing, reporting and contributing. (Please feel free to keep doing so with the hashtags #globfor16 and #deardemocracy). You can also see records, video and photos of the forum on the Forum website. We’re hoping this record will make this forum unforgettable.
Let’s stay in touch, continue our common work and gather again soon, at the next Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy. We will have details on location and date of that forum early in the new year. And we are looking forward to hearing from you soon again as well.
Bruno Kaufmann and Joe Mathews
Co-Presidents, Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy