The first educational project in Romania inspired by the Swiss participative democracy model
„Nothing can be done without citizens, nothing can last without institutions.”
‐ Jean Monnet
Participatory democracy represents a transparent link between citizens or voters and representatives or elected of the community in various positions of public importance. By involving citizens in taking decisions which affect their lives one can speak about effective participatory democracy that reflects constitutional principles and European values.
In the context of the global economic crisis, which removes more and more the citizens from state institutions, has become essential the understanding of participatory democracy and active citizenship. Early democratic education contributes to the development of civic skills which are necessary for the life in an continuously changing society.
For every young severian , the "An hour for democracy" project will bring a new perspective and possible, a new way of life. The knowledge gained by young people in this project may change behaviors and practices. At the same time they will benefit of information and practical means of involvement in solving certain situations that their community is facing.
"Switzerland - the integration of a multicultural society through political institutions"
‐ Wolf Linder
Switzerland (the official name, Confoederatio Helvetica) is a country with a unique democratic tradition and 27 political systems (one federal and 26 cantonal systems). Swiss democracy is characterized by: direct consultation of the population by referendum and popular initiative; no division of power-opposition and government on the basis of collegiality government and consensus in Parliament; federal administrative organization that allocates reduced responsibilities at the central level and extended at the local level (cantonal and communal).
Direct democracy involves direct citizens’ participation in the political decision-making process, including decisions on laws, decrees and budgets. Swiss political system includes important elements of direct citizens’ participation for the creation, change and abolition of mandatory legal rules. In other words, a modern representative democracy is complemented by direct-democratic institutions.
Swiss democracy's success is due to its institutions which have found a way to build a multicultural society unity, to integrate minorities and to overcome social divisions through consensual democracy. Marie Widmer stated that the Swiss democracy is not only to ensure equal treatment for learning programs, but also to provide each individual the opportunity to develop skills in school adapted to his needs and the needs of society.