2012 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

U.S. Conference on Initiative & Referendum


Thank you for your patience over these past two years as we have searched for a date and place for the next forum. And now comes the good news: we will be gathering in the capital of Tunisia in May next year.


You can put it down on the calendar right now: Tunis, May 14-17, 2015.


Why Tunisia? Why Tunis? Why May 2015? Because at this moment, there is simply no better choice. Tunisia and its people have emerged in the global spotlight as they struggle to democratize after decades of dictatorship. And what better time and location to consider the Arab Spring than in the country where it began -- and in the middle of spring? 


Tunis is the perfect venue for discussion and exchange over how democracy develops – and how people power can grow stronger roots around the world. Last weekend the Tunisian Election Commission closed the books for the registration of electors and candidates ahead of the forthcoming parliamentarian (Oct 26) and presidential elections (Nov 23) this autumn. By next spring, a new generation of politically active Tunisians will be in charge and society will get a new start to handle the many problems and challenges of democratization.


Please consider this note your official invitation and a warm welcome to join this fascinating process, which will include not only the 2015 forum but also extension preparations and earlier events leading up to the Tunisia gathering. We hope that you will share your ideas, your hopes and your experiences with our worldwide network of those who practice, study, and seek to build direct democracy.


Bruno Kaufmann and Daniel Schily (Democracy International) have just returned from Tunisia and we can announce that our hosting partners in the country will include the country’s politically independent trade Union(UGTT) and the main national University (the University of Carthage). In the weeks to come we will finalize the key organizational and practical issues, including lodging options, and make those available to you at a new Global Forum website – 2015globalforum.com


Looking forward to seeing you in Tunis next May - at the 5th World Conference on Active Citizenship and Participative Democracy!



Bruno Kaufmann and Joe Mathews


Dear Friends of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy,

We have heard the same question from many of you: When and where will the next Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy take place? This letter is an attempt to answer that question.

The short answer: not in 2014. 

People from 25 countries around the world gathered in Montevideo, Uruguay, in mid-November for the fourth gathering of this world conference on participatory democracy. They heard stories and research of why, how and where modern direct democracy is taking important steps forward. Thank you for participating, assisting, supporting and observing this Forum. At the end of the forum, participants agreed on a statement, the Montevideo Declaration on Modern Direct Democracy, setting out guidelines for best practices and future development of democratic tools. 

Hundreds of participants from more than 40 countries across the world will meet in mid-november in Montevideo/Uruguay to continue a global conversation on the promises and perils of modern direct democracy. The 4th World Conference on citizen participation will focus on the state of the art of the initiative and referendum process internationally and adress key issues like the need of a supportive infrastructure for efficient citizens lawmaking as well at the opportunities linked to electronic tools. Please become part of this conversation and get the official 2012 Global Forum Booklet Now!