20 January 2023

  • Barcelona has been declared the first ‘European Capital of Democracy’, by a jury composed of thousands of citizens from across the continent. Barcelona beat out Braga and Brussels in a final public vote between candidates selected by an expert panel. The city was lauded for its innovative projects including ‘Decidim’ — an open source citizen participation platform now used by hundreds of cities around the world.

  • The Council of Europe has excluded civil society organisations from the first international treaty on AI. The council’s committee on AI was tasked with drafting a convention on Artificial Intelligence as it pertains to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, but has now explicitly removed non-profits and other non-country organisations from the drafting process. The move is based on a US request that no non-country entities be allowed insight into the negotiating positions of the countries involved.

  • The Electoral Commission of India has demonstrated its remote electronic voting system for migrant voters to representatives of all political parties, including 8 national and 57 state parties. Most parties have however opted to oppose the commission’s proposal on remote electronic voting, claiming that it’s too unreliable, there are too many anomalies, and that the definition of migrant workers is unclear. The commission has said that voters’ inability to participate in democratic elections due to internal migration is a significant issue.

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