That’s why we have developed the Everyday Democracy Index (EDI). The EDI is a tool for assessing the democratic health of European countries across many different dimensions. That includes not just formal dimensions of democracy but also more everyday features of democracy – how important democratic principles and practices are to the cultures of workplaces, to people’s community life, to the way they interact with public services, and even to the way they talk to their friends and family.
This pamphlet sets out the argument and methodology behind the first EDI, which covers 25 countries in the European Union area. Europe is home to some of the world’s oldest democracies as well as some of its youngest. Across many of them the same debates are gathering momentum: Why are people voting less? Why are political party memberships dropping? Why is trust in politics so low?
There are other democracy indices out there, but whilst they may be good at identifying the differences between, say, Belgium and Burkina Faso, they are less good at revealing the contrast between democratic experiences in Finland and France. Starting with Europe, we hope to begin a new conversation about democracy where they leave off, with countries around the world.
We need to connect these debates, we need to invigorate them and we need a new starting point. This is what the Everyday Democracy Index aims to achieve.