Trust in political parties is at an all-time low. Many see them as part of the problem of democratic decline. A growing movement even envisages democracy without them. If political parties are to have a future, they must change. What needs to change is less clear – but the key question is how political parties can actually change. This panel brings together expert practitioners from the front line of European party politics. They will all share their first-hand experiences and views on party innovation.
The panel discussed the need for political parties to innovate and reform in order to become more inclusive and representative of their members. Strategies to increase membership and inclusivity were discussed, such as engaging with citizens through face-to-face interactions and utilizing technology. The panellists also stressed the need for parties to work together on common challenges and to be open to sharing power with citizens in decision-making processes. The audience was asked to rate their optimism about the future of political parties on a scale of 0-10, with 6 being the most common response.
Benedicta Lasi, Secretary-General of Socialist International
Birgitta Ohlsson, Director for Political Parties at the National Democratic Institute
Louise Pettersson, Project Manager at Centerpartiet (Swedish liberal party)
Pepijn van Dijk, Executive Director at VVD (Dutch liberal party)
Moderator: Josef Lentsch, Managing Partner of the Innovation in Politics Institute and Founder of Party Party