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LUISS Guido Carli


Parliamentary Democracy in Europe

This summer program applies research-based knowledge to the actual contexts where the European Parliament and national parliaments as well as executives operate nowadays when exercising budgetary powers, also in the light of the Euro-crisis.

It aims to explore the tension between democracy and technocracy in the EU and its Member States and to analyze how the chain of parliamentary accountability works when it comes to budgetary policies.

Parliamentary Accountability and New Technologies: Transparency, Privacy and Security Challenges


The Summer Program on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe is organized by the LUISS School of Government in cooperation with LUISS Centre for Parliamentary StudiesCEUR FoundationInternational Political Science Association (IPSA)SciencesPo - Centre d'études européennes, and ULB, Université Libre de Bruxelles.

It is sponsored by the European Commission through EACEA (the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency), as Jean Monnet Module (2017-2019) on Parliamentary Accountability and Technical Expertise: Budgetary Powers, Information and Communication Technologies and Elections.

 The summer program is designed for:

  • graduates, doctoral students and post-docs active in the field of parliamentary and legislative studies, constitutional law, media law, social media, communication and political science (preferably with a background in social sciences) 
  • civil servants from European institutions and bodies, from international organizations, and from national and subnational institutions in Member States and from third countries 
  • lobbyists and public affairs professionals who want to acquire advanced knowledge on how parliaments cope with the challenges of transparency, privacy and security brought by the ICT revolution
Dates July 9-20, 2018 (it is possible to participate in one week of the course or to attend both weeks)
Location Rome
Credits 4 ECTS per week
Level Participants must hold a bachelor's degree or have completed the third year of a law program
Course leaders Director: Nicola Lupo, Professor of Public Law
Academic coordinator and Jean Monnet Module’s Holder: Cristina Fasone
Deadline June 24, 2018

The summer program intends to cope with one of the challenges parliaments are currently facing: the impact of new technologies on their organization, procedures and outputs as to strike the difficult balance between transparency, privacy and security.

One the one hand, the ICT revolution has prompted enhanced openness and accessibility to parliamentary activity; on the other hand, increased transparency can affect the traditional way parliamentary deliberation takes place, especially in committees, and the way certain sensitive information is treated, in particular when issues concerning privacy and security are at stake. In other words, while new technologies are providing parliaments with new avenues to re-connect their role to the instances of citizens and civil society, tools of e-democracy  and transparency at any cost might not be necessarily desirable for the effective functioning of parliaments.

During the course, the following questions will be addressed: Does enhanced transparency of parliamentary business comes at the expense of effectiveness of decision-making in parliament? How and to what extent do new technologies influence the way parliaments cope with privacy and security concerns? Finally, has the ICT revolution increased or impaired the representative capacity of parliaments?

Teaching and training sessions

  • Lectures on theoretical framework and conceptual analysis instrumental to fully take advantage of other academic activities
  • Seminars, typically focused on a comparative overview of notions and concepts dealt with during the lectures
  • Simulation sessions, to develop practical skills
  • Guest professional seminar series, to move the participants closer to the institutional reality and policy-making by focusing on case studies
  • Visits to institutions and public bodies in Rome whose work is directly linked to the theme of the Program

The following topics are addressed

  • Parliaments and transparency: tracing the relationship throughout history
  • Political parties and parliamentary groups in Europe in time of the Internet
  • Populism in Europe and euroskepticism in parliament as a consequence of the new ICTs
  • The European Parliament as an open institution, but still disconnected from the people: Why is this so?
  • National parliaments and congresses and the accessibility of their sources and documents by citizens
  • Transparency of parliamentary procedures as a requirement for the constitutionality of parliamentary decision-making
  • The participation of the public in parliamentary procedures: old and new problems in a comparative perspective
  • ‘Online Parliaments’: which implications on the forms of government?
  • How parliamentary committee work has changed because of the increased transparency: Italy, the UK and the EU compared
  • The protection of privacy in the new Open Parliaments
  • The difficult task of combining openness and secrecy in today’s parliaments: the case of parliamentary oversight on security services
  • E-petitions and electronic citizens’ initiatives as a new tool to combine participatory and representative democracy? A comparative analysis
  • Representative democracy in the digital age: the challenges of privacy and security
  • Revising the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness


One week

  • € 750 excluding accommodation
  • € 1100 including accommodation (check in on the Saturday before the course, check out on Saturday after the course)

Two weeks

  • € 1100 excluding accommodation
  • € 1600 including accommodation (check in on the Saturday before the course, check out on Saturday after the course)