WHAT IS A"FOLKEMØDE"?

What is a “Folkemøde”? 

The Danish tradition of “Folkemøde” [Folk – people; møde – meeting] is a public meeting that dates back to 1839. It is a political event that brings together people with an interest in democracy across political views and positions. It takes form of informal discussions and speeches across opinions and hierarchy that strengthens active involvement of all participants – every one has a say, every one is heard.

Valdemar Neiiendam, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The concept of “folkemøde” was an active event until 1942 when the national meeting in Danish Skamlingsbanken happened to be the last one with the system change that took place. Neighboring Sweden managed to establish their form of folkemødet – Almedalsveckan – in 1968 and be the inspiration and groundwork for Denmark to reintroduce the concept on the island of Bornholm in 2011. It took on popularity fairly fast and has generated thousands of national visitors ever since.

 

What is the purpose?
The Danish model of “folkemøde” is the cornerstone for democracy and pays tribute to the community. The barriers between citizens, politicians and decision-makers should be dismantled in order to make the society a better place for everybody, which is the foundation of a “folkemøde”. The aim is to lead discussions about how to improve the future of the society and shape its direction.

 

A “folkemøde” aims to:

o   Let people see and listen to politicians they voted for

o   Inspire and challenge political views and visions

o   Let people have a say and be heard

o   Increase trust between citizens and decision-makers and hold politicians to accountable

o   “Peoplelize”; build a community where culture is showcased and celebrated

o   Facilitate meaningful debates and anchor them in the political agenda

 

A classical “folkemøde” celebrates cultural heritage as well, so entertainment and good food are never missing. The primary focus of the event is politics, which takes on new dimensions through debates with citizen involvement. Not to be underestimated, culture and cultural differences are key ingredients through gastronomy, folklore, music, and Arts&Crafts – these are the key principles that Political Festival of Europe builds its foundation on.

 

Political Festival of Europe wants to take the concept of “folkemøde” to the next level and switch from national settings to pan-European in order to discuss matters that influence everyone in Europe.

Political festival debate