The Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe (IRI Europe), founded in 2001, is a European think-tank dedicated to research and educate on procedures and practices of modern Direct Democracy. The Institute is a project of the Swiss Democracy Foundation (www.swissdemocracy.foundation) in Lucerne/Switzerland.
As a non-partisan, non-profit association, the Institute's main mission is to develop insights into the theory and practice of modern Direct Democracy among politicians, the media, NGOs, academics and the public throughout Europe – and beyond.
Since the early days IRI Europe publishes informational and educational materials including print and digital Handbooks, Guidebooks, Toolkits for free and fair popular votes (referendums), study reports or dedicated materials for schools.
You are welcome to access, download and distribute our publications for free through our online library.
IRI Europe's activities include study Briefing Tours on Modern Direct Democracy in Switzerland and other countries, highlighting the procedures and practices of modern Direct Democracy – participants see and experience direct democracy first hand.
With a comprehensive network of experts and correspondents throughout the world, the Institute is uniquely equipped to provide the know-how and the tools the world now needs.
IRI Europe cooperates closely with partners from civil society, governmental institutions and international players across the globe.
The institute has developed a series of research activities linked to university research centers, including projects on comparative research, local direct democratic practices and transnational prospects.
In all its projects IRI Europe cooperates closely with partners from civil society, governmental institutions and international players including our sister institutes in Asia and the Americas as well as both governmental and non-governmental organizations across Europe and the world.
Experts associated with IRI Europe support worldwide initiatives to promote modern forms of citizen participation.
IRI Europe launched back in 2008 in partnership with international governmental and non-governmental organisations the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy process.
It's ninth edition – the 2020 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy (www.democracy.community) – will take place in Bern/Switzerland (September 23-26).