How and why people become engaged in politics? Are the electronic voting machines immune to vote-rigging? Can we tackle the growing phenomenon of misinformation on social media? What impact the financial crash had on the development of political conflict in Europe? Is civil society increasingly dependent on state finance and regulation? Here are some of the questions, ERC grantees investigate and solve.

The new report showcases 11 EU-funded projects that help us understand better the factors and forces that are shaping Europe's democracies. Among them five projects funded by the European Research Council in Italy, Netherlands, and the UK, as well as research supported by the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and other EU grants.

There is no shortage of elections in 2019. In Europe alone, aside from the European Parliament elections, various national polls--local, regional, parliamentary or presidential--will be taking place in at least 15 EU Member States. At the same time, democratic politics has witnessed a surge of protest and so-called 'populist' politics that have redefined the political space in many countries and what it means to participate politically as a citizen. Understanding these eventful political times requires innovative research.

The report has been published by Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) and the ERC Executive Agency in collaboration with the Research Executive Agency and Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.