PUBLIC SPHERE

The principle freedom is completed by the public sphere function. Here, individual rights have an essential collective purpose. Taking part with others in expressing opinions and seeking to persuade and mobilise support are seen as important aspects of freedom. The communication about politics and moral norms takes place in the public sphere, and a vital civil society and a vivid public sphere are ensured by means of freedom of association (component 1) and freedom of opinion (component 2). Freedom of association must be constitutionally guaranteed. Additionally, according to the social capital research, a vital civil society relies on the density of associations with political and public interests. Formal social capital is seen as a sign of a well-functioning free articulation and collection of preferences. Freedom of opinion presupposes constitutional guarantees as well. In modern, representative democracies, public communication primarily takes place via mass media. Thus, media should enable a broad diffusion of political information and provide a forum for public discourse.