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How to use the existing instrument of participatory democracy and how to improve them.
Lorenzo Mineo
Posts: 36
Joined: 14 Dec 2020 12:21
Country: ITALY
City: Napoli


Post by Lorenzo Mineo »

In the framework of the web event "Launching a Citizen-Led Conference on the Future of Europe", organised by the paneuropean coalition of ONG and movements Citizens Take Over Europe, there will be a session to bring together experts of political science and representatives of various national and local Citizens' Assemblies experiences. The debate will aim to launch the draft of a collective blueprint on deliberative democracy, starting from the "Manifesto for a European Citizens' Assembly", that will be presented during the debate (PLEASE FIND THE TEXT AT THE BOTTOM).

If the convening of the Conference on the Future of Europe remains delayed and vague, a group of NGOs, activists, experts and European citizens is ready to discuss a new pioneering (self-organised) European Citizens' Assembly.
We believe indeed that these times of health, economic and social crisis could not be more mature to launch a major civic consultation to reform Europe in a truly federalist direction, capable of addressing the global challenges we face.

Tuesday 15th December 2020 - 18:30 CET - Online event

- Yago Bermejo Abati, Deliberativa
- Manuel Arriaga, Fórum dos Cidadãos
- Fanette Bardin, Démocratie
Ouverte/Convention Citoyenne Climat
- Michele Fiorillo, CIVICO Europa/ Scuola Normale Superiore
- Angela Jain, Nexus Institut/Bürgerrat Demokratie
- Lorenzo Mineo, Eumans/Politici Per Caso
- Jonathan Moskovic, G1000 former coordinator/Democratic Innovation advisor
- Magali Plovie, President of the Brussels French-speaking Parliament
- Yves Sintomer, Universitè de Paris 8
- Philipp Verpoort, Sortition Foundation
>> To be part of this event, please register here : ... ./viewform

Click HERE For more info.

Please find here the text of the Manifesto and other relevant information Feel free to add your comments and join the session with any insight or idea you might have.


(Almost) Final Consolidated Draft

The European project has been stuck for more than a decade.
Ever since the 2009 debt crisis, divergent national interests have resulted in a gridlocked European Council, showing a lack of solidarity and cohesion, first on economic governance, then on migration policies, and recently on fundamental values and the rule of law.

[AFTER THE APPROVAL OF THE RECOVERY FUND SOMETHING AS TO BE ADDED HERE AS A POSSIBLE TURNING POINT - if the “extraordinary” measures will become permanent, transforming the recovery fund in a proper “hamiltonian moment” (an efficacious slogan, made by some journalist, is that last Council was a big step for Europe, but not for the Union) ] The COVID-19 pandemic has marked a turning point for European integration, speeding up the integration process in the economic and financial areas. But it also pushed aside important democratic reforms. Those are needed more than ever, with the EU management of the first wave of the pandemic putting citizens’ trust in the EU to the test.

We, as Europeans, cannot passively witness the dismantling of our Union.
More than ever, the European Union needs its vibrant civil society to overcome political and institutional blockages.
There is immense and untapped potential for civic transnational mobilization across our continent on which the EU needs to capitalize in order to overcome today’s challenges.
Equally, we are living through a crisis of representative democracy, which means that the European integration’ process can no longer move forward without granting citizens more agenda-setting power.

We welcome the upcoming launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, yet its current design does not show great promise for a resolution of the malfunctioning of many crucial aspects of EU democracy
The experience of the 2003-2005 Constitutional Convention and EU-sponsored dialogues with citizens have shown that one-off events are typically cosmetic, and too often feed citizens’ frustration, if not worse, their skepticism towards those in power and fatigue towards participation.
The European Union has historically been at the avant-garde of democratic innovations: it shall not miss the opportunity to keep innovating. It needs to trust Europeans, as it asks Europeans to trust EU institutions and policies.

The Conference on the Future of Europe needs to prepare and lay ground to a permanent transnational forum for deliberation and citizens participation: a European Citizens’ Assembly. The key feature of a Citizens’ Assembly is the involvement of a diverse group of common citizens, drawn by lot representing the diversity of a wider society, in a decision-making process beyond partisan divisions and particular interests. A European Citizens’ Assembly would complement and strengthen EU representative democracy. It would be a powerful new participatory pillar to capitalize on the energy emanating from the numerous forms of civic mobilization and engagement in our Union.

The list of examples grows costantly: today, a European Citizens’ Assembly can already build on the accumulated experience of the Irish Citizens’ Assembly, the Belgian G1000 experience, the German Bürgerrat, the French Climate Convention, and the Ostbelgien Citizens' Council and the new deliberative commissions from the French-speaking Parliament of Brussels. These experiences prove that citizens can deliberate together beyond their differences and find solutions serving the greater good on contested political and technical issues.

How could we build a Citizens’ Assembly on a European scale? The Citizens Take Over Europe coalition has already created an open transnational civic space to discuss on how best to involve European citizens in shaping decisions on the Future of Europe, and on how to design a European Citizens’ Assembly as an inclusive, impactful and feasible democratic innovation. An assembly whose results would be part of the decision and law making framework of EU, trusting citizens’ deliberation can and needs to be shaping European policies for a better life for all. [ALTERNATIVE PROPOSED BY PHILIPP]: Passing legislation to make the recommendations put forward by such an assembly legally binding would demonstrate the required trust in citizens’ deliberation, and acknowledge the necessity and capability of it.

As advocates, experts and practitioners of deliberative, direct and participatory democracy, initiators and members of citizens' assemblies, representatives of civil society organizations, and believers of a stronger and more democratic European integration process, we gather together to shape the future of Europe, and call on all actors of democratic change to join us and to work together on a Blueprint for a European Citizens’ Assembly.
[shorter sentence suggestion] "We call on advocates, experts and practitioners of deliberative, direct and participatory democracy as well as initiators and members of citizens' assemblies, representatives of civil society and believers of a stronger and more democratic Europe to come together and join us in mapping out a blueprint for a European Citizens’ Assembly.”

This Blueprint would serve two functions. First, it will be the flagship proposal to help our advocacy efforts and create a benchmark to the European institutions before and during the Conference on the Future of Europe. Second, it will constitute a roadmap to a possible self-organized pilot European Citizens’ Assembly, shall the Conference on the Future of Europe fail to meet citizens’ demand for participation and a democratic revamp of the EU decision-making process.

Digital platforms, widely used in local and national deliberative experiments - especially for agenda setting- proved to be powerful tools also for transnational for a preliminary pan-european consultations on the Future of Europe,-as shown by the success of the We Europeans and We Move initiatives.- They are ideal to help citizens from different Member States connecting with each other, and to set the agenda of the future Citizens’ Assembly. They make out an essential and can form l an essential and be the first step towards connecting citizens from different Member States towardsand launching a pan-european deliberation, before a a (self-organized) European Citzens’ Assembly meets. and potentially a connected platform of continuous deliberation. [LINK TO Citizens Take Over Europe consultation here?]


A European Citizens Assembly has the potential to meet European citizens’ people’s demand for participation beyond European elections and bridge transnationally the gap between the EU and its citizens its citizens transnationally. It can contribute to making European citizenship meaningful for all the people of Europe citizens.

The European unification process was inspired and built up by brave and visionary people. Let us keep audacity and courage alive and revamp our political imagination: let’s join our forces in a common project to innovate and renew European democracy looking back at its deeper roots, building towards the future.

[suggestion] The European project was built by brave and visionary people. Inspired by their courage, we strive to keep their audacity alive and revamp our political imagination : let us come together to renew our European democracy by drawing on its roots to build an innovative future.

Contributors and Signatories
(draft proposed by the CTOE WG on Self-organized process, with contribution of external experts - maybe we can add also COUNTRY of provenience of every individual here)

Manuel Arriaga, Fórum dos Cidadãos
Yago Bermejo Abati, ParticipaLab/Deliberativa (tbc)
Fanette Bardin, Démocratie Ouverte/Convention Citoyenne Climat (tbc)
Simona Bussi, Extinction Rebellion
Camille Dobler, Jagielloński University
Michele Fiorillo, CIVICO Europa/ Scuola Normale Superiore
Brett Henning, Sortition Foundation, Co-founder
Angela Jain, Nexus Institut/Bürgerrat Demokratie
Lorenzo Mineo, EUmans
Samuele Nannoni, Oderal/Politici Per Caso
Martin Pairet, European Alternatives
Jonathan Moskovic, former G1000 coordinator, democratic innovation advisor
Magali Plovie, President of the Brussels French-speaking Parliament
Yves Sintomer, Science Po (tbc)
Philipp Verpoort, Sortition Foundation, Co-director



Citizens Take Over Europe?
Fórum dos Cidadãos

Democratie Ouverte?
Irish Citizens Assembly- association/individual that contributed to it ?
Politici Per Caso?


Other points to be maybe inserted in the Manifesto:

Online tools for agenda setting and continuing deliberations?
Gathering experiences for the design of the self-organized assembly, what are the scientific knowledge on it:
sortition vs not sortition (experiences),
open consultation (cfr. We Europeans) / outreach / inclusion
Legitimacy / efficiency
How do we connect the self-convocated assembly to the official process

The participants of such a European Citizens' Assembly should include a diverse range of people from all walks of life. They should represent the people of the European member states, and especially involve people who don't normally engage with EU politics or politics in general. Evidence from many examples across the world suggest that this is readily achieved by recruiting people through a civic lottery. Such a lottery should invite participants from all across society (most easily done through random mail invites or random phone calls), and should ensure that those who are accepted as participants reflect the demographics of the EU citizens according to age, gender, education, socio-economic background, ethnicity, rural/urban, and country of residence. Participants should be adequately remunerated and receive sufficient support to ensure anyone — irrespective of socio-economic background, disability, child care or adult care obligations — is able to take part.

Roadmap for the publication of the Manifesto

be flexible -t/ first draft declaration open to integrations
signer organizateurs/individuels de citizens assemblies or other experts - and organizations where possible
Circulate the consolidated draft of the Manifesto among good friendly contacts of people dealing with citizens’ assemblies, asking also to to intervene to integrate/emend the text.
Present a new consolidated version to the plenary of Wednesday 9 - start to collect signatures of personalities, organizers, academics: we will issue a formular where we will state that in case of need after the Council of 11/12 december we will integrate the text and send a new mail for confirmation of the signature (silence-consensus)
Publication of the Manifesto on newspapers and presentation after the 15th December event which will serve to discuss and finalize it ---> start of collecting signature of organizations and other individuals after the publication ofe definitive version