Citizens at the heart of EU policies

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Wed 14, October 2020
09:30 - 11:00 CET
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People need to be at the very centre of EU policies and all Europeans should play a leading role in setting the European Union's priorities.

This is the main idea behind the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Participants will be called on to give their contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe and to reflect on how democracy should be protected more than ever as a source of political and social resilience.

The Conference on the Future of Europe will build on past experiences, such as citizens' dialogues, while introducing a wide range of new elements to increase outreach and strengthen ways for people to shape future EU action.

This is a core session of the young elected politicians (YEPs) programme.

Wolfgang Petzold, Deputy Director Communications, European Committee of the Regions, Belgium.
Claudia Chwalisz, Policy Analyst, OECD, France.
Yves Dejaeghere, President, G1000, Belgium.
Sarah Meyer, Research Associate, Danube-University Krems, Austria.
Cohesion and Cooperation
European Committee of the Regions - D.2 Events
English (EN)

Session summary

People should be at the centre of EU policies. A representative deliberative process model, giving the possibility to a small group representing the population and reflecting societal diversity to provide recommendation to the public authority on a public problem, could help reach this goal.

This model exists in the EU since 1980s, but needs to be improved in a more continuous, institutionalised way in the global EU political system. The expectations of EU politicians concerning these assemblies should be clarified and it should be defined how to avoid the fact that citizens feel the EU to be unresponsive. In this regard, media could play a role. Representative deliberation can have a strong and visible role at local and regional level. Different models can be put in place, according to needs.

Even if a representative deliberative process doesn't aim to replace the classical politic way of working, it can be seen as an additional solution to reinforce citizens' role.

Take away message

Representative deliberative processes can help put citizens at the heart of EU politics. To make it work, the process should be clearly defined and understood by EU citizens. Expectations from EU politicians need to be clear and the follow up of the recommendations provided should be mandatory in order to avoid people having the feeling that the EU is not responsive.

Yves Dejaeghere: "Media will be very important. If a tree falls and nobody is around to hear it, does it make noise? If a citizens' assembly gathers but the media pays it no attention, it will be very difficult to make other citizens see this is happening".

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  • Posted by: Sergio Diana
    On: 12/10/2020 - 10:49am

    A permanent AND CONCRETE citizens INVOLVEMENT

    Recent communication experiences leading to events such as, for example, Brexit or to the advent in Europe of exacerbated nationalisms antithetical to the European Integration project, should make us reflect on the need to invest on inovative communication tools. We intend to share our idea on a constructive discussion within EWRC and, precisely, to start a reflection on whether or not to invest in a project relating to the creation of a EUROPEAN NETWORK of cities (expecially small villages of europe) with a common communication tool not only for the democratic debate but also for: ---- European integration process; -----solving social problems (not only as regards unemployment, depopulation, youth unease, etc. .. but also, for example, regarding issues such as corruption - and contributing to the improvement of living conditions and of work in our territories); -----solve global problems; ----- involve young people, with particular reference to the NEETs; -----spreading the results of research and innovation in our territories (in relation to this aspect is of particular interest a proposal that we are submitting to the attention of CORDIS );…We are looking for cities interested in joining our European/international network. To find out more please write to: info@freeuropechannel.eu