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Moving EuropE Together, through citizens’ deliberations

Citizen participation / REPORT
Corina Stratulat , Johannes Greubel

Date: 28/06/2022
When it comes to the future of the EU, there is a lot of commonality in citizens' thinking and concerns across member states, but also with debates held in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe. European citizens can have difficult conversations about complex issues of EU-wide relevance and agree on concrete proposals. Decision-makers should not underestimate but rather utilise the contribution that people can bring to the ongoing brainstorming about Europe's future.

Those are some of the main findings of the Moving EuropE Together (MEET) project, which was held in parallel to the Conference on the Future of Europe and carried out by the European Policy Centre with the support of the European Parliament, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Gulbenkian Foundation. The project aimed to reinforce the participatory dimension of the Conference with an additional layer of citizen consultations held at the local level and following a standardised model of deliberation.

Between January 2021 and June 2022, organisations from the MEET network organised 16 Local Citizens' Agoras in 8 member states. This report lays out the project's conclusions and draws lessons from the comparison between the different methods used by the participating organisations in putting together the Agoras. 

Content-wise, the environment was the topic that proved to be most popular. Democracy, digital policy, foreign policy, health and youth policy completed the list. Across these diverse subject areas, several common themes emerged, which were also evident in the results of the Conference: people expressed a strong desire for more education on the Union and its initiatives; more straightforward communication from the EU; more action at a European level to tackle major challenges; and more opportunities for people to engage with EU politics and politicians. 

The deliberative wave is gaining momentum in Europe and shaping up to be a credible option for EU democratic reform. The Conference experience and that of this project have been encouraging both in terms of process and results and provide valuable lessons for the future. 

Having said that, the road ahead is still long. The only way to make progress is to sustain the effort, continue to improve on past and existing participatory tools and keep experimenting.

Read the full paper here. 

Annex II - MEET - Final citizens' recommendations 

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