New ways to increase citizens’ participation in Europe
This publication focuses on the innovations associated to EU Citizens’ Dialogues: random selection of participants, interactive methods, and multilingual discussions with new interpreting approaches. The experiences and outcomes of the cross-border EU citizens’ dialogues in Frankfurt/Oder, Passau and The Hague, conducted in collaboration with the European Commission, are presented in this publication.
Today, citizens are demanding a more active role in policy making at the European level. Transnational EU citizens’ dialogues are an important tool in response to this. It gives citizens the opportunity to get involved, speak up and change policy-making.
The random selection of participants guarantees inclusion and diversity. Citizens from different European countries turn up to the dialogues with a wide range of different opinions, interests and perspectives. Thanks to the new interpreting procedure, interactive methods have been used in multi-language citizens’ dialogues allowing them to communicate on an equal footing. By doing away with language hurdles, the citizens were able to develop questions and recommendations on the future of Europe that were put forward to high-ranking politicians and officials there and then.
The publication not only presents evaluation results from the citizens perspective, but also gives recommendations for future EU citizens’ dialogues and participation formats. When conducted well, cross-border citizens’ dialogues have a positive impact on citizens attitudes towards the EU.