Blog post: “Over the past years, deliberative citizens’ assemblies selected by lot have increased their popularity and impact around the world. If introduced at European Union level, and aimed at developing recommendations on EU policy issues such first ever transnational citizens’ assemblies would be groundbreaking in advancing EU democratic reform. The Citizens Take Over Europe coalition recognizes the political urgency and democratic potential of such innovations of EU governance. We therefore call for the introduction of European citizens’ assemblies as a regular and permanent body for popular policy deliberation. In order for EU level citizens’ assemblies to work as an effective tool in further democratising EU decision-making, we have thoroughly examined preexisting exercises of deliberative democracy. The following 10 + 1 guidelines are based on best practices and lessons learned from national and local citizens’ assemblies across Europe. They have been designed in collaboration with leading experts. At present, these guidelines shall instruct the Conference on the Future of Europe on how to create the first experimental space for transnational citizens’ assemblies. But they are designed for future EU citizens’ assemblies as well.
1. Participatory prerequisites
Strong participatory instruments are a prerequisite for a democratic citizens’ assembly. Composed as a microcosm of the EU population with people selected by lot, the assembly workings must be participatory and allow all members to have a say, with proper professional moderation during the deliberative rounds. The assembly must fit the EU participatory pillar and connect to the existing tools of EU participatory democracy, for instance by deliberating on successful European citizens’ initiatives.
The scope and structure of the citizens’ assembly should be designed in a participatory manner by the members of the assembly, starting with the first assembly meeting that will draft and adopt its rules of procedure and set its agenda.
Additional participatory instruments such as the possibility to submit online proposals to the assembly on relevant topics should be included in order to facilitate the engagement of all citizens. Information about opportunities to get involved and participate in the citizens’ assembly proceedings must be attractive and accessible to ordinary citizens….(More)”.