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The European Citizens‘ Consultations – Evaluation report

Welchen Erfolg hatten die vom französischen Presidenten Emmanuel Macron initiierten Bürgerdialoge? Hierüber informiert eine englischsprachige Studie von Corina Stratulat und Paul Butcher.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s vision of holding a farreaching consultation with European citizens on the future of Europe, in preparation for more deep-rooted reform of the European Union, breathed new life into the idea of citizens’ participation after years of stagnation. (…)
This report looks at whether the European Citizens’ Consultations (ECC) 2018 have kept to these minimum standards or if the process needs improvement. Its aim is to help interpret the results of these consultations by examining their context and how they were implemented. It also seeks to enrich the debate about the future of citizens’ participation at the EU level. Learning from these consultations will help to improve similar future exercises. (…)
A key finding of this report is that the member states have stuck to the flexibility principle which they all demanded in exchange for their participation. From the name adopted for the national events, the timeframe for holding these meetings, the chosen organisers, format, agenda, and reporting procedure, down to the rationale for joining the ECCs, each country has done its own thing. This freedom has helped to ensure that all the member states felt comfortable enough to play an active role. But it has also led to a situation in which: 1. The ECCs lack a common identity to give them visibility, credibility, meaning, and durability over time. 2. The synthesis of the consultations may fail to produce a coherent message for policymakers to acknowledge and act upon, thereby weakening the ECCs’ potential impact.

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