European capacities for citizen deliberation and participation for the Green Deal (Research and Innovation action)


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Oficina de Projectes Internacionals

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H2020 Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies (SC6)

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PJE_Projectes Europeus

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  • Grups de Recerca (GRU)
  • Investigadors/es (INV)


All areas of the European Green Deal, from climate action to zero pollution, require citizens’ active support at all stages of the transitions. Workable solutions, accepted and taken-up at scale, can only be found through the active participation of all concerned. This is particularly the case of complex issues with diverging views or interests at stake, such as the rural-urban gap, attitudes to the bio-economy, water management, the choice of energy sources, etc. Such issues can best be addressed through participatory processes involving citizens from different cross-sections of society across Europe, including by engaging them throughout the innovation life cycle as social innovators. The Conference on the Future of Europe has further heightened awareness of the need for participatory processes and raised expectations in this respect. Strong expectations of citizen participation have also been raised in the context of Horizon Europe preparation, in particular for Horizon Europe Missions, which will be highly relevant to the European Green Deal.

Such processes may include a large spectrum of co-creation activities and events based on dialogue and information exchange, including but not limited to virtual ones. Modalities of participatory processes differ according to goals and expected outcomes, from harnessing diversity of knowledge, expectations and views in order to improve knowledge quality and enrich the inputs to policy discussions; up to creating ‘mini-publics’ in order to extend the arenas of public discussion and improve the representativeness of policy decisions. For these processes to be effective, participants should be equipped with appropriate tools and information, they should be strongly connected to decision-making bodies – examples span from simple feedback mechanisms to participatory budgeting – and they should be empowered to reflect, deliberate and propose change at a systemic level.

Participatory processes in general and citizen deliberation in particular, require different levels of expertise, as well as upfront clarification of ethical and methodological principles and a clear commitment on the side of institutions about the processes’ outcomes. Successful experiences have been led at European, national and local levels, which would gain to be expanded, structured and scaled. Moreover, such actions should be accompanied by comparative research and feedback to ensure continuous monitoring, evaluation and learning.

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