06 May 2022

REAL DEAL kicks-off in Brussels

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REAL DEAL kicks-off in Brussels

Representatives of REAL DEAL partners at the kick-off meeting on 4th –6th May 2022 in Brussels.

How can citizens be part of the deliberative and decision-making process in a meaningful way? What are the best processes and formats? European researchers in deliberative democracy and some of the Europe's largest civil society organisations have teamed up to answer these questions and reshape citizens’ participation and deliberation for the European Green Deal, as part of REAL DEAL  project funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (Grant agreement No 101037071). 

The agenda  


The sixteen partners of the REAL DEAL (see full list below) met in Brussels on 4th – 6th May to  launch the project in-person after its official start in February. During the three-day kick-off meeting, the REAL DEAL partners met and exchanged views with EU officials, the European Climate Pact Secretariat, organisers of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and the sister project “Phoenix”.

The representatives of the partner organisations engaged in team-building activities and received a gender training in the context of the European Green Deal (EGD), by Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), respectively.

The main part of the meeting was dedicated to the content. The organisations leading on these five ongoing and planned Work Packages highlighted the main objectives of their line of work and the state of play. In a fully trans-disciplinary workstyle, the project team discussed interlinkages between the Work Packages, and next steps, as well as desires and needs for better learning from each other.  

Substantial progress made in the first three months of the project 


The REAL DEAL research project has started to lay out the conceptual foundations for a protocol to include deliberative decision-making at EU and country-level in the context of the European Green Deal.

In parallel, the partners have started to identify and mobilise a pan-European network of stakeholders,  working in the areas of deliberative democracy and environment and climate action across Europe. The first meeting of this stakeholder and civil society networks will take place during the “Civil Society Forum for Sustainability: Shaping the European Green Deal”, starting on June 9th in Brussels (Belgium). 

The next step will be to investigate and validate innovative deliberative formats and tools across 13 countries as well as pan-European formats including digital, hybrid and physical events and processes. 

The main output will consist of a series of recommendations in the form of a protocol on the deliberative tools, formats and processes that will help the European Union and Member States transition to a more inclusive, sustainable and just future. This protocol will be made available to the public. 

Another key part of the project is the building and nurturing of a community of Europeans who promote active participation and deliberation in the green and just transition. The digital hub for the community – www.realdeal.eu - was also announced at the kick-off meeting.

More about the partners 


The REAL DEAL research project involves:  

  • Researchers and practitioners of deliberative democracy from a wide range of fields, including sustainability studies, participatory democracy, environmental rights and the law of public participation, ethics and responsible innovation, gender studies and ecofeminism, psychology, geography, urban planning. 
  • Europe’s largest civil society networks advocating on the environment, climate, sustainable development, women’s rights, local and European democracy and youth environmental organization 


The full list of partners is: 

  • Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies     
  • European Environmental Bureau 
  • Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenible  
  • Association des Agences de Démocratie Locale
  • Central European University
  • Climate Action Network Europe
  • Dialogik
  • European Movement International
  • Global Climate Forum
  • Nyt Europa
  • Technical  University of Berlin
  • Trilateral Research
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Women Engage for a Common Future
  • Youth Environment Europe  


Contact and additional information 


For inquiries on the REAL DEAL project, please contact the coordinators:


Ingeborg Niestroy, IASS: [email protected] 

Manuela Gervasi, EEB: [email protected] 


For any press-related enquiries, please contact: 


Sebastián Rodríguez - European Movement International 


[email protected] 


You can read more about the REAL DEAL project here