10 February 2024

European Citizens Deliberation on the Green Transition

Citizens Deliberation


European Citizens Deliberation on the Green Transition

Meet: Andrea from Spain. She joined because: "Participation is important for future generations. I took part in a #CoFoE citizens panel and it was such a good experience that I keep wanting to have a say in decision-making!"

Reflections on the European Citizens Deliberation on the Green Transition: A Path Forward

On February 10, 2024, the KVS Theatre in Brussels became a hub of vibrant discussion and deliberation, hosting 85 participants from over 28 countries, including 22 EU Member States, for the European Citizens Deliberation on the Green Transition. This landmark event, spearheaded by the European Environmental Bureau, marked the first pan-European EU event dedicated to forging a collective path towards ecological transition through a European Pact for our Common Future.


Opening the Dialogue:

The deliberation was inaugurated by Jeffrey from EEB, who introduced the REAL DEAL project's mission to bolster citizen deliberation within the framework of the European Green Deal. The gathering was a testament to the strides already made in enhancing discussions at the European level, aiming to refine recommendations for more impactful deliberation processes. The importance of robust deliberation for a strong democracy was underscored, linking it to the EU elections and the pivotal role of the Belgian Presidency in realising the Green Deal's promises.

Expert Insights and Briefings:

Patrizia Heidegger, Deputy Secretary General at EEB, led an expert briefing, offering a comprehensive overview of the Green Deal, its aspirations, and the critical "Triple Threat" of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. The briefing illuminated the Green Deal's justice dimensions—environmental, economic, and gender—highlighting the mobilisation seen during the 2019 EU elections.

Jessica den Outer brought a unique perspective on the Rights of Nature, advocating for extending legal rights to natural entities, a concept rooted in the 1972 Stockholm Conference. This innovative approach emphasizes nature's intrinsic value beyond human utility, proposing the appointment of guardians to represent nature's interests in legal matters.


Engaging Discussions and Key Recommendations:

Participants engaged in spirited discussions across various thematic areas, including the circular economy, food systems, mobility, and the wellbeing economy. Key recommendations emerged, advocating for:

  • Sustainable production and consumption through smart investments in research and education.
  • Regulation of the middle chain in food systems for fairness and transparency.
  • Higher carbon taxes on personal vehicles to promote zero-carbon mobility.
  • A comprehensive debate on the wellbeing economy, focusing on nature, future generations, and discussions beyond growth.

"The focus group that was thinking about a circular economy didn’t even want to go to lunch.”Jessica den Outer, Nature’s lawyer

The event culminated in a closing session led by Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General of EMI, who emphasised the crucial role of civil society in influencing policy and engaging citizens. The diversity of participants and the interconnectedness of the discussed issues underscored the importance of inclusivity in future deliberations.


Expanding the Conversation: Online Deliberation for Broad Participation

In addition to the rich discussions that took place at the KVS Theatre in Brussels, participants extended the dialogue beyond the physical venue by engaging with individuals across Europe through our Online Digital and Multilingual Deliberation Platform. This innovative platform allowed for an even wider exchange of ideas and perspectives on the Green Transition, opening the debate to everyone interested in contributing to Europe's sustainable future.

Engage Online with Fellow Europeans:

Our online platform served as a critical tool in broadening the conversation, enabling participants to discuss green debates with people from various parts of Europe. It's a space where voices from different backgrounds, languages, and experiences converge to share insights, challenge viewpoints, and collaboratively shape the path towards a more sustainable and equitable continent.

Continue the Conversation:

The deliberation may have ended, but the conversation continues. You're invited to join this ongoing dialogue by participating in discussions, reading the conclusions drawn from the deliberation, and proposing new topics for discussion. The platform supports all our languages, ensuring that every European has the opportunity to engage fully in these crucial conversations.

Participate in the Online Digital and Multilingual Deliberation Platform

This inclusive approach not only amplifies the reach of our deliberation efforts but also reinforces the REAL DEAL project's commitment to fostering a community of engaged European citizens. By offering a space for continuous engagement, we can keep the momentum going, gather more perspectives, and collaboratively work towards solutions that reflect the diverse needs and aspirations of all Europeans.