European Citizens’ Consultations ran from April 17th to October 31st, 2018, in France. They were held in 97 French départements, bringing together 70,000 participants at 1,082 events, 54% of which were held in small towns or villages. This new initiative was launched by the President of the Republic and organized by Minister Nathalie Loiseau, and was an opportunity for French citizens to freely express their views and proposals for Europe. Each consultation was presented transparently and publicly, then analyzed by the National Commission for public debate. The final report details 14 major themes and will be compared with results from 26 other EU countries who also participated in this process.
Throughout the process, project leaders were supported by the team of the General Secretariat for Citizens’ Consultations on Europe (SGCCE)*, as well as tools, including a dedicated website bringing together useful information and the results of the Consultations in real-time. A hotline was also provided to answer organizers’ questions, both in terms of substance and format. Methodological toolkits were also provided to help consultation facilitators to hold discussion workshops or interactive citizen forums without imposing a specific format.
* “a General Secretariat for Citizens’ Consultations on Europe was created for the Minister for European Affairs. Two entities were also created for governance purposes: an Advisory Board with qualified experts specialized in European Affairs and a Supervisory Committee which included one seat per political party represented in the National Assembly.” (https://ue.delegfrance.org/consultations-citoyennes-remise)