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Conference on the Future of Europe: A how-to guide for consultation, feedback and impact

INFOGRAPHY

Executive summary

The Conference on the Future of Europe seeks to understand what citizens want from the European institutions. ACTE proposes a step-by-step approach to understand, analyse, but also implement the outcome of the Conference.

Detailed phases

Phase 1: Massive & Inclusive high-level consultations

  • What: a large-scale, multilingual consultation effort asking millions of European citizens about their priorities for “the future of Europe” 
  •  Why: identify what are the main priorities for European citizens to issue key “Citizen Priorities” 
  •  How: structure around one broad question e.g., “What are your priorities for the Future of Europe?” asked through digital and non-digital means (includes: “idea box”, online discussions, polling/questionnaire, voting, interactive mapping...) in all 27 Member States. Gather proposals and votes on those proposals.  

- High level reach on social media, news networks and local ambassadors. 

- Pay particular attention to profiles and zones to meet people feeling “left out” or excluded, using OpenData, local opendata, social networks data, and local ambassadors. 

- Each consultation must deliver a report of key “Citizen Priorities” with common templates 

  •  Who: digital consultation platforms & on the field consultations When: during the first months of the CoFoE

Phase 2: Creation of the Conference’s “Citizen Agenda”

  • What: a global and statistically robust synthesis of key “Citizen Priorities” leading to the writing up of the “Citizen Agenda” reflecting those findings, feeding back to participating and non-participating citizens
  • Why: producing and publishing bottom-up insights key “Citizen Priorities” from complementary to the EU Strategic Agenda, building up momentum for expanded participation (loyalty-building) 
  • How: European-built analysis technology with data visualisation tools Who: data analysts and scientists When: following the massive consultation, with the results of the consultation being announced at a dedicated session e.g.,

  1.  cross-country, cross-demographic visual representation of results 
  2.  analysis and interpretation from various experts across the political spectrum.  
  3.  justification for areas chosen for the ‘Citizen Agenda’  

Phase 3: In-depth consultation by participation

  • What: based on the ‘Citizen Agenda’, a participatory and deliberative process enabling detailed exploration of recommended topics and priorities 
  •   Why: create a mature and thorough picture of citizen’s needs in specific areas, away from the politics of the day, to prepare on-the-ground experimentations 
  •   How: deliberative processes such as citizen-assemblies, consensus-building exercises, co-construction 
  •   Who: deliberative, consensus-building consultation platforms 
  •  When: during the last six months of the CoFoE 

Phase 4: Recommendation and definition of the “Impact Agenda” (PoCs) 

What: publication of consultation results and launch of an EU-backed challenge to tackle issues identified in conjunction with the EU Strategic Agenda 

 Why: activate actors to turn insights and ideas into practical solutions which impact people’s lives 

 How: create an operational cell equipped with a budget to issue up to 12 challenges based on Phase 3, invite bids from private, public and third-sector organisations across Member states to propose solutions, and select them and set up an exploration phase 

 Who: European Commission and partners, Data management platform / community engagement platform to provide a feedback to every citizen 

 When: in the six-eight months following the CoFoE

Phase 5: Institutional implementation of the “Impact Agenda” (PoCs) 

What: implement solutions as Proof of Concept picked as a result of the challenges published in Phase 4, in coordination with the EU Strategic Agenda 

Why: provide concrete solutions to European citizens that move the needle on the issues they have themselves identified and co-created 

How: set up a PoC testing phase with willing Member states, regions, or localities which come forward, and equip them with a methodology to assess the PoC and budget to see it to completion. Use digital tools to organise and empower the community of local ambassadors with material, database etc.  

Who: Partners and European Commission 

When: twelve months following phase 4 

 e.g.,

  1. My Europe app 
  2. Local EU ambassadors program 
  3.  Debates at the European Parliament on Phase-4 proposals 

Conclusions of the CoFoE and recommendations for more citizen participation in Europe
Oct 4, 2022
Following the CoFoE, what remaining progress needs to be made to ensure that European participatory democracy keeps mobilising citizens on a continuous basis?
Op-ed : In support of a “public debate Web”
Sep 15, 2022
On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, ACTE's members publish an op-ed to support the creation of a "public debate web", available to all European citizens.
Future of Europe : Set of actionable recommendations
Sep 15, 2021
The members of the association wrote a set of actionable recommendations to highlight some of the main objectives of the Conference on the Future of Europe.