One of the priorities set by this European Commission was to listen, engage and involve citizens in shaping the EU of the future. This engagement has translated into almost 1,800 Citizens’ Dialogues in almost 700 cities since January 2015, with over 200,000 people from all ages and backgrounds having taken part. Citizens’ Dialogues are helping to close the gap between the EU and its citizens and build back trust in the institutions.
Organised as town hall style debates, often with national and local partners, Citizens’ Dialogues are a signature initiative of this Commission and a valuable communication tool to speak directly to citizens without any filters or intermediaries. Citizens’ views gathered during the Dialogues have fed into the policy-making process and have greater potential to do so in the future.
When and Where
Citizens' Dialogues are a part of the mission of the Commissioners under the Juncker Commission. The commitment was re-confirmed in the CWLP as well as in the annual State of the Union addresses.
- The unit started with 10 persons and grew to 14 staff (thanks to END, JPP colleagues and stagiaires, who were allocated to the team).
(2) There is only one Europe - therefore interservice and interinstitutional cooperation is crucial.
(3) It is important to be present at the right place and time with the right themes.
(2) There must be a clear link between policy making and citizens' engagement.
(3) In the long-term perspective we would need to connect the different instruments for citizens' engagements: Dialogues, staff engagement formats, ECI, programs such as Europe for Citizens.