Kicking-off the European Citizens’ Panel on Energy Efficiency

The European Panel on Energy Efficiency, spearheaded by the European Commission, stands as a pivotal moment in citizen engagement within the EU. Over three weekends spanning February, March, and April 2024, 150 randomly selected citizens from the 27 EU member states will convene both in Brussels and online. Citizens will meet to discuss how different individuals, public authorities, industry, the private sector and others can be more energy efficient in a way that makes the most impact, for instance on the climate, economy, jobs, health or on energy bills. By the conclusion of the Panel in April, citizens will agree upon a series of recommendations to be submitted to the European Commission, that will influence related EU policies.

Context and Objectives

Following the historic Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Commission remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering inclusive and participatory governance. The establishment of a new citizen panel on energy efficiency is a testament to this dedication, forming a crucial component of a broader strategy aimed at bolstering participatory democracy within the European Union. Throughout February to April 2024, 150 EU citizens, drawn from a diverse cross-section of member states, will convene in Brussels to engage with key experts from the field. Their overarching objective: to formulate concrete recommendations on energy efficiency, a cornerstone issue within the Commission’s 2024 agenda.

Selection Process and Demographics

The participant selection process, overseen by Harris Interactive and Terrain research institutes in partnership with the European Commission, is meticulously designed to mirror the demographic tapestry of the EU. Factors such as geographical distribution (urban/rural), gender representation, age demographics, educational background, and socio-economic status are taken into account. Notably, one-third of the participants fall within the age bracket of 16 to 25, underscoring the significance of youth perspectives in European discourse. Drawing upon data from Eurobarometer and Eurostat, a quota system ensures gender parity and equitable representation across various socio-demographic groups.

Added Value of the Approach

This initiative showcases a paradigm shift in policy-making, positioning EU citizens as active architects of European democracy. By actively contributing to the formulation of recommendations, participants play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of EU policy on the critical front of energy efficiency. The incorporation of innovative methodologies, such as random selection and group work sessions, represents an optimistic era for participation and deliberation within the EU landscape. Building upon the foundation laid by the Citizens’ Panels of the Conference on the Future of Europe, this approach fosters inclusivity and representation, building stronger ties between citizens and EU institutions.

You too can have a seat at the table, go to the European Citizens’ Platform now!

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