Background and objectives
The 2008 financial and economic crisis, Brexit, contested management of migration and asylum policy, terrorist attacks, populism, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: the European Union is facing a context marked by the emergence of successive crises. This “polycrisis” is leading the European Union to work on different fronts to improve its ability to respond. The overall objective is to strengthen its resilience to future crises in a context of permanent tensions between supranational and intergovernmental dynamics.
Confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union faced an unprecedented crisis in which misinformation undermined public confidence. The European research project REGROUP (Rebuilding governance and resilience out of the pandemic) uses this crisis to analyse its socio-political repercussions. The project aims to provide the European Union with a set of guidelines on how to strengthen post-pandemic resilience within the European Union.
In order to tailor its proposals as closely as possible to citizens’ democratic expectations, the project is setting up a series of citizens’ juries comprising five mini-publics at local level in five European cities (Paris, Hamburg, Utrecht, Florence and Krakow) and one transnational mini-public at European level. The citizens will discuss the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis and the influence of fake news on political confidence during the pandemic. Finally, they will co-formulate recommendations on how to rebuild post-pandemic governance and public policy in an effective and democratic way.
Firstly, the specificity of the research project lies in its conception of active European citizenship. Although it does not use citizens as a ‘research object’, the research project provides them with a participatory framework for debating and expressing their ideas in favour of stronger, more resilient governance.
Secondly, the project aims to embody the diversity of the European population. This participatory approach is based on an intergenerational and inclusive vision with regard to the gender, education and social origin of the participants selected.
Thirdly, the European mini-public, made up of ambassadors from local citizens’ juries, promotes a transnational approach to participation that enables Europeans to exchange ideas and disseminate them beyond national borders.
Terms of the assignment
As the consultancy agency supporting workpackage 3, our role is divided into four workstreams.
- Strategic support: Missions Publiques helps the consortium identify its needs and objectives.
- Co-definition and support for the recruitment strategy: Missions Publiques has co-defined the citizen recruitment strategy in 5 European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland) in close cooperation with Sortition Fondation, in charge of recruitment, and the REGROUP project consortium.
- Methodological design and evaluation: Missions Publiques designed the methodological design of the deliberative process. This is identical for each jury in order to ensure the scientific comparability of the juries. Alternating between plenary sessions and discussions in sub- groups, the process includes ice-breakers, the development of a collective vision based on the individual experiences of citizens, the identification of priority themes to be addressed (setting the agenda), hearings with experts, collective discussions and the co-drafting of concrete policy proposals.
- Training and support for local partners: Missions Publiques organised training sessions for the local partners in charge of implementing the mini-publics. Missions Publiques has also developed a facilitation guide for this participatory project.
The policy recommendations from the local citizens’ juries will be discussed with experts and members of the European Parliament at a transnational jury in Brussels in March 2024.
The recommendations and results of the discussions will be incorporated into the reports and working documents submitted to the European Commission. For more information: https://regroup- horizon.eu/publications/