On May 10th, 2006, the European Citizens' Panel on the roles of rural areas was launched at the initiative of the Foundation for Future Generations and its partners. In 10 regions of Europe, citizens' panels were working on this issue.
The Walloon Citizens' Panel 'Our rural areas, tomorrow in Europe? is part of this vast European endeavour of participative and deliberativetory democracy, thanks to the active role played by the Walloon Region.
The Foundation for Future Generations has initiated the Walloon Citizens' Panel on the future of rural areas together with several partners:
- Walloon Minister for Agriculture, Rurality, Environment and Tourism (commissioning public authority and funder)
- General Directorate of Agriculture of the Walloon Region (commissioning public authority and funder)
- Walloon Parliament (logistic support and end-user)
- Tr@me scrl (coordinator)
- Athanor-Médiations (now 'Atanor') (moderators)
- Sonecom sprl (recruitment of citizens)
37 volunteering panelist citizens were randomly selected in the four corners of Wallonia by Sonecom (by making more than 6,000 telephone calls).
From September to December 2006, with moderators helping to animate and structure the discussions and allow everyone to express themselves, they:
- devoted four weekends of work to collect information,
- listened to the points of view of a wide-ranging and balanced mix of experts and stakeholders on rural areas, under the supervision of a 'Plurality Committee'
- formed their opinion, deliberating with their peers,
- formulated their recommendations
- presented their citizen report to the regional public authorities and the public at large on 9 December 2006, before a broader dissemination of the results.
The panel's key public moments:
|10.05.2006||Official launch of the European Citizens' Panel initiative at the EU Committee of the Regions|
|14-15.10.2006||Public hearings of experts and stakeholders|
|March 2007||Panelist citizens began a tour to help disseminate the results of their work|
|30.03.2007 - 02.04.2007||In Brussels, a delegation from the Walloon Citizens' Panel joins delegate citizens from other partner regions of the European Citizens' Panel. These 87 citizens hear new stakeholders, deliberate together and produce a European citizens report on the roles of rural areas in Europe.|
|02.04.2007||Delegate citizens present their recommendations to EU public authorities (later disseminated to regional public authorities and a variety of European and regional stakeholders).|
More information on this initiative:
- Final citizens report and information about the whole initiative and process:
Avis du Panel de citoyens wallon 'Nos campagnes, demain en Europe ?' Dialogue entre citoyens, témoins, experts et politiques
- Project website www.panelcitoyens.be (Archive)
More information on deliberative democracy and citizens' panels, their objectives and methodology as well as links to other citizens' panels initiated or contributed to by the Foundation for Future Generations.