CARE Project: Citizens Assemblies to Renew the Engagement for the Future of Europe
The EU urgently needs new democratic tools, to reduce the distance felt by many EU citizens from EU institutions and challenge the rise of populism. CARE for the Future of Europe is a strong collaboration between academic and civil society partners that will develop and evaluate an EU appropriate form of Citizens Assembly (CA).
The University of Liverpool, which is the project and research lead organisation, is partnered by WeMove, a leading, pan-European, online campaigning organisation and European Alternatives in Italy,Asociatia Efectul Fluture (and the de-clic initiative) in Romania, and DemNet in Hungary. These partners are supported by a strong advisory board drawn from leading civil society organisations working in the field of democracy and academic institutions.
Our ‘Citizen Assembly’ model:
The Citizen Assembly is a deliberative democratic instrument that allows regular citizens, rather than special interest groups or experts, to participate in the agenda-setting process in a structured and informed way. In a Citizens’ Assembly a group of citizens is selected at random from the population to learn about, deliberate upon, and make recommendations in relation to a particular issue or set of issues. CAs have proved to be an effective model for public engagement in politics and policy-making in places such as Canada, Ireland and the UK.
Our innovative approach to the CA model is different for two reasons: it is applied for the first time at EU level using a decentralised method, and it combines online citizen participation with the offline CA approach.
Citizens at the centre of the Future of Europe:
CARE has delivered and tested a decentralised EU level Citizens Assembly (CA) to raise awareness of and encourage citizens’ engagement with the debate on “the Future of Europe”.
Citizens were given space to deliberate on the democratic future of the EU in a structured, informed process, and will develop policy recommendations to achieve a vision of a more democratic Europe. Citizens had the opportunity, through geographically dispersed offline meetings and online debates, to understand, discuss, challenge and develop ideas that relate to the common question: how can we increase effective citizen engagement in debates about the future of Europe, and influence EU policy? Two physical Assemblies were held in each country (DE, HU, IT, RO) coordinated by the partner organisations, and an online community was established.
The conference concludes the project and provides an opportunity to hear about the findings from this innovative project to develop EU democracy. The presentations and discussion will be suitable for a wide audience from civil society, policy makers, academia and other interested parties, with a range of panels including: the development of Citizens' Assemblies across Europe, learning about the practicalities of facilitating Citizens' Assemblies, how to develop the impact of citizen participation, and the place of Citizens' Assemblies in the institutional structures of the EU and its Member States.
 Commission white paper on the future of Europe available at