Note: Anna Wohlfarth co-wrote the initial Participedia case on BürgerForum Europa.
The Citizens’ Forum is a new form of participation developed by the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Ludwig-Erhard Foundation and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation. It is a 6-8 week online deliberation embedded in two live events, one at the beginning of the process and the other one at the end. This article describes the second edition of the Citizens’ Forum Europe.
The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.
EuroPolis was organized in response to the "democratic deficit" critique leveled against European politics. Through deliberative polling, it explores how informed debate can improve European democracy.The participants were selected from among more than 4,000 European citizens from the 27 member states of the EU polled for their views on immigration, climate change and the EU between March and May 2009. The findings from the deliberative polling excercise were presented in the Residence Palace in Brussels on the 3rd of June 2009.
Obesity is still a prevailing problem in the United States. It is also the second leading cause of preventable death. Statistics show that about 33.8% of American adults are obese. The percentage of children who are considered overweight is also an alarming approximate 17%. The issue has provoked large reactions from various foundations, government and private organizations to support organized interventions.
Contrary to popular perception, the Inner Belt opposition movement was far from unified. While opponents to the highway were united in their objectives, their motivations and strategies were as varied as the group itself. Even residents of the same community differed in their reasons for criticizing the highway.
Principal sources of the Inner Belt controversy included the highway’s potential effects on: