Data

General Issues
Environment
Economics
Collections
OECD Project on Representative Deliberative Processes
Location
Scope of Influence
Multinational
Links
An overview of the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.
The OECD Innovative Citizen Participation project page.
Ongoing
No
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Consultation
Spectrum of Public Participation
Consult
Total Number of Participants
1000
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Stratified Random Sample
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Recruit or select participants
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Deliberation
World Wide Views
Legality
Yes
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Express Opinions/Preferences Only
Information & Learning Resources
Written Briefing Materials
Decision Methods
Voting
Primary Organizer/Manager
The Danish Board of Technology Foundation
Type of Organizer/Manager
Non-Governmental Organization
Funder
EU Commission, project PACITA
Type of Funder
International Organization
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in people’s knowledge, attitudes, and behavior

CASE

Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption

July 23, 2022 Joyce Chen
August 3, 2020 Joyce Chen
July 2, 2020 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
June 27, 2020 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
June 27, 2020 Joyce Chen
General Issues
Environment
Economics
Collections
OECD Project on Representative Deliberative Processes
Location
Scope of Influence
Multinational
Links
An overview of the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.
The OECD Innovative Citizen Participation project page.
Ongoing
No
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Consultation
Spectrum of Public Participation
Consult
Total Number of Participants
1000
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Stratified Random Sample
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Recruit or select participants
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Deliberation
World Wide Views
Legality
Yes
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Express Opinions/Preferences Only
Information & Learning Resources
Written Briefing Materials
Decision Methods
Voting
Primary Organizer/Manager
The Danish Board of Technology Foundation
Type of Organizer/Manager
Non-Governmental Organization
Funder
EU Commission, project PACITA
Type of Funder
International Organization
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in people’s knowledge, attitudes, and behavior

In October 2014, over 1000 European citizens in 11 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Spain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium) participated in discussions and voted on various issues relating to sustainable consumption.

Problems and Purpose

Because consumption choices in liberal economies are individual and private, governments have typically refrained from attempting to alter their citizens’ consumption patterns. Instead, policies promoting sustainable consumption have tended to target the supply chain; however, Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption sought to bridge that gap. Its intention was to “engage [...] citizens in a discussion about broadening the policymaking surrounding sustainable consumption to include measures aimed at private citizens,” as well as “discuss the different roles that citizens could play in increasing sustainability in society.” [1] [2]

Background History and Context

The Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption was adapted from the World Wide Views methodology (a global citizen consultative format developed by the Danish Board of Technology and the WWVs Alliance). The method brought together over 1000 participants and entailed 11 simultaneous, national citizens’ consultations, followed by an online process of aggregating deliberation results from each national consultation. 


National deliberations specifically took place in Austria, Bulgaria, Catalonia (Spain), Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Wallonia (Belgium). Each deliberation brought together around 100 participants, who deliberated on the same topics using the same educational resources; additionally, at the end of each deliberation, all participants voted on the same questions. [3]

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

The Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption was one of three projects comprising Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment (PACITA): an EU-financed project aimed at encouraging informed policymaking on areas related to science, technology, and innovation. The Danish Board of Technology Foundation served as the Coordinating Partner of the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption, working with its 11 national partners to run deliberations in their respective countries. The Danish Board of Technology Foundation, Rathenau Instituut, ARC Fund, SPIRAL, and UCC worked together to put together discussion questions and informational materials for participants. 


Additionally, the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption was jointly designed by a combination of politicians, policymakers, stakholders, and civil society groups—all of whom helped identify pertinent topics of discussion and provide balanced perspectives that would appear in informational material distributed to participants. [4] [5]

Participant Recruitment and Selection

Although participant recruitment happened at the national level, each partner organization abided by the same set of recruitment guidelines. Foremost, citizens were to be lay-people; the composition of each national consultation was intended to reflect the demographic distribution of its host country in terms of age, gender, occuption, educational attainment, and geographic distribution. National partners were, however, given the to use country-specific selection criteria where they saw fit; for example, countries with available data on environmental organization membership used such statistics to maintain ideological balance in their consultations. 


However, some national partners only recruited participants from certain regions of their country, while others struggled to recruit participants with less educational attainment. Other countries saw consultations that overrepresented women or that convened less than 100 citizens. [6]

Methods and Tools Used

  • The Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption was adapted from the World Wide Views framework: a methodology created by an alliance of public and private entities and convened by the Danish Board of Technology. 
  • The Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption brought together over 1000 participants and entailed 11 simultaneous, national citizens’ consultations.

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Each national session in the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption followed the same format, with a head facilitator coordinating the session’s structure and group moderators facilitating discussion in smaller group discussions. Deliberations centered around 4 themes: Introduction to Sustainable Consumption, Shifting to More Sustainable Consumption, Reducing Consumption, and Reducing Waste. Each theme was introduced with a brief presentation and informational video, after which participants would engage in moderated discussions and voting sessions related to the topic. Occasionally, some groups were also randomly chosen to report the results of their breakout discussion.


A quantitative and qualitative review of the results from each national deliberation yielded nine policy recommendations regarding sustainable consumption. They were to: 1) Set an ambitious European agenda to achieve more sustainable consumption; 2) Perceive citizens as collaborators in striving towards sustainable consumption; 3) Do not leave sustainable consumption solely to the market; 4) Make sustainable consumption cheap and easy; 5) Use financial policy instruments to foster sustainable consumption; 6) Provide better eco-efficient alternatives to conventional car transport; 7) Ensure longer durability of products; 8) Raise awareness and educate citizens on how to consume sustainably; and 9) Engage European citizens in dialogue processes in the future.

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

The organizers of the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption distributed the aforementioned policy recommendations to various national policymakers, European policymakers, and stakeholders. Specifically, the policy recommendations were presented at a European Parliament event in March 2015, as well as at an international conference—“The Next Horizon of Technology Assessment”—hosted by PACITA in February 2015. 


Finally, some members of the PACITA consortium committed to analyzing data from polls and surveys conducted at the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption as part of their own research. [7]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

After the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption took place, there was “overwhelming support for engaging citizens more in decisionmaking processes.” The event was also characterized as an effective means of “emotionally minimiz[ing] the distance between

citizens across EU member states and hereby strengthen the European community.” However, no further concrete information could be found regarding lessons learned from the Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption. [8]

See Also

References

[1] Danish Board of Technology. “Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.” Danish Board of Technology. https://tekno.dk/project/europe-wide-views-on-sustainable-consumption/?lang=en.

[2] Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption. “Introduction to the Consultation.” Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption. http://epub.oeaw.ac.at/0xc1aa5576%200x003231f1.pdf.

[3] Jørgensen, Marie-Louise, Ventseslav Kozarev, and Kathrine Lindegaard Juul. “Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.” Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe: Expanding Capacities. https://files.core.ac.uk/pdf/2612/81263937.pdf.

[4] Jørgensen, Marie-Louise and Kathrine Lindegaard Juul. “Policy Report: Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.” PACITA Project.

https://dokumen.tips/documents/policy-report-europe-wide-views-on-sustainable-europe-wide-views-on-sustainable.html?page=27.

[5] Jørgensen, Marie-Louise, Ventseslav Kozarev, and Kathrine Lindegaard Juul. “Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.” Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe: Expanding Capacities. https://files.core.ac.uk/pdf/2612/81263937.pdf.

[6] Jørgensen, Marie-Louise and Kathrine Lindegaard Juul. “Policy Report: Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.” PACITA Project.

https://dokumen.tips/documents/policy-report-europe-wide-views-on-sustainable-europe-wide-views-on-sustainable.html?page=27.

[7] Jørgensen, Marie-Louise and Kathrine Lindegaard Juul. “Policy Report: Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.” PACITA Project.

https://dokumen.tips/documents/policy-report-europe-wide-views-on-sustainable-europe-wide-views-on-sustainable.html?page=27.

[8] Jørgensen, Marie-Louise, Ventseslav Kozarev, and Kathrine Lindegaard Juul. “Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption.” Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe: Expanding Capacities. https://files.core.ac.uk/pdf/2612/81263937.pdf.

External Links

Notes

Data was sourced from OECD (2020), Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/339306da-en.