The Climate Citizen Parliament brought together 45 citizens drawn by lot to discuss the environment and propose concrete solutions for the provincial council of the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium.
Problems and Purpose
In order to reflect on the changes to be adopted to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in the Belgian province of Luxembourg and the projects to be carried out to materialize the commitment made, the provincial deputy in charge of sustainable development, Thérèse Mahy (CDH), launched the Citizen Parliament on Climate , whose objective was to transmit ideas for concrete solutions to the provincial council.
Background History and Context
On November 28, 2014, the Provincial Council of the Province of Luxembourg unanimously adopted the Positive Energy Territory Charter (TEPOS), by which the Province undertakes to achieve energy neutrality by 2050. However, this text does not detail the practical arrangements to be implemented.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The Provincial Council of Luxembourg is the initiator of the minipublic, the practical organization of which is ensured by a team of researchers from the University of Liège.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Once the momentum started, the provincial council took the helm of the process and instructed a team of researchers from the University of Liège (ULiège) to organize the mini-public. The selection of participants was delegated to the company Sonecom. On the basis of a survey carried out beforehand, 2,500 citizens were drawn by lot within the province of Luxembourg. A letter was sent to them, to which 75 of them responded favorably. In the end, 45 of these 75 volunteers were selected on the basis of age, gender, territorial distribution and professional occupation criteria. In addition, 15 alternates were also selected.
Methods and Tools Used
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What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The members of the panel met during the weekends of September 12 and 13, October 3 and 4, and October 24 and 25, as well as during the evening of November 20, 2015. There were 36 participants during the first weekend, 34 for the second, and 33 for the last. Their mission was to write an opinion for the provincial council about the energy neutrality of the province; finding this subject too broad, participants decided to prioritize certain themes. A professional facilitator accompanied the process, while the facilitation of the discussion tables was provided by researchers from ULiège. The process alternated between plenary sessions, expert hearings, and breakout sessions. The drafting of the final report took place during the third weekend; participants were supervised by the main facilitator. The final report was approved in a vote held on November 20, 2015 (absentee votes by email were permitted). It had twenty-four recommendations.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The report was presented by two participants during the meeting of the provincial council on November 27, 2015. It was discussed by the provincial council, which presented a response document in September 2016 to the opinion formulated by the participants. This response document aimed to link the strategic objectives of the council with the opinion formulated by the citizens and to answer the questions formulated by the participants. Follow-up meetings were then scheduled.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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The original submission of this case entry was adapted from Vrydagh, J., Devillers, S., Talukder, D., Jacquet, V. & Bottin, J. (2020). Les mini-publics en Belgique (2001-2018) : expériences de panels citoyens délibératifs. Courrier hebdomadaire du CRISP, 32(32-33), 5-72. https://doi.org/10.3917/cris.2477.0005. Please refer to the revision history for a detailed account of subsequent edits and additions made by the Participedia community.
 We thank Christoph Niessen for his help in collecting this information. Cf. in particular C. Niessen, “When Citizen Deliberation Enters Real Politics: How Politicians and Stakeholders Envision the Place of a Deliberative Mini-Public in Political Decision-Making”, Policy Science , volume 52, n ° 3, 2019, p. 481-503.