The Mini-Public on the Future of Rural Areas (Jury citoyen sur le devenir des zones rurales) was convened by the regional government of Rhône-Alpes as part of a larger European consultation on the rural world. Ultimately, 38 citizens deliberated across 3 weekends.
Problems and Purpose
Background History and Context
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The region Rhône-Alpes convened the mini-public.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Participants were randomly drawn from a list of 11,000 people held by the region (including contact details and broad sociodemographic traits). This list comprised all people who previously attended public meetings on regional policies (so the selection is not purely “random” and the middle class is overrepresented). The sample had to broadly reflect the sociodemographic structure of the region in terms of age, gender etc., but farmers were deliberately overrepresented. The polling institute in charge of the selection contacted potential participants by phone and selected 50 people, 38 of which participated effectively.
Methods and Tools Used
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Participants wrote a final report with policy recommendations (including taking measures to protect rural areas against uncontrolled urbanization and industrialization; subsidizing organic farming and limiting the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers; encouraging telework and improving access to public services to fight against rural depopulation; incentivizing alternatives to road transportation, etc.). These proposals were presented to the regional council in plenary session. Some of the members were selected to present their conclusions to the Committee of the Regions in Brussels and to participate in another European mini-public (together with other panelists from similar mini-public held simultaneously in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Ireland, and the UK).
Analysis and Lessons Learned
This entry is based on the POLITICIZE dataset. More information can be found at the following links:
- Paulis, Emilien; Pilet, Jean-Benoit; Panel, Sophie; Vittori, Davide; Close, Caroline, 2020, "POLITICIZE Dataset", https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/Z7X6GT, Harvard Dataverse, V1
- Pilet J-B, Paulis E, Panel S., Vitori D & Close C. 202X. The POLITICIZE Dataset: an inventory of Deliberative Mini-Publics (DMPs) in Europe. European Political Science.