ISPS DEMOCRATIC INNOVATIONS SPECIAL EVENT
Over the past decade, facing increasing public disengagement and a growing sense of distrust, public authorities and civil-society organizations have launched deliberative processes that include the participation of randomly selected citizens in decision-making. The presentation will focus on the Belgian model, the Brussels deliberative committees (2021-) that: 1) associates 45 randomly selected citizens with 15 elected parliamentarians, 2) in a permanent setting, 3) with a particular focus on inclusion and follow-up. These features of this “world première” raise questions that will be addressed in the seminar: how do we ensure we leave no one behind and prevent certain groups from monopolizing the debate? How is it possible to measure these processes’ political impact? To what extent can we involve the rest of the population, whether organized civil society or not, in the various phases of the process? And finally, can this model be reproduced elsewhere?
Jonathan is an advisor in democratic innovation for the president of the French-speaking Brussels Parliament. He co-designed the deliberative committees and currently works on implementing, promoting and evaluating them. Additionally, Jonathan has accompanied the development of many major democratic innovations, including the first citizens’ assembly in the Balkans (Montenegro) for the European Parliament (2021-2022), the permanent citizens’ assembly in Paris (2022), the permanent citizens’ assembly on climate in Brussels (2022), as well as the national agora on fair transition in Belgium (2023). He is also a member of the OECD’s expert network on citizen participation.
Sponsored by the Democratic Innovations Program at the Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies.