IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/erp/eurogo/p0018.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Lay people’s Europe: A Critical Assessment of the First EU Citizens’ Conferences

Author

Listed:
  • Boussaguet, Laurie
  • Dehousse, Renaud

Abstract

Citizens’ conferences attempt to include citizens in the decisional and political process. Created to foster deliberation and public debate on disputed issues, they place ordinary citizens in the spotlight and ask them to express their views, after having debated the issues with specialists. Whereas the conferences conducted in a domestic context have been well analyzed, little attention has been given so far to the first attempts to replicate the experience at the European level, and to the specific problems that may be encountered in so doing. Two main reasons have prompted the EU to pay interest to this participatory mechanism: functional reasons (the need to take position on a socio-technological controversy whose stakes are controversial) and political legitimacy (the absence of a strong democratic legitimacy at the EU level). Based on an analysis of the first two experiments organized in the EU, devoted to “the city of tomorrow” and to brain sciences respectively, this article argues that achieving such citizen deliberation is not without problems. In many respects, these problems point to the difficulty entailed in the creation of a European public space: the elusive quest for a “European people”; the question of representation according to the size of the countries; the issue of languages. At the same time, the main potential of this instrument may lie in its cognitive impact, since the interpretations and knowledge surrounding the issues which are debate may influence both the agenda-setting and the decision-making process.

Suggested Citation

  • Boussaguet, Laurie & Dehousse, Renaud, 2008. "Lay people’s Europe: A Critical Assessment of the First EU Citizens’ Conferences," European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) 2, CONNEX and EUROGOV networks.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:eurogo:p0018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mzes.uni-mannheim.de/projekte/typo3/site/fileadmin/wp/abstract/C-08-02.htm
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.connex-network.org/eurogov/pdf/gp-connex-C-08-02.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Linz, Juan J., 1993. "State building and nation building," European Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 355-369, October.
    2. Andreas Follesdal & Simon Hix, 2006. "Why There is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44, pages 533-562, September.
    3. Lord, Christopher J., . "The aggregating function of political parties in EU decision-making," Living Reviews in European Governance (LREG), Institute for European integration research (EIF).
    4. Amitai Etzioni, 2007. "The Community Deficit," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45, pages 23-42, March.
    5. Stefano Bartolini, 1999. "Collusion, Competition and Democracy," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 11(4), pages 435-470, October.
    6. Paul Magnette, 2003. "European Governance and Civic Participation: Beyond Elitist Citizenship?," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 51(1), pages 144-160, March.
    7. Christophe Crombez, 2003. "The Democratic Deficit in the European Union," European Union Politics, , vol. 4(1), pages 101-120, March.
    8. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2006. "Dimensions of politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7750, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    participation; deliberative democracy; policy analysis;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:eurogo:p0018. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jessica Spiegel). General contact details of provider: http://www.connex-network.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.