Back Council of Europe event – presentation of the Citizens’ Assembly a deliberative form of Civil Participation at Local Level

Council of Europe event – presentation of the Citizens’ Assembly a deliberative form of Civil Participation at Local Level

The Council of Europe event on the Deliberative Forms of Civil Participation at Local Level was organized online on 17 February in the framework of the project “Strengthening participatory democracy and human rights at local level in Georgia”,

Within the event, Council of Europe introduced jointly with the Center for Blue Democracy in Poland a specific form of civil participation, the Citizens’  Assembly.

The Citizen Assembly, presented during the event and developed by the Center for Blue Democracy, proposes a methodology for organizing city assemblies, which allows citizens to be better engaged in decision-making, learn about the topic of consultation from the field experts, and exchange the views of local stakeholders.

The event was attended by representatives of local authorities and civil society organizations from 34 municipalities of Georgia, as well as experts, representatives of the Public Defender's Office and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia. The participants showed high interest towards the topic of deliberative democracy and the Citizens’ Assembly as a civil participation form.

Daniel Popescu, the Head of Department of Democracy and Governance, Directorate General of Democracy of the Council of Europe, in his welcome speech, emphasized the importance of participatory democracy in the political decision-making process. He pointed out that there is a decorrelation between what citizens expect and what their political representatives decide, which is dangerous for democracy. And to avoid this, it is important to establish and develop forms of participatory democracy.

Alexander Karner, Head of Coordination Office for Technical Cooperation, Austrian Embassy in Georgia in his speech mentioned that deliberative forms of citizen participation and involvement in the political decision-making process is a key for country's development. With this aim in mind, to promote participatory democracy, Austrian Development Cooperation actively supports and strengthens not only local authorities but also civil society representatives in Georgia. He also noted that active participation lays the foundation for the development of a culture of trust between the authorities and the civil society.

David Melua, Executive Director of the National Association of Local Authorities in Georgia, stressed the crucial role of active participation in the development of democratic processes. Active citizen participation is one of the priorities of the decentralization strategy of Georgia and, consequently, the Council of Europe’s project and this event respond to the needs and priorities of the country.

The event was organised in the framework of the Council of Europe Project “Strengthening Participatory Democracy and Human Rights at Local Level in Georgia” run by the Council of Europe with the financial contribution of the Austrian Development Cooperation within the Council of Europe’s Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023. The project aims to strengthen institutional frameworks for citizen participation, support local authorities and their national association in their efforts to protect and promote human rights and enhance civil society organizations to have real impact on local decision making.

For more information, please see the link to live of the event:

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