The Citizen Forum can make a valuable contribution to Dutch democracy and climate policy. This says an advisory panel headed by former Ombudsman Alex Brenninkmeier. A successful citizen forum should ask the right questions. It should be clear in advance what the politicians will do with the results. The committee also considers it important to have good communication with a wide audience.
“We call on political parties to seriously engage citizens and thus gain experience with the Citizens Forum to strengthen our democracy,” Brenninkmeier says in light of the formation of the new government. According to the committee, this forum should consist of a representative group of citizens who meet to advise on policy plans.
The head of the committee believes that it is better to establish a citizens’ forum for a period of six months, provided that the meetings extend over several days or on weekends. During online or virtual meetings, members gather information and engage in dialogue on climate and democracy issues. This should lead to a final joint judgment and advice.
Last summer, the outgoing Interior Minister Kagsa Olongren had already suggested strengthening ties between the voter and the national team through citizen forums. In this way, the Dutch could become more involved in implementing the policy and feel more involved, Olungren expects.
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