Phase 3: Recommendations from the third phase
About a year ago, we were randomly selected to participate in the citizens’ summit of the G1000, the largest citizen deliberation ever in Belgium. The topics of the discussion were still to be determined by the votes from the public, but we already felt it was going to be a full learning experience.
So it was. On 11 November 2011, we discovered another way to engage in social life. We discovered that we, too, could have our say even as “ordinary citizens”. Needless to say, we were candidates for the next phase, the citizen panel.
During the first two weekends, we learned about the topic that we had chosen and that we were to explore, that is “How to address labour issues and unemployment in our society?”. We first gathered information about this vast and complex topic and on this basis we defined six main dimensions which we wanted to work on. There are:
- Acting for a fairer remuneration of work
- How to use the cost of labour to create employment
- Assisting labour market access (in the framework of a social Europe)
- Work and our future generations
- Work of quality for quality of life
- Workplace discrimination
Then, we made a list of all the questions we wanted to ask the experts during the third weekend. We were not afraid to abandon frequently mooted ideas in order to propose our own reflections.
The following pages are the report of our work. They present the recommendations that we want to submit to our political representatives.
The topics and the first ideas are the results of the first weekend, the opinions and questions for the experts of the second weekend, the recommendations of the third. Each weekend, there were experts, but especially during the final weekend. Their input was important, but we are the authors of the final recommendations.
We would like to send a hopeful message to our political representatives: we believe that citizens can bring added value to our democracy. This report is an illustration of our will to commit and our ability to do so.
We are grateful to all the people who contributed to make our citizen endeavor possible.