The municipality of Mechelen wanted to involve the citizens more in the political life and therefore gathered in May 2021 a panel of 50 randomly selected citizens to discuss the question of the balance between a lively and a peaceful city—the recommendations resulting from this process have been forwarded to the local institutions for implementation.
In 2021, the Walloon Government commissioned a Citizens Panel on Climate as part of the revision of the Air Climate Energy Plan, asking the approximately sixty citizens selected by lot to formulate recommendations for measures to be taken to reduce greenhouse gases of 55% since 1990 by the year 2030.
In 2020, the municipality of Saint-Gilles has set up a permanent citizens' council, made up of 35 Saint-Gilles inhabitants, in order involve residents in the development of public policies, encourage citizen participation and improve the interaction between residents and elected officials.
Since 2020, the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region and the French-speaking Parliament of Brussels organize joint commissions bringing together citizens chosen by lot and elected officials to formulate recommendations on various topics that are then dealt with in the Parliament.
Since 2020, the political movement Agora organizes the deliberations of the Brussels Citizens' Assembly, gathering 89 citizens drawn by lot to formulate proposals relayed to the Brussels Parliament by an elected spokesperson.
In 2020, 38 citizens from the municipality of Oud-Heverlee were chosen by lot to discuss the future of the "Zoet Water" site and to formulate proposals for the municipal council, in order to co-design with the local institutions the future of this important territory of the municipality.
Since 2019, the German-speaking Community has adopted a decree for a “permanent citizen dialogue”, a deliberative model consisting of a permanent council of citizens drawn by lot initiating occasional assemblies of citizens also drawn by lot, who deliberate and formulate recommendations around a theme defined by the citizen council.
In 2017, the municipality of Ghent set up a "citizens cabinet" composed of 150 randomly selected citizens to deliberate and provide recommendations to the city council, as part of a broad citizen consultation process on the city's traffic plan in progress since 2015.
In 2011, in the midst of a political crisis in a governmentless Belgium, G1000 was a citizens' initiative aimed at breathing new life into democracy by organizing a major citizens' consultation, bringing together 1,000 randomly selected citizens to make recommendations to the political world.
In citizens' assemblies, every person contributes to political decision-making. Everyone with his or her knowledge, skills and experience. If they get the time and the necessary information, citizens are able to create realistic and bold solutions for the common good, without electoral concerns and party pressures.
G1000 calls for this form of democracy to become the standard at all levels of government.
The Citizens' Panels that were central to the Conference [on the Future of Europe] will now become a regular feature of our democratic life.
State of the Union - September 2022
Although each individual separately will be a worse judge than the experts, the whole of them assembled together will be better or at least as good judges.
Politics, Book III
We need to make our democracies more inclusive. This requires bold and innovative reforms, such as selecting parliaments by lot instead of election. This would prevent the formation of self-serving and self-perpetuating political classes.
Many of the criticisms against deliberative democracy are similar to those that were first levelled against universal suffrage in another age.They stem from fears that ordinary citizens are not competent enough to handle complex political decisions.
G1000 is an independent non-profit organization that cannot exist without the support of its contributors. You too can play a role in the implementation of a democratic renewal in Belgium. Support us financially or become a volunteer.