24 citizens, randomly selected by a university, will start their dialogue in Eupen today to develop policy recommendations on childcare. Their discussions will take 3 Saturdays and end with a dialogue with the Parlament in which they present and discuss future possibilities. Next time they meet, they will confront a selection of experts that they will choose themselves today. Instead of being “force fed” by expertise, the process creates a pull from the questions and gaps identified by the citizens themselves. Over 30 potential experts have already been asked to block the date, but whether they are asked to attend or not depends on the citizens.
President Mieser hopes to install a New Democratic dialogue here in East Belgium. The parliament is committed to learning from the process and plans to hold similar dialogues with citizens on other hot topics in the future.
I am proud to be designing and supporting the process and meeting the citizens in just under an hour!