Eutropian hosted a lively event in Rome organised as part of the European project – EUARENAS – funded by the #Horizon2020 programme on the importance of strengthening legitimacy, identification and involvement in the European democratic sphere. We at Eutropian have proactively dedicated ourselves to researching and promoting inclusive and participatory models of governance. We are convinced that citizen engagement and cooperation are key to achieving this goal.
In the first part of the event Eutropian shared the current status of the Toolbox of Experimental Participatory Methods developed over the year as part of the EUARENAS project. In the second part, we heard the experiences of Italian and European local administrations, associations, neighbourhood committees, and activists.
Eutropian’s Giovanni Pagano and Lukacs Hayes introduced to the participants The Toolbox of Experimental Participatory Methods, developed by Eutropian as part of our work in the EUARENAS project is in its final development stages. EUARENAS studies the ways in which social movements and civic initiatives dialogue with local governments with the aim of political change including more inclusive and participatory forms of governance.
Qualitative data concerning 20 selected cases have been gathered and are now being analysed and presented in a narrative order to explain, in detail, how given cases have utilised different tools of participations. Cases were selected in a way that represents a geographical diversity (although almost exclusively limited to Europe), showcases processes on different administrative levels (e.g. local, national, global), among others, distinguishes between methods according to levels of participation. While finalising the content of the toolbox, we are also working on developing a website which will host it. The website will be up and running early next year and will allow users to sort between cases through a filtering system. Stay tuned for updates on the EUARENAS Participatory Toolbox.
The session with Italian and European administrators and activists highlighted the importance to develop deliberative democracy experiences that engage citizens and stakeholders through a transparent and informed process, for this is essential to ensure that the outcomes will have a deliberative impact. Too often we see deliberative processes not reaching the expected impact which risks having a boomerang effect towards participation, as people feel they have wasted their time and it has no effect. For this reason the experience of Reggio Emilia has shown us that the result of the participatory process takes the form of an agreement in which all actors are co-responsible for the innovation and the improvement decided together, the intervention on Rojava have highlighted how citizen involvement to take collective decisions over primary goods as energy, especially under the present conditions in the country have become an extremely empowering process for communities.
We thank all our guests Nicoletta Levi (Municipality of Reggio Emilia), Andrea Catarci (City Councillor for the Participation and Decentralisation of the City of Rome), Christian Iaione (LUISS University), Tiziano Saccucci (Kurdistan Information Office in Italy), Stefano Milia (Europe Movement), Anna Maria Bianchi (network of Roman’s neighbourhood committee), Guido Silvestri (VOLT), Diego Piccoli (CGIL Fillea Lazio), Andrea Melillo (EUMANS), and all the participants to the info-session.