Here the organizers of the Citizens' Assembly explain what a Citizens' Assembly is.
You can also listen to what a Citizens' Assembly is, by clicking on this link (German only).
Starting in January 2021, many citizens met.
An organising team selected them at random.
These citizens met on a few days and evenings.
Because of the pandemic, the citizens met online.
They talked about what German politics should do in the world.
The citizens were supposed to find answers to questions on this topic.
To do this, they learnt a lot about the topic.
They listened to lectures and talked about it with others.
They also came up with their own ideas.
They gave their ideas to politicians.
For politicians, the ideas help them in their work.
A citizens' assembly
Politicians talk about many issues.
Citizens also have ideas for a better world.
That is why politicians listen to the ideas of citizens.
In a citizens' assembly, many citizens meet.
The citizens are then called participants in a citizens' assembly.
The participants meet for the citizens' assembly on several days and evenings.
An organisational team selects the participants.
All people with an address in Germany can be selected.
However, they must also be allowed to vote in Germany.
The participants learn and talk to each other in a citizens' assembly.
They have a lot of time for this. This is because the participants meet several times.
They find out what is important to them.
The participants develop ideas together.
At the end, the participants vote on the ideas.
This way, all participants can show how good they think the ideas are.
After the Citizens' Assembly, politicians read what the Citizens' Assembly has found out.
In this way, the citizens' assembly can help politicians make decisions.
The people in a citizens' assembly
The participants are not alone at the meeting.
The participants want to learn more about the topic.
There are already people in Germany who know a lot about a topic.
These are experts.
Experts have different ideas.
That is why many experts come to the Citizens' Assembly.
Experts talk to the participants about the topic.
Experts are not participants.
They only answer the questions of the participants.
The participants talk about the experts' ideas and develop their own ideas.
The participants collect reasons for and against these ideas.
Some people talk a lot and like to talk.
Other people only talk when they are asked.
No participant in the Citizens' Assembly should be afraid to speak.
That is why there are rules for all participants.
The moderators pay attention to the rules.
They sit at the table with the participants.
Facilitators make sure that all participants can speak equally.
All participants should feel comfortable at the table.
All ideas are equally important.
The Citizens' Assembly Germany's Role in the World
The first Citizens' Assembly took place in 2019.
The theme of this Citizens' Assembly was democracy.
In 2020 parties in the German parliament wanted a second Citizens' Assembly.
The participants met online because of the pandemic.
People helped the participants with problems with the technology or the programmes.
The Citizens' Assembly was supposed to talk about Germany's role in the world.
The parties want to use the ideas from the Citizens' Assembly for their work.
The organisational team of the last Citizens' Assembly followed this wish.
It was therefore organising the second Citizens' Assembly in Germany on this topic.
Associations and foundations paid for the Citizens' Assembly.
The President of the German Parliament supported the Citizens' Assembly.
His name is Wolfgang Schäuble.
The Citizens' Assembly was also a test.
Politicians wanted to know how citizens' assemblies work in Germany.
The organising team
An organising team organised the Citizens' Assembly.
The organising team consisted of two parts.
One part organised the meeting of the Citizens' Assembly.
For example, they invited participants and acted as moderators.
They also collected the ideas of the participants.
And they wrote a text about the ideas for politicians.
This part was the participation institutes.
Another part organised the fuss and made sure that everything fitted together.
They paid attention that other people know about the Citizens' Assembly.
For example, they raised money for the Citizens' Assembly or made this website.
They also talked to politicians about the Citizens' Assembly.
These tasks were carried out by the association Mehr Demokratie and the initiative Es geht LOS.
The money for the Citizens' Assembly came from foundations.
The theme of this citizens' assembly was the role of Germany in the world.
Politics in Germany is connected to other countries.
That is why it is important to know: What is important to Germany in this world?
What problems are important for us?
What can we as Germany do about the problems?
After the Citizens' Assembly, politicians will know more about the answers that the participants like from the Citizens' Assembly.
The preparation phase
The organising team had to turn the big topic into many small questions.
The participants often talked about these questions in the Citizens' Assembly.
Citizens who have been selected by lot have already met on the internet and talked about the topic.
The parties in parliament and experts have also been asked which questions they think are important for the Citizens' Assembly.
Many citizens have also expressed their opinions in a survey.
The organising team used these wishes to create the questions for the Citizens' Assembly.
The participants were able to change the agenda again.
Handing over the ideas
The ideas from the participants were written down in a document after the Citizens' Assembly.
The document is called a citizens' report.
The citizens' report also explains the citizens' assembly.
The organising team gave the citizens' report to the parties of the parliament.
The politicians can use the ideas from the Citizens' Assembly in their work.
After the handover, citizens can find out what has been done with the ideas from the Citizens' Assembly.