President of the Bundestag supports new Citizens' Assembly

27. August 2020

After the “Citizens’ Assembly for Democracy”, a second nationwide sortition-based citizens' assembly in Germany will take place. The new citizens' assembly on the topic of "Germany's role in the world", will take place under the auspices of the President of the Bundestag, with a new form of citizen participation being tested.

The professional association Mehr Demokratie will organise the citizens' assembly, which will focus on the further development of the "citizens' assembly" format and content. The association will have the associated companies IFOK, IPG and nexus as well as the initiative EsgehtLOS at its side.

"We are pleased about the support of the President of the Bundestag. The project is a direct success of the Citizens' Assembly for Democracy," says Claudine Nierth, spokeswoman for the Federal Executive Committee of Mehr Demokratie. "The financial and organizational independence enables us to implement the citizens' assembly quickly, so that the results are still on the table in this legislature period.”

At the upcoming citizens' assembly on „Germany’s role in the world“, randomly selected people are to discuss with experts over three weekends and develop recommendations for action. These recommendations will be available in the form of a citizens' report in March 2021, so that they can be discussed in the Bundestag before the end of this legislative period.

As Bundestag President Schäuble said, in connection with the decision of the Council of Elders in June, in addition to addressing the issue, the aim is also to "explore whether such a new set of instruments is suitable for supporting parliamentary work and to develop a format that is suitable for Germany's conditions at the federal level.”

Claudine Nierth adds, "This model project can serve as a basis for the Bundestag to decide whether citizens' assemblies are regularly used as an advisory body for parliament. We are confident that the upcoming citizens' assembly will convince the members of parliament".

The citizens' assembly’s concrete questions about Germany's role in the world will be worked out in advance in an exchange with members of parliament and citizens. The first meeting of the randomly selected people will take place in January 2021.

The first nationwide citizens’ assembly was also organized last year by Mehr Demokratie in cooperation with the Schöpflin Foundation and its associated companies IFOK and Nexus-Institut. In November, the results of the deliberations of the 160 citizens drawn by lottery on the subject of democracy were presented to the President of the Bundestag, Schäuble, and the parliamentary groups. The introduction of nationwide citizens' assemblies was one of 22 proposals.