Brussels Citizens’ Assembly for climate meets for first time

Brussels Citizens’ Assembly for climate meets for first time
The meeting was held in the Brussels Environment building in Tour & Taxis. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Brussels Citizens’ Assembly for the climate met for the first time on Saturday, the group announced on Sunday. Around 100 people from Brussels, selected at random, were able to participate in the debate on subjects relating to housing. After four months of work, this forum will submit its recommendation to the regional government.

The creation of the first citizens’ assembly was announced last November. With its introduction, the Brussels Region is the first public authority in the world to structurally associate its citizens with the development of its climate policy, underlines Brussels Minister for Climate Transition Alain Maron.

The fully autonomous Brussels Citizens' Assembly for the climate is made up of a succession of panels, renewed each year, of 100 citizens drawn by lot. They will deliberate over several weekends and make recommendations on a theme linked to Brussels climate policy, which will change from year to year.

Candidates are drawn on the basis of sex, age, place of residence and socio-economic background in order to guarantee a good reflection of the population.

The first working session on Saturday addressed how to guarantee affordable, eco-friendly, and quality living conditions in urban areas, as well as how to strike a balance between urban areas and green spaces. Upcoming sessions will build on the work already accomplished during this first session.

Field trips will be proposed to help inform the work of the Assembly. Participants will also be able to exchange with many actors involved in the policy area, such as academics, members of regional administrations, social organisations of civil society, private actors, and others.

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Brussels Minister Alain Maron was present at this first meeting, where he answered a series of questions. He and his regional government colleagues will receive official recommendations at the end of the consultation process.

To guarantee a real follow-up, a committee made up of members of the Assembly will ensure that the Brussels executive will attentively consult their advice. The minister will have three months to make his first comments on the results of the democratic forum and will return a year later with a more detailed response.

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