Citizens assembly will give ‘unprecedented’ boost to direct democracy in Brussels
Wednesday, 16 October 2019
89 members of a citizens' assembly will seek to exert direct democracy in Brussels and act as a counterweight to the regional parliament. Credit: Agora.Brussels/Facebook
A political party in Brussels represented by a single MP is seeking to create a fully citizen-based assembly which will act as a counterweight to politicians in the regional parliament.
On Wednesday, Agora, which defines itself as a citizens’ movement rather than a political party, organised a random draw of thousands of residents of the Brussels-Capital Region.
Live-streamed on Facebook, the draw saw representatives from the group pick out names from a hat out of a pool of between 4,000 and 6,000 people living in Brussels.
Citing the example of the German Community, which in June created its own citizens’ assembly, Agora said that the assembly’s goal would be to increase citizen influence and participation throughout the new legislative term.
“Today, citizens only get to express themselves by voting every five years. “Therefore, they have little control over what happens in their city,” Agora said in a press release, adding that the decisions were taken by an “elected elite.”
In a press release, the group said any Brussels resident who has the right to vote in a municipal election can be a part of the assembly.