Asambleas Ciudadanos


What is it ?


What background do citizens’ assemblies develop in ?

Translations : français . Español . English

The citizens’ assemblies are result of challenges and mutations of the 21st Century: globalization, intensity of interdependencies from domestic level to a global one, a multiform crisis of the democracy, development and production models which have become predators and non-sustainable, technological development speed, etc. All of these structural challenges – this list is far from exhaustive- appear under different forms from a region to another, all throughout the world. Since then, they have united the peoples of the world into a unique and same collective destiny. These historical changes will not be achieved unless new regulations and means of social and political participation are implemented.

A brand-new and historic commitment to the citizens

Aren’t the citizens the ones who are expected to deal with these matters and be able to make their decision? How may citizens, as diverse as they are, get involved in such changes whose unknown and new dimensions can sound baffling? But, are citizens really capable of facing these issues? We think so. Undoubtedly, they find themselves in a better situation for innovations and they are thus able to meet these contemporary challenges. This will be so, as long as they manage to relate among each other and with the other actors of society, from those next to them to those at a global level, in a different way.

A response to four challenges for governance

Four reasons accounting for the citizens’ assemblies. Let’s describe them briefly :

  • Preparing mutations: contemporary changes and challenges are historic, due to their set of values and dimensions. However, what must be affected, how is it expected to act and who is expected to act with, in order to lead these changes ? Aren’t the citizens, as diverse as they are, whether organized or not, the ones who are expected to be in charge of these matters? To identify, understand, and sort out priorities are essential in the first stage. To design joint prospects and their strategies, belong to a second stage.
  • Contributing to institute communities and to renew democracy: most societies are living a multiform crisis of their regulations and their governance. One of these crises comes from complexity of their institutions which were created by community in a certain time of its history, aimed at ensuring cohesion and a feeling of belonging to such a community. Thus, it is essential for communities to re-institute, re-invent their common project. How to achieve this? By means of instituting processes, which allow to gather and joint values, interests, challenges, and commitments of the community members. The same emergency does exist at different levels, such as at democracy, State levels, and at those of regional political communities that can not be based on the usual formal means such as elections or parliaments. It is also necessary to allow citizens as a whole, to be involved and responsible of the society challenges, to understand them, and take part in debates.
  • Articulating joint projects and diversity of social realities: matters dealt with in different communities are far from being alike in every place. A broad variety of institutional structures and collective priorities concern to a diversity of cultures and social realities. In fact, join prospects may be gradually drawn from such diversity. This can only be result of a collective construction, a dialogue among those sectors which make up society. Diversity may be taken from three complementary angles: geographic and cultural diversity; social and professional diversity; and thematic diversity of those topics to be dealt. Putting together these three diversities means progressively defining joint prospects for a region in the world, and later on, from a region to region.
  • Overcoming the traditional ways of relations among big regions in the world. A vision of human communities by national or regional frontier reflects less and less the nature of interdependencies. Most of the relations among societies are still diplomatic relations or commercial ties among enterprises. It is known that this is not enough. If we long to build a sustainable peace, the very same citizens should be allowed to discuss the every day problems openly. Therefore, those means for holding discussions among the peoples and citizens along twenty big global regions should be provided.