From the French Citizens' Convention on Climate to the Conference on the Future of Europe: A participatory science and democracy perspective

Author:Laurence Eymard
DOI:http://doi.org/10.1111/eulj.12369
Publication Date:01 Mar 2020
KALEIDOSCOPE
From the French Citizens' Convention on Climate
to the Conference on the Future of Europe: A
participatory science and democracy perspective
Laurence Eymard
*
Abstract
The Citizens' Convention on Climate (CCC) gathered 150 people, randomly selected but rep-
resenting the diversity of French society. Its mandate was to formulate a series of concrete mea-
sures aimed to achieve at least a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to
1990) while preserving social justice. The citizens auditioned experts on various topics from climate
to economics and then formulated their own proposals, thus building an effective consensus,
beyond individual specific interests. Moreover, proposals formed a coherent whole, and in this
regard fare much better than previous attempts to tackle environmental and climate transition
through public debates. This methodology shows how citizen science can produce efficient and
quality outcomes. This opens new perspectives for democracy on the basis of new interaction chan-
nels between law-makers, professional experts and citizens. This seems to be the approach chosen
for the Conference on the Future of Europe as well. Gathering citizens from all EU countries to work
on important topics for Europe and Europeans could be a way to build a common vision, and con-
tribute to the creation of a true European common good. Citizens' direct involvement in science and
democracy might be one of the keys to meaningfully and thus successfully address their
shortcomings.
1|INTRODUCTION
At the Autumn 2019, after several months of weekly yellow vestprotests, the Citizens' Convention on Climate
(CCC) was launched by the French Government as a response to the request for an increased citizens'
participation in democratic life. It gathered 150 people, randomly selected but representing the diversity of the
French society on the basis of socio-demographic criteria: gender, age (from 16 to more than 80), education, place of
residence (including overseas territories) and socio-professional category. The French Economic, Social and Environ-
mental Council (ESEC) was in charge of overseeing the organisation of the event and of ensuring its independence,
*
Emeritus Research Director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS); Co-founder of the Sorbonne University Institute for
Environmental Transition (SU-ITE). I would like to thank Karine Caunes for her useful comments and our fruitful interdisciplinary exchanges.
DOI: 10.1111/eulj.12369
136 © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Eur Law J. 2020;26:136140.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/eulj

To continue reading

Request your trial