Academy for a Learning Democracy

European HomeParliaments

European HomeParliaments

17-09-2018

Since spring 2018 we have been testing and implementing the democratic innovation of the European HomeParliaments with Pulse of Europe. The idea behind it is to enable und stimulate civic engagement where opinions are first formed: in the private sphere - at home, during an evening in the pub, or a picnic with friends in the park. Pulse of Europe wants to use this method particularly to remedy the widening gap between representatives and those represented on a European Level. The European HomeParliaments aim to establish a connect between European citizens and politicians in Brussels. 

The HomeParliament (HP) tool is the missing link between representative, direct and deliberative democracy and has been developed by Raban Fuhrmann in 2003. It can be differentiated from citizen participation, which is being granted for the citizens from above by the politicans, as well as from direct democracy, where the citizens from below make decisions without the politicians. The method of HomeParliaments brings politicians and citizens together as equals in a pragmatic and binding manner. 

Therefore, the Home Parliament is not a tool of citizens' participation, but of citizens' advice: citizens advice politicans, and the politicians justify their decisions before the citizens. 

HomeParliaments are an uncomplicated possibility for participation: A host invites friends and family and they discuss together - with the help of provided materials - certain topics and questions. Question lik "Does the EU need a foreign minister?" get discussed, and afterwards each participant decides on a scale how he or she agrees. The results and the collected arguments are sent back to the organiser (Pulse of Europe) who analyses them and conveys them to the partnering politican. The partnering politican takes a stand on the opinions of the citizens in a feedback round considers them in future decisions. 

In this manner, the European Parliament could get the opinion of thousands of EU citizens with relatively small effort. A first HP round was held during summer of 2018 for the German Federal Foreign Office. Further rounds will follow leading up to the European elections in 2019. 

Get further information here.

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