Citizen consultation: our commitments for 2021
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
2020 is coming to an end and already we are asking ourselves the question: will 2021 be the year of reconstruction? The answer is essential to move forward, to project ourselves towards a more serene future. But what kind of future do we really want to build?
At Fluicity, we believe that reconstruction starts with listening, dialogue, consultation.
In the face of the economic, health and environmental crisis, citizen participation is no longer an option: it is becoming indispensable in finding legitimate and impactful solutions to the challenges we face.
Fluicity accompanies this decisive year for public actors through 3 key actions:
- Equip local authorities,
- Accompany decision-makers in the art of listening and dialogue,
- Mobilize citizens through massive consultations.
Tooling local authorities
Distribution of masks, security, screening, solidarity, protection of isolated people... The municipalities have proven their indispensable role in the crisis management and their ability to organize a local response with the inhabitants.
This role is just as essential today, so that reconstruction takes into account local realities: recovery plan, regional development project, ecological transition, public policies, etc. From this point of view, the privileged dialogue between local elected officials and citizens is a major asset to be preserved and enhanced.
Last June, our CEO Julie de Pimodan proposed several concrete measures to the French government to modernize public action and encourage local authorities' collaboration with civic tech: financial incentives to equip themselves with participation tools, adaptation of legal provisions, pooling of resources...
Not all cities are moving forward on equal terms. A gap is opening up between large and small cities, which are sometimes less prepared financially and less equipped to innovate in democratic matters (...). Can we hope that citizen participation will remain the prerogative of large metropolises?"
Julie de Pimodan, CEO of Fluicity.
Giving local authorities the means to consult and co-construct with citizens is a priority that we will continue to defend in 2021; through our outputs, our involvement in the Civic Tech Europe Association (ACTE) and the continuous improvement of our online platform.
[It is essential that communities have the means to act!](https://get.flui.city/blog/collectivites-moyens-agir-essentiel/)
**Accompanying decision-makers in the art of listening and dialogue
But the tool alone, as we know, is not enough. The success of citizen participation depends in part on the change in the posture of governing bodies and on a strong awareness of their new role.
The elected official can no longer consider himself as the alpha and omega of politics. He will always be the decision-maker in a representative democracy. This is the honor of the politician and it requires courage! But he can no longer make decisions without being the animator, upstream, of the decision-making process.
Jo Spiegel, pioneer of participatory democracy](https://get.flui.city/blog/interview-jo-spiege-transformation-durable-collective-personnelle/)
Consulting, coordinating, facilitating, analyzing... These democratic engineering skills are not instinctive. They require new knowledge and new methodologies.
This is why Fluicity has always offered a complete support service in addition to its online citizen participation platform: framing meeting, definition and follow-up of objectives, methodological support, communication advice, etc.
In 2021, we will go even further in supporting decision-makers! Training, workshops, customized services: a complete program to master the art of listening** (sincere) and dialogue (constructive).
Mobilize citizens for massive consultations (in French)
Citizen participation is often confined to the local level. However, its power of action is just as interesting on a larger territory, to unite the population around a common vision (isn't this one of the challenges of 2021?).
The great citizen consultation of Wallonia, launched end of 2020 with the help of Fluicity, is a good example. Within the framework of the regional recovery plan, Walloon citizens were invited to express their ideas on 5 key themes: employment, economy, solidarity environment, citizenship.
With more than 17,000 contributions and 10,000 engaged citizens in 5 weeks, the Walloon consultation is undoubtedly one of the best European participative successes of 2020. And a great inspiration for 2021!
(To learn more, please read our article: Wallonia's Great Citizen Consultation, the 5 keys to success).
In 2019, the Great Debate had proposed a state of play on the major national issues. It was certainly instructive (especially the local debates, led by the communities), but difficult to act upon.
The Walloon consultation is unique in that it is part of a well-defined plan (the region's post-Covid-19 recovery and redeployment plan) and a concrete political action, supported by budgets.
A clear framework, a strong political will and an engaging consultation format: that's all it takes to mobilize citizens on massive consultations!
The year 2020 will have marked a decisive turning point in the awareness of the power (and necessity) of the collective. It is up to all of us, in 2021, to transform the trial!