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European citizens’ panels
European citizens’ panels

A new phase of citizen engagement

Second meeting of the Citizens panel on learning mobility

What are European citizens’ panels?

Planned panels

Food waste

Was können die EU-Mitgliedstaaten, die Lebensmittelindustrie, was können wir alle privat und öffentlich dafür tun, damit weniger Essen im Müll landet?

Virtual worlds

What vision, principles, and actions should guide the development of desirable and fair virtual worlds?

Learning Mobility

How can we make opportunities for learning mobility a reality for everyone?

In the spotlight

How does a citizens’ panel work?

  1. Session 1
    Ideas generation

    The goal of the first session is to generate ideas, and to build and group approaches that citizens find most promising for further discussion in subsequent sessions.

  2. Session 2
    Review and refinement

    The goal of this session is to build on the approaches agreed in the first session and draft initial citizen recommendations. Following an iterative, 'peer review' process, citizens in working group review and build on each other’s work, adding to the ideas. These constitute the basis for the panel to develop its final recommendations, during the concluding session.

  3. Closing session

    The closing session submits the conclusions of debates, together with the panel's recommendations, to the European Commission, as part of the package accompanying the relevant proposals.

How are citizens selected?

Around 150 citizens, randomly selected from the 27 member states

Representing the EU’s diversity - geography (urban/rural), gender, age, education, socioeconomic background

1/3 of participants are young people (16-25 years old)

Participants in the new generation of citizens’ panels are recruited through random selection. Potential participants are contacted by telephone. Recruiters use tools that generate valid telephone numbers at random (including both mobile and fixed line telephone numbers). This way a diverse, representative group can be reached.To ensure that panels reflect as far as possible the EU’s socio-demographic composition, the process ensures that recruitment is representative.

Target recruitment figures combine data from:

  • Eurobarometer, the annual European Union public opinion survey, and
  • Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office.

A quota system ensures a gender-balanced panel, and specifies that young people aged 16-25 represent a third of the panel. Other socio-demographic characteristics we take into account relate to:

  • education level
  • geographic location
  • occupation.

Participants from each member state are recruited in proportion to that member state’s population, while ensuring proportional representation across different groups. For smaller countries with fewer participants, the categories are covered across panels, so that smaller countries are represented.

The selection process is completely renewed for each new panel.

Recruiting representative and diverse panels is essential to facilitate vibrant discussions and ensure that those discussions reflect a wide variety of perspectives and opinions.