Second meeting of the Citizens panel on learning mobility
The second session of the Citizens’ panel on learning mobility took place online from 24 to 26 March.
Whereas during the first session, participants identified different types of barriers preventing citizens from studying or learning abroad, this time they discussed on how to overcome these barriers. They also developed first ideas on how to open up study, learning and training mobility opportunities to a wider audience.
This session prepared the ground for the third and final meeting of the panel scheduled for 28 to 30 April where concrete recommendations will be presented to the European Commission.
The plenaries of this session are available as recordings:
What are European citizens’ panels?
Citizens' panels are becoming a regular feature of democratic life in the European Union (EU). They bring together randomly-selected citizens from all 27 member states to discuss – at European level – key, upcoming proposals that affect us all.
European citizens’ panels see participants working together in small groups (each of around 12 people) and all together (in plenaries). A facilitation team provides support. Based on the discussions, citizens make recommendations for the European Commission to consider when defining policies and initiatives.
From mid-December 2022 to the end of April 2023, three panels – each with around 150 participants – will have the opportunity to develop concrete recommendations on some of the key initiatives of the 2023 Commission Work Programme. The first set of citizens' panels will address the issues of food waste, virtual worlds and learning mobility.
What actions should be taken by EU Member States, actors in the food supply chain, citizens, and other private and public stakeholders in order to step up the effort to reduce food waste?
What vision, principles, and actions should guide the development of desirable and fair virtual worlds?
In the spotlight
First new citizens' panel delivers 23 recommendations to speed up food waste reduction
How to drive further action and accelerate food waste reduction in the EU was the topic of the first of the new generation of citizens' panels in the follow-up of the Conference on the future of Europe to actively contribute to the EU policy-making process.
After three weekends of deliberations the citizens gathered in the panel presented 23 recommendations to the European Commission. The recommendations are grouped around three lines of action aiming to: strengthen the cooperation in the food value chain; encourage food business initiatives; support the change of consumer behaviour.
How does a citizens’ panel work?
- Session 1Ideas 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.
- Session 2Review 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.
- Closing sessionConclusion
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.
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
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.