Citizens‘ Assembly handed over its report

The Citizens‘ Assembly on Democracy handed over its report with 22 specific recommendations for strengthening the German democracy to the President of the German Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, on the Day for Democracy, 15 November 2019. The citizens‘ report was prepared by 160 randomly selected citizens on the basis of lectures and discussions with experts.

Before the handover, an outdoor art installation themed „Democracy for Future“ with the internationally renowned artist John Quigley took place in front of the Reichstag. The art installation – a large spiral in front of the Reichstag – made of shiny gold fabric and hundreds of people was inspired by the shape of the Reichstag dome. It represents the bridge between the people on the meadow and members of the Bundestag.

The Citizens‘ Assembly was initiated by Mehr Demokratie e.V. and the Schöpflin Foundation. nexus and its partner IFOK were responsible planning and implementing Germany’s first federal Citizens‘ Assembly on the federal level.

Citizens‘ Assembly for Democracy: Overview of Results
After four days of intensive discussion, the Citizens‘ Assembly for Democracy published its recommendations on 28 September 19. These are intended to help politicians find ways out of the current crisis of democratic and strengthen the connection between citizens and the parliamentary system.

The Citizens‘ Assembly comprised 160 randomly selected people drawn from the population registers, 3 of whom wereunable to attend due to illness, so that 157 people took part in the final vote.

1. Complement of parliamentary-representative democracy by further
elements of citizen participation and direct democracy: 156/1 (voting
ratio yes/no)

2. Complement of parliamentary-representative democracy with further
elements of citizen participation: 148/9

3. Complement of parliamentary-representative democracy with further
elements of direct democracy. 113/44

4. Complement of parliamentary-representative democracy with a
combination of citizen participation and direct democracy. 155/2

5. Legal anchoring of a nationwide Citizens‘ Assembly. 152/5

6. Citizens, parliament and the goverment may convene a nationwide Citizens‘ Assembly. 153/4

7. Members of a Citizens‘ Assembly shall be chosen at random and shall
reflect society as representatively as possible. 157/0

8. The government must be obligated to comment on recommendations of the Citizens‘
Assembly. 155/2

9. Citizens should be able to initiate a referendum on the national level. 148/9

10. There should be a right to veto through a referendum in the
legislative process at federal level. 133/24

11. There should be the possibility of additional online voting in
referendums. 107/50

12. There should be an online participation portal modelled on that of
Baden-Wuerttemberg. 135/22

13. There should be a lobby register at federal level to create more
transparency. 153/4

14. Creation of a state-funded, politically independent body that
coordinates, implements and informs about citizen participation and
direct-democratic procedures nationwide. 153/4

15. Civic education should be intensified, especially with regard to
democratic participation. 152/5

16. State funding for Citizen participation and direct democracy must be
guaranteed. 156/1

17. Complementary third-party financing of civic participation and
direct democracy is possible and must be transparent. 118/39

18. Understandable and neutral information shall be available via
different channels. 156/1

19. Civic participation and direct democracy require equal and
appropriate access opportunities nationwide. 154/3

20. Results of civic participation and direct democracy should in
principle be reversible. 144/13

21. Referendums should always be
preceded by a citizen assembly in order to prepare the questions and
gather information. 140/17

22. There should be an appropriate quorum for referendums. 141/15