2021 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
15th Edition 2021
Supports are subject to the following rules:
- You can support up to 5 proposals.
Medskapande medborgardialog I Mörsil / Co-creative citizen dialogue in Mörsil (Âre)
Åre Municipality (Sweden) has actively worked to receive new arrivals to Sweden to the municipality. Mörsil is one of the areas in the municipality where many new arrivals live.
In recent years, we have heard and seen, especially on social media, negative comments and opinions about newcomers in Mörsil. Tensions have emerged linked to disturbances at schools, housing segregation, and tensions within and between ethnic groups.
Åre municipality saw the situation as serious and realized that it was a complex and tense situation with several different layers and numerous actors involved. We realized that we could not solve this in a simple way, or on our own.
Instead, we set the goal of being the unifying force that brought together the different perspectives that exist in Mörsil and took the initiative for the conversations that were needed.
Åre is a member of a Swedish network about citizen dialogues in complex issues organized by the Swedish Association of Local Government and Regions. This network gave us access to a model for citizen dialogues in complex issues which we built on and developed.
Through the citizen dialogue in Mörsil, we wanted to:
· Increase participation in the local community and in local democracy for both new arrivals and those who had lived in Mörsil a long time
· Increase the contact and interaction between new arrivals and domestic-born residents in Mörsil
· Improve contact and trust between citizens in Mörsil on one hand and Åre municipality on the other
· Build on the collective capacity in Mörsil and contribute to a more united Mörsil
· Work to increase connections between different groups of Mörsil residents.
In our co-creative citizen dialogue we placed the principle that those affected are actively involved in defining the problems, making proposals for activities and then jointly taking responsibility for the implementation and results of the proposals as the core of the work.
The first step was to interview about 70 people – made up of residents in Mörsil (of different ages, genders, backgrounds and perspectives. on the issues facing the area), elected representatives and officials at Åre municipality.
The interviews focused on the question ‘How do we want to live together in Mörsil?’. This allowed the interviewees to define the challenges facing themselves and Mörsil in a broad sense. Following the interviews a working group was formed consisting of politicians and officials at Åre municipality and residents in Mörsil (also here with different ages, genders, backgrounds and views on the problems).
Jointly, the working group developed proposals for measures that they saw as meaningful, urgent and feasible - measures that would make a real difference to the issues facing Mörsil. Continued joint work is now underway with joint planning and responsibility for the implementation of the measures and their results between citizens and the municipality.
The citizen dialogue process has also been a testbed to build internal competence and capacity in the municipality to develop citizens' participation in a systematic and continuous manner.
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