2023 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
Rennes : European Citizens' Initiative: "Let's ask Europe to give migrants a decent welcome".
Our experience is the implementation of a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "à la rennaise". The ECI is a participatory tool used by the European Commission to enable citizens to influence EU policies. To be considered by the Commission, an initiative must gather 1 million signatures across the EU.
Rennes is a European city. It demonstrates this every day through the actions of its associations and citizens, who are mobilized to bring the European project to life in concrete terms, for the people of Rennes, and particularly for those who are furthest removed from it. All these people, institutions and residents' groups are united within the City of Rennes' Labo Europe, whose aim is to renew the citizen debate on Europe. The Labo is part of the "Fabrique Citoyenne", which brings together all of the city's and metropolitan area's citizen participation initiatives, and benefits from the tools available within this framework.
Our ECI is the result of an unprecedented process of dialogue launched by Le Labo, enabling the people of Rennes to make their voices and demands heard in Europe.
For almost a year and a half, everything was done to enable the people of Rennes to make their voice heard in Europe. At the end of this grassroots approach, 12 proposals for European citizens' initiatives were put forward for local public debate, co-constructed by some 300 Rennais. The call for a dignified welcome for migrants was the clear winner of the online vote organized to decide between them in spring 2022. Over 1,000 votes were cast. This ECI is the result of a major collective effort, coordinated and supported by various associations, students and academic players, who worked together on the basis of the work of pupils from the Rosa Parks middle school in Rennes. An organizing group was then set up, made up of citizens from 7 different European countries, who are responsible for relaying the initiative in their own countries. The ECI was registered by the European Commission in February 2023, and the campaign to collect signatures began in April and will last a year. This project is an innovative experiment in that the ECI was built directly by the citizens of Rennes, who had the freedom to put forward a cause that affected them personally and that they wanted to defend before the institutions, whereas this little-known form of citizen participation is generally used by major international NGOs. The Rennes European Citizens' Initiative makes it possible to bring the voice of local residents to bear in a concrete way, from the local to the European level, showing citizens that they are being heard and supported by the city and, above all, that they have the means, at their own level, to influence European policies.
This proposal has been accepted because:
Report inappropriate content
Is this content inappropriate?