What is the Citizens' Council?
The Citizens' Council is one of the three pillars of the Permanent Citizens' Dialogue.
The other two are the Citizens' Assembly and the Permanent Secretary.
Who makes up the Citizens' Council?
The Citizens' Council is composed of 24 members who have previously participated in a Citizens' Assembly.
What does the Citizens' Council do?
The Citizens' Council is the permanent body of the Citizens' Dialogue. It organises and monitors the entire process:
It decides which topics will be discussed at the Citizens' Assemblies. The following people may propose topics: members of the Citizens' Council, representatives of politics and people from the German-speaking Community. The Citizens' Council is completely autonomous when it comes to decide which topic is to be discussed in a Citizens' Assembly.
It also decides on the organisation and practical issues regarding the Citizens' Assembly (number of meetings, timing, duration, location, choice of experts, information, ...).
It is responsible for the follow-up: it evaluates the course of the Citizens' Assembly, draws conclusions for future Citizens' Assemblies and follows the implementation of the recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly by the politicians.
In all matters, the Citizens' Council is supported by the Permanent Secretary. The secretary is a staff member from the parliamentary administration.
What does the Citizens' Council not do?
The members of the Citizens' Council do not discuss the topics or write recommendations to the politicians. The Citizens' Assembly assumes these tasks.
How often does the Citizens' Council meet?
The Citizens' Council decides on the frequency of its meetings. So far, the meetings have taken place about once a month.
The members of the Citizens' Council are given enough time to get to know their tasks and to discuss possible topics and specific questions.
The meetings are preferably held after work or during the weekends, but the Citizens' Council can decide what suits its members best.
On average, a meeting lasts about 2 hours.
Where do the meetings take place?
The meetings are usually held at the Parliament of the German-speaking Community in Eupen. The meetings can also take place in the south of German-speaking Community.
(There is a travel allowance for all members as explained further below).
How long does one remain a member of the Citizens' Council?
The Citizens' Council brings the Citizens' Assemblies to life. The Citizens' Council then follows the entire work of the Citizens' Assembly. This is why the members of the Citizens' Council remain in office as long as “their” Citizens' Assembly is working. However, the membership in the Citizens' Council ends after 18 months at the latest.
Can one leave the Citizens' Council before the end of one's mandate?
Yes, participation in a Citizens' Council is voluntary. Members can therefore leave before the end of their mandate and will be replaced by another citizen.
Does one receive remuneration for attending?
Yes, participants receive an attendance fee of roughly 50 euros per meeting, as well as a travel allowance for the kilometres driven or to cover the costs of public transport.