In January and February 2021, under the patronage of Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble, a nationwide citizens’ council on the subject of “Germany’s Role in the World” will take place with 160 citizens selected by lot. The aim is to achieve two goals:
- The development of recommendations for the German Bundestag on the role of Germany in the world. This includes the five subject areas of sustainable development, economy and trade, peace and security, democracy and the rule of law and the European Union.
- Research into the extent to which this instrument of citizen participation is suitable for supporting parliamentary work and the development of a format suitable for the conditions in Germany at the federal level.
First, a multi-stage process took place to clarify the questions, in which the parliamentary groups, relevant committees of the Bundestag, technical experts, civil society organizations and randomly selected citizens were involved. The questions that were distilled out in the topic-finding process will be dealt with in ten online sessions in January and February 2021 – time for expert input, deliberation and the development of recommendations. The results will be presented publicly to the Bundestag and the Bundestag President on March 19, 2021. In the subsequent cultivation phase, the treatment of the recommendations in the Bundestag is accompanied. In addition, intensive discussions are being held with all parties with a view to ensuring that the institutionalization of citizens’ councils will be included in the coalition agreement after the federal elections in autumn 2021. The overall objective of the project is the establishment of lot-based citizens’ councils in the institutional structure of the Federal Republic of Germany.