Can civil assemblies complement democracy in the Western Balkans?

At the event organized by GEF - Green European Foundation and hosted by the Association for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development "Sunrise" - Skopje, dozens of civil activists and environmental protection associations, academic representatives and representatives of independent advisors at the local level participated.

We talked about the possibilities of the Green European Agreement and the Green European Agenda for the Western Balkans, but also about the necessary step forward.

An active debate developed on how to use the experiences of the first initiatives to introduce the institute of civil assemblies and what are the possibilities of incorporating deliberative democracy in decision-making on hot spots in the environment, especially with the threat of extractive industries and the exploitation of water resources. .

Both the climate and energy crisis across Europe have peaked and decision-makers are often asked to make quick and short-term decisions based on the executive power they have won in elections, so networking in green activism is essential.

In many cases, the voices and needs of citizens are not adequately represented and recognized because the crisis regime does not allow enough time or resources to enable a deeper democratic process.

We see great importance not only in empowering citizens to get involved in topics of common interest (climate, energy, environment, biodiversity, health), but also in strengthening ties between Greens across Europe, activists and conscientious citizens, in order to become more relevant, inclusive and better connected to social groups and movements.