PHOENIX: The Rise of Citizens Voices for a Greener Europe
The European Green Deal’s (EGD) transition pathway has been one of the major challenges for Europe since the start of the 21st century. PHOENIX project (which is an acronym for “Participation in HOlistic ENvironmental/Ecological Innovations”) is centered on the idea that, when dealing with environmental issues, participation is not just an option, but an absolute pre-condition for institutional policies and projects’ success.
PHOENIX connects a multidisciplinary group of 15 partners across 10 EU countries to design an iterative process for increasing the transformative potential of citizens’ participation. Through a portfolio of sound methodologies and tools, PHOENIX will enrich democratic innovations, augmenting their quality of deliberation and the capacity to foster the readiness to change and the commitment of different actors.
PHOENIX tailors and tests Enriched Democratic Innovations (EDIs) in 11 pilots in 7 countries, including city of Tartu (Estonia). Finally, it supports the mainstreaming, scalability and adaptability of the methodologies tested and assessed in the pilots, leveraging an inter-pilot dialogue grounded on evidence-based results, and building collectively a series of Policy Recommendations.
As a visual reference for this work, PHOENIX has chosen the metaphor of the Tangram (which in Chinese means “seven boards of skill”). The Tangram clearly visualises the possibility of imagining a series of tools and different participatory and deliberative methodologies (the coloured tans) that can be careful combined and aggregated – in different localities and at different administrative levels – in order to design diverse forms of Enriched Democratic Innovations(the shapes) that can better help to face the challenges of the European Green Deal in different situated contexts.
Kristina Reinsalu, Programme Director of e-Democracy at e-Governance Academy explains how.
The project creates methodologies and tools to support the implementation of the European Green Deal and increase the resilience of European cities through citizen engagement and co-creation of solutions.
eGA’s contribution to the project focuses on three areas:
- Research activities related to Sound Practices of Democratic Innovations by sharing with partners the results of eGAäs previous case analysis (on Participatory Budgeting) and the lessons learned from practical citizen engagement initiatives (e.g crowdsourcing on air quality);
- Data collection through desktop research, interviews, and surveys for local diagnostics focusing on the Estonian pilot.
- Pilot in the City of Tartu, Estonia on food sustainability