Sortition in Ostbelgien

It looks like there will be councils established in the German speaking (eastern) regions of Belgium:

A fixed Citizen Council will set the agenda and monitor the follow-up by the elected politicians of the recommendations of individual Citizens’ Assemblies. Both bodies will be drawn by lot from the inhabitants of the region as of 16 years old. #OstbelgienModell

— G1000org (@G1000org) February 25, 2019

They are establishing citizens advisory councils selected by lot: (PDF)

As of September 2019 a Citizen Council (Bürgerrat) consisting of 24 members will propose policy recommendations to the elected parliament on its own initiative or after a request. In doing this, the Council will rely on recommendations drafted by re gular, independent Citizens’ Assemblies drawn by lot ( Bürgerversammlungen ). Parliament has to respond to the recommendations.

Members of the Citizens’ Council hold their seat for a year and a half. They are drawn by lot from previous members of the Citizens’ Assemblies and convene once a month. A Citizens’ Assembly on the other hand will normally last about three weekends over th ree months and has a maximum of 50 members. The Citizen Council will be able to decide how large a specific a Citizens’ Assembly needs to be and how long a given topic should be debated. Participation by citizens is not mandatory, but a daily fee will be given to those who do. The composition of both bodies, Citizen Council and Citizen Assemblies, needs to be representative in terms of gender, age, education and residence. Extra criteria can be added, if needed. Citizens’ as of the age of 16 can be chosen to be part of a Citizens’ Assembly.

As always, I am dubious of such efforts, but this is limited in scope, so it provides a relatively risk free way to evaluate the concept.

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