Debating Europe is an online discussion platform designed to encourage a genuine conversation between Europe’s citizens, experts and policymakers. Since launch in 2011, we’ve taken a bottom-up approach, with the citizens very much in the driving seat, asking the questions they want answered and putting forward their opinions for the leaders to react with our online debates and citizens’ panels. To date, we have engaged 6+ million users and built a social media following of over 271,000 people from across Europe. A selection of their 200,000+ questions have been put to over 3,000 key policymakers and experts.
Over the last 3 years, we’ve explored new and innovative ways to engage with Europe’s citizens. On top of continuously sharing their concerns with experts and politicians via online debates and live panels, we’ve started online ‘citizens’ workshops’, which are interactive learning and networking opportunities designed to provide our followers with the tools to become more active, informed and empowered citizens. Moreover, we also run focus groups, enabling us to canvass citizens’ views on specific topics and outline a set of recommendations for EU and national policy makers. To reach out to non-English speakers, we’ve embarked on an expansion strategy based on the launch of multilingual versions of Debating Europe. This first new one is DebatingEurope/DE, a German language discussion platform modelled after Debating Europe, but aimed squarely at a German-speaking audience. We aim to launch other versions (FR, ES, IT, PL as a priority) over the next 5 years.