The Project

(W)E-democracy project aims to pilot a crowdsourcing activity in 5 European countries on the subject of “circular economy” (CE). We have chosen this specific topic because we acknowledge the importance and the urgent need for a more Circular Economy in Europe.

The current system is flawed and raw material extraction and systematic (waste) leakages need to be minimized. Especially the focus which is often put on recycling as a solution for the existing waste and resource problems conveys a distorted picture of how the current crisis can be tackled. In addition, due to a lack of education and transparency it is difficult for European citizens to grasp what Circular Economy really entails which makes it harder for citizens to advocate for a change of the existing linear model.

Another important part for a transition towards more circularity is the empowerment of consumers. The current system often focuses on recycling which should rather be treated as the last resort. We, as a society, should focus on extending products’ and materials’ lifetimes through designing for repair, by empowering citizens through relevant legislation, spaces, and education, which highlights the need for EU legislation to set down these rights.

Circular Economy provides opportunities on many different levels. Not only is it a necessary step towards more sustainability but it is also a new way of thinking, approaching problems and valuing resources. We believe that society needs politics to implement policies for a circular system. In turn, politics needs society to express their needs and especially producers to adapt their behaviour.

Circular Economy has several social benefits, such as providing meaningful work and helping to remove the gap to the labour market of disadvantaged groups. Enabling a just and inclusive transition is thus very important.

So, our project, wants to promote citizens’ and representative associations’ participation in and contribution to the democratic and civic life of the Union by making known and publicly exchanging their views in all areas on Union action. In particular, the project wants to develop innovative democratic approaches and tools to help citizens make their voices heard and publicly exchange views on all areas of EU action, notably e-democracy, and to engage them in discussions and action related to our climate and environment.

The project specific objectives are:

  • To organize an online survey in the participating countries to understand citizens’ attitudes, habits, needs and ideas on the project issue/circular economy. The ultimate goal of the survey is to collect enough data in order to have a “problem mapping”.

  • To organize public events in the participating countries for citizens to debate and prose solutions to the “circular economy” problems mapped.

  • To combine social listening and Crowdsourcing methods to improve the understanding of stakeholders what the public at large thinks about circular economy and the possible solutions for policy-makers.
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