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European citizens’ panels

A new phase of citizen engagement

A series of citizens' panels

What are European citizens’ panels?

Randomly selected citizens from all 27 EU Member States come together to discuss key, forthcoming proposals at European level. Based on these transnational interactions, citizens make recommendations that the European Commission will take into consideration when defining its policy and legislative initiatives. Panels combine collaborative work in small groups (of around 12 people) with plenary work (all participants together). To carry out this work, panellists are supported by a facilitation team.

Starting from mid-December 2022 to the end of April, three panels of  around 150 citizens each from all 27 EU Member States will have the opportunity to formulate concrete recommendations to some of the key initiatives of the 2023 Commission Work Programme. The first set of Citizens' panels will address the issues of food waste, virtual worlds and learning mobility.

FOOD WASTE

Session 1:

16-18 December 2022 (Brussels)

Session 2:

20-22 January 2023 (online)

Session 3:

10-12 February 2023 (Brussels)

 

VIRTUAL WORLDS

Session 1:

24-26 February 2023 (Brussels)

Session 2:

10-12 March 2023 (online)

Session 3:

21-23 April 2023 (Brussels)

 

LEARNING MOBILITY

Session 1:

3-5 March 2023 (Brussels)

Session 2:

 24-26 March 2023 (online)

Session 3:

28-30 April 2023 (Brussels)

The food waste issue: what is at stake?

Nearly 57 million tonnes of food waste (around 127 kg/inhabitant) were generated in 2020. With an estimated value of EUR 130 billion, that’s about 10% of food made available to EU consumers that may be lost (at retail establishments, through food services, and in households). Households in particular are responsible for 55% of all food waste. Food waste accounts for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing food loss and waste is an integral part of the Farm to Fork Strategy, which is a key part of the European Green Deal. The food waste reduction targets will be proposed as part of a wider initiative to revise the ‘Waste Framework Directive’ which is expected to propose measures to reduce waste generation and increase preparation for re-use or recycling of waste.

Find out more information about the EU actions against food waste and about the revision of the 'Waste Framework Directive' on the Commission's 'Have Your Say' portal.

What the panel will do?

In its first panel, the Commission is gathering citizens’ insights, on how to step up action to reduce food waste in the EU. 144 randomly selected citizens, who represent the diversity of the population of the EU, are invited to debate on this issue and suggest actions that should be taken by EU Member States, actors in the food supply chain, citizens and other stakeholders in view of stepping up the effort to reduce food waste.

The citizens’ recommendations, as the outcome of the panel, will support the Commission’s work on food waste, including the legislative proposal to set EU reduction targets. They will also serve as guidance to help EU Member States in achieving the future targets.

How does the citizens’ panel work?

The panels will meet between December 2022 and February 2023.

The first session took place on 16-18 December 2022 in Brussels. The goal of the first session was to generate ideas and to build clusters of approaches that citizens find most promising for further discussions in the upcoming sessions. Consult the programme, list of speakers and experts, and proceedings of the debates. View the recordings of the sessions for 16 December 2022 and 18 December 2022

The second session was held online from 20-22 January 2023. The goal of this session was to build upon the previously formulated approaches to reduce food waste and to draft first concrete ideas for recommendations. To do so, citizens drafted and consolidated ideas in three different topic blocks: 'Cooperation in the food value chain: From farm to fork', 'Food business initiatives' and 'Supporting consumer behavioural change'. Ideas will be further elaborated in the third and final session of the panel. Consult the programme, list of speakers and experts, and proceedings of the debates in the second session summary, found in the documents section below. Debates are recorded for the plenary sessions on 20 January and 22 January.

The closing session will take place on 10-12 February 2023 in Brussels where the conclusions of debates and recommendations will be submitted to the European Commission and its inclusion in the package accompanying the legislative proposal of setting EU food waste reduction targets.

How are the citizens selected?

The recruitment of participants attending the new generation of citizens’ panels is carried out through random selection. In fact, potential participants are contacted by telephone, through random digit dialing. Recruiters use tools that generate valid telephone numbers at random (including both mobile and fixed line telephone numbers). This way the entire population can be reached.

To ensure that the panels reflect the socio-demographic composition of EU Member States’ populations as much as possible, the recruitment process factors in specific quota to ensure that recruited participants are representative.

The target demographic figures combine data from Eurobarometer, that surveys public opinion in the European Union, and Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU. Participants from each of the 27 EU Members States are recruited proportionally to the population size, while ensuring proportional representation across different sociodemographic population groups. For small countries with fewer participants, the sociodemographic categories are alternated across panels, so that different population groups represent the smaller countries in different panels.

The set of quota seeks to generate a gender balanced panel, with a specification for young people aged 16-25 to represent a third of the panel. Other socio-demographic characteristics taken into account relate to education levels, geographic location, and occupation. Recruiting representative and diverse panels is essential to facilitate vibrant discussions and ensure that a wide variety of perspectives and opinions are brought to the table.

Review the composition of the panel on food waste and the profile of citizens in the attendance report found in the documents section below.

The selection is completely renewed for each new panel.

Documents

30 JANUARY 2023
European citizens panel on food waste - Second session summary
English
(755.95 KB - PDF)
Download
23 JANUARY 2023
European citizens panel on food waste - Attendance report
English
(590.64 KB - PDF)
Download
18 JANUARY 2023
European Citizens' Panel on food waste - First session summary
English
(719.65 KB - PDF)
Download
16 DECEMBER 2022
European Citizens' Panel on food waste - Factsheet
English
(763.33 KB - PDF)
Download
16 DECEMBER 2022
European Citizens' Panel on food waste - Information kit
English
(1002.89 KB - PDF)
Download
16 DECEMBER 2022
European Citizens' Panel on food waste – Press release
English
(44.05 KB - PDF)
Download