The evaluation was conducted on behalf of the King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels. Its major objective was to review the methodological concept and design, but also the organisational and process-related qualities of the European Citizens’ Consultations (ECC) project. The evaluation especially focused on the conditions, the promoting and impeding factors for initiating, conducting and sustaining a constructive dialogue among citizens from all EU member countries. The evaluation was mainly based on four criteria: fairness, competence, efficiency and transparency.
The ECC dialogue process was initiated by the Agenda-Setting Event in Brussels in October 2006 with 200 citizens from all EU countries. In February and March 2007, national consultation events took place in each member state of the European Union. The purpose of the national consultation processes was to further elaborate the topics that were developed and selected during the Agenda-Setting Event. The final report was adopted in May 2007 during the final event in Brussels (Synthesis Event) by citizens from all European countries.
The evaluation team of Dialogik used three main methods for data input and processing:
- Direct observations during all events at European level and 12 selected national consultation events (documentation of general and specific features of the dialogue process by using a pre-structured observation sheet)
- Personal/telephone interviews with key actors (coordinators, facilitators, stakeholders and involved citizens) as well as
- Written surveys among the participants during all events at European level and the selected national consultations to elicit participants’ perceptions and assessments regarding the process and the results developed
In addition, the evaluation team analysed the project’s website and other documents of the ECC-project as well as “external” websites. For getting impressions on the repercussions in the media, the evaluation team conducted a media analysis of a number of sources.