Ahead of the May 2019 European Parliament elections, the European Commission launched a large-scale consultation process to better understand the priorities of EU citizens. The insights from this consultation would be used to inform the agendas of future MEPs and Commissioners.
As of November 2018, more than 200,000 citizens across all EU Member States had taken part in this consultation, conducted online as well as via deliberative dialogue sessions. The consultation drew on the priority issues pre-defined in early citizen panel consultations. This process enhanced the legitimacy of the consultation approach to ensure citizens’ key topics of concern were covered. Kantar has applied state-of-the-art text mining and topic modelling techniques to identify the main themes emerging from the consultations and dialogue, as well as their prevalence in the different responses.
The interim findings emerging from these consultations (which can be found here) provided a variety of insights into topics in areas such as environmental protection, the transition towards renewable energy, social protection and social inclusion measures.
In its December 2018 European Council meeting, commenting on the initial analysis and resulting conclusions, a European Council spokesperson commented: “We welcome the holding of Citizens' Dialogues and Citizens' Consultations, which was an unprecedented opportunity to engage with European citizens and which could serve as an inspiration for further consultations and dialogues.”