Frequently Asked Questions
About the Citizens’ Assembly
What is a Citizens’ Assembly?
The Citizens’ Assembly is one of the newer forms of participatory democracy, although its individual elements were used as far back as ancient Greece. It aims to overcome division and polarization in society, as well as to find ways out of deadlocked situations, when political and social institutions are not functional and have extremely differing views. The implementation of the model provides an opportunity to consolidate public potential in critical situations for the country, to make vital decisions and to directly take part in their implementation.
Why is it important to hold a Citizens' Assembly?
The Citizens‘ Assembly provides an opportunity for representatives of the most diverse strata of society to make their voice more audible in the state decision-making process, and for political leaders, parties and various public movements to receive the direct opinions and comments of citizens on key issues. It allows us to find possible solutions in impasse situations, when the traditional institutions of society are no longer able to accomplish it.
In what other countries has a Citizen’s Assembly been held?
The Citizens’ Assembly model has been successfully applied in a number of developed countries, including Germany, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, France, even at the level of the European Union and United Nations.
Why was the Citizens’ Assembly model selected?
The Citizens‘ Assembly helps to restore the balance on the political field by engaging different strata and groups of society, effectively summarizing the ideas of citizens with various views on one platform. This model of participatory democracy provides an opportunity to overcome the polarization of society by aiming at tackling the existing challenges through consolidated efforts.
How realistic is the implementation of this model, which is mainly used in Western countries, in the Armenian reality?
The first Pan-Armenian Convention of the Future Armenian will be the first Citizens’ Assembly in the world involving the Diaspora. In addition, individual components of the model are implemented only after localization and adaptation to our conditions and realities.
About the First Pan-Armenian Convention
What were the participant selection principles for the Convention?
The Convention had 100 participants from the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh and 100 participants from the Diaspora, selected by a transparent lottery drawing and representative sampling method, which ensured the representation of all strata of society.
What were the participant selection criteria?
The participants of the Convention were selected by the representative sampling method, ensuring equal, proportional representation of the population by gender, age, education and place of residence, thus forming a miniature model of Armenian society.
What was the participant selection procedure for the Convention?
Those who have applied to register for the Convention and confirmed their email address received a unique code that allows them to participate in the lottery drawing. Regardless of its outcome, all registered citizens had the opportunity to participate in the Convention online, having access to existing documents and participating in online discussions.
Was there any compensation for participants?
Transportation and accommodation were provided provided for all participants not from Yerevan.
What did the 200 participants from different countries of the world talk about during the Convention?
Scenarios and programs developed by previously formed Expert Committees were presented at the Convention. Ordinary people of different gender, age and educational backgrounds and from various communities expressed their opinions on them, so that it is possible to ensure the multilateral appraisal and testing of these documents.
How will the scenarios and programs selected as a result of the Convention be implemented?
The FUTURE ARMENIAN Initiative is already working on forming a cooperation network, which will include all interested parties, from state institutions to private organizations and individuals. In addition, all the documents developed will be in the public domain and can be used by anyone interested.
Who owns the results of the Convention?
All recommendations and programs adopted within the framework of the Convention are public property and available to all representatives of the public and private sectors to develop and implement their prospective versions.