The conference, which brought together prominent representatives of civil society, politicians, experts and activists, was a unique place for joint reflection and discussion on the key aspects of grassroots and participatory democracy. Throughout the intensive day of the conference, we touched on many important topics and discussed various strategies for building a dialogue between citizens and politicians.
Presentations of inspiring examples of successful grassroots initiatives that had a real impact on decision-making processes were also valuable – from the “Together for Yes Campaign” in Ireland, through the “G1000 Citizens’ Summit” in the Netherlands, to the “Civic Participation” project in Poland.
Our mission was to understand the current situation in Poland in terms of pro-democratic initiatives and to identify new opportunities to create a permanent dialogue between society and politicians. We saw this as a key step in enabling citizens to participate in decision-making and influence policy choices.
During discussion panels and workshops, we touched on many topics, including creating platforms for dialogue, access to public information and the role of the media in promoting grassroots democracy. We all agreed on the need to build trust between civil society and politicians through transparency, openness and dialogue.
The conference report takes into account the identified challenges, such as the lack of financial resources for civic initiatives, limited representation of the society in the decision-making process, and difficulties in communication and information exchange between social organizations and politicians.
The conclusions of the conference are clear – the dialogue between civil society and politicians should be continued and strengthened. It is necessary to build partnerships, mutual training and joint actions, as well as taking into account the voice of citizens in decision-making processes at various levels – local, regional and European.
We believe that the thoughts from the conference will contribute to the development of grassroots and participatory democracy in Poland and other countries. Above all, however, we appeal to all citizens and politicians to continue dialogue and mutual cooperation in the pursuit of creating a better society for all of us.