Europe Wide Views

on Sustainable Consumption

In October 2014, more than 1000 ordinary citizens in Europe took part in the transnational event Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption. The citizens were invited to share their views on sustainable consumption and provide policymakers with important input to future political decision-making processes.

The event was held in 11 EU member states. In each participating country, 100 citizens attended a day-long citizen consultation where they discussed and voted on issues relating to sustainable consumption. The participating countries were:

Austria, Bulgaria, Catalonia (Spain), Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Wallonia (Belgium).

Europe Wide Views on Sustainable Consumption is the last of three example projects to be held in the four-year project PACITA  commissioned by the European Commission.

Why Citizen Consultations on Sustainable

In free markets, consumption choices are viewed as a private matter for individuals. Governments are generally hesitant to intervene too much in their citizens’ private space. As a result, policies aimed at enhancing sustainable consumption tend to be focused on the production of goods and services, rather than on private consumption. Europe Wide Views engaged citizens in a discussion about broadening the policymaking surrounding sustainable consumption to include measures aimed at private citizens. Furthermore, it also wanted to discuss the different roles that citizens could play in increasing sustainability in society.

Europe Wide Views gave input to policymaking about policies on sustainable consumption, in terms of expression of informed ideas and opinions from near-representative samples of citizens from 11 EU member states.