How to participate in the major national debate?

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The President of the Republic calls on the French to give their opinion through a major national debate. You therefore have until 15 March to give your views on the four main themes proposed by the Government. Here are some guidelines on how to participate in this great debate.

What is this great debate about?

Following the regular demonstrations since last November, Emmanuel Macron explained it in his letter to the French,”it is necessary and legitimate for us to rest together the great questions of our future. That is why I have proposed and am launching a major national debate today.”

Thus, a set of mechanisms has been set up to ensure that the views of all French people who wish to express themselves are heard. How is this great collection of ideas organized? This is what we will explain in this article.

To read the full letter from the President of the Republic to the French, click here.

Four themes on the agenda

The Government proposes that the French debate on four main themes:

  • The ecological transition
  • Taxation and public expenditure
  • Democracy and citizenship
  • The organization of the State and public services

Each opinion must specify the issue it addresses in order to facilitate the work of those who will be reading these messages. Fact sheets have been made available to citizens on the site (see link above) to present different aspects of the subject, a support that can serve as a basis for reflection.

What’s the point?

Rather than going through a referendum or vote, the government has chosen another way to directly involve citizens in the national debate. Contributions will be collected, then reported in order to be read, compiled and analysed.

Starting March 1, regional citizens’ conferences are scheduled to discuss this debate, and the results of these analyses and debates will be used in April to “discuss the issue of theforge a new economic, social and environmental pact and structure the action of the Government and Parliament in the coming months“.

In terms of guarantees, the Government has committed itself to six principles: the best possible transparency on this event, neutrality and equality in the treatment of the information collected, respect for speech and pluralism, and the best inclusion.

Join the debate

The debates have been open since 15 January 2019, and will close on 15 March 2019, for a summary in April. To participate, several means are available on the Internet.

From 21 January, everyone will be able to contribute directly from the granddebat.fr website.

– Participate in a local initiative meeting

These meetings can be organised by any French citizen, and should provide an opportunity to discuss each of the themes in order to generate ideas. Feel free to consult the list of events organised online: perhaps there is already a meeting near you on the theme you are interested in?

– Organize a local initiative meeting

If there is no meeting near your home that addresses the topic you are interested in, you can organize your own meeting. For this purpose, several tools in PDF format are available online.

Download the instructions for organizing, facilitating and reporting on these meetings. From today (21 January), your contributions can be recorded on the website of the great debate.

– Submit your opinion outside of meetings

If you do not want (or do not wish) to participate in a meeting, you can also write your ideas down and leave this report in one of the local stands set up near you (in the town hall for example), or, from 21 January, on the Internet.

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