The launch of the Citizens’ Assembly of Gipuzkoa, the second of its kind promoted by Arantzazulab


The Gipuzkoa Citizens’ Assembly, the second citizens’ assembly promoted by Arantzazulab after recently kicking off one in Tolosa, has already begun its work. This pioneering and innovative initiative will involve the citizens of Gipuzkoa in a deliberative process. Promoted by the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, in collaboration with Arantzazulab and the Telesforo Monzon eLab laboratory, 32 people selected by civic lottery will be invited to participate in this assembly.

The initiative is an invitation to citizens to participate in the deliberation of relevant public challenges such as the rural primary sector (refearring mainly to agriculture, livestock and forest management) and climate emergency (. The 32 citizens participating in the Citizens’ Assembly will learn about the topic during the process and develop their knowledge on the subject through the presentations of various experts as well as practitioners in the field. Assembly members will deliberate on the basis of the information received and will write down collective recommendations to answer to the suggested question. At end of this process, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa will receive the collective recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly. The participants, who will meet for 4 weekends between November and January, will have to answer the following question: ‘How can we guarantee agricultural activity in Gipuzkoa in order to face the climate emergency?’

The process has the support of all the political groups represented in the General Assemblies. In this way, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa commits to responding in writing and within specific deadlines to each of the recommendations made by the Citizens’ Assembly. Naiara Goia, Managing Director of Arantzazulab, assures that “this Citizens’ Assembly, together with the one we have set up in Tolosa, enables public institutions to build a space for shared deliberation with citizens, fostering new models of relationship to increase mutual trust. With these processes, our ultimate goal is to develop knowledge on deliberative democracy, build local capabilities and establish the necessary conditions to consolidate and institutionalise this instrument of deliberation in our institutions”.

Gipuzkoa citizens selected through the civic lottery will receive a letter of invitation in the coming weeks.

The people who will receive the invitations to participate in the Gipuzkoa Citizens’ Assembly have been selected by a civic lottery. The aim of this is to ensure that the members of the Assembly are a descriptive group  of the diversity and population of Gipuzkoa. To this end, in a first phase, the Provincial Council has carried out a civic lottery to select 15,000 addresses from among all the dwellings in the provincial land registry, to which a letter will be sent to invite them to take part in the process.

Anyone over the age of 16 who receives the letter has the opportunity to register for the Citizens’ Assembly.  Among all the people who receive the letter and register as volunteers in the Assembly, a second draw will be made, taking into account the criteria of gender, age, educational level, language, geographic location and positioning with respect to the issue. This will result in a group of 32 participants in the Citizens’ Assembly. To participate, it is not necessary to be an expert in the field or to have special knowledge of the subject, as the information necessary for decision-making will be provided during the meetings. This is precisely the aim of these processes, to gather the perspective and experience that citizens can contribute as residents of Gipuzkoa.

And how are the Citizens’ Assemblies organised? The following graph shows the groups and committees that are activated to implement the initiative. Specifically, three have been created to implement the Gipuzkoa Citizens’ Assembly: the Project Group (made up of representatives of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, Arantzazulab, TMelab and Deliberativa), the Steering Committee (in which representatives of political parties and most interest groups participate) and the Content Committee (in which experts in the field identify and share diverse knowledge).


  • Want to read more about it? Visit the initiative’s website.