EMI Real Deal

project website: www.realdeal.eu


REAL_DEAL (Reshaping European Advances towards green Leadership Through Deliberative Approaches and Learning) will reshape the active participation of citizens and stakeholders around the European Green Deal.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037071. 

This trans-disciplinary project brings together researchers of deliberative democracy from a wide range of disciplines, including political science, law, sociology, and psychology. The researchers are collaborating with the EU´s largest civil society networks and NGOs to reach millions of citizens and thousands of policymakers. The project was co-developed and has participation of both CSOs and researchers in largely all of its activities. It is also co-coordinated between a research organisation (IASS) and a CSO network (EEB).

In a co-creation process, REAL DEAL is currently developing, and will test and validate innovative tools and formats to propel deliberative democracy to the next level. It will test its innovations in deliberative processes for a green and just transition in around 13 countries. It will also examine pan-European formats ranging from digital deliberation processes to in-person formats such as an Assembly for a Gender-Just Green Deal and a pan-European Youth Climate Assembly.

REAL DEAL will co-create a comprehensive protocol for meaningful citizens´ participation and deliberation to work towards the objectives of the European Green Deal. It will develop recommendations on how to design such processes and their application in various contexts by European institutions, Member States, and civil society alike. The project’s participants will develop a new hybrid model of political inclusion that will be:

  • analytic (including post-normal, transdisciplinary science);
  • strategic (including dedicated stakeholders for environmental and sustainable transformations);
  • deliberative (including citizens from all countries in all their diversity and uniqueness); and
  • socially compatible with legal, ethical and international standards (including civil rights, gender equality, national political culture, impacts for non-European nations and generations to come).

The topics addressed by this project throughout its duration will reflect the political agenda and policy priorities of the EU as well as the core concerns of citizens. The following policy and transformation areas are likely to be covered:

  • Just transitions and root causes of inequality across the EU
  • Sustainable food systems and agriculture
  • Energy transitions and climate action
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Sustainable consumption and production (including the circular economy, chemicals, waste)


The REAL DEAL specific objetives are:

    1. Provide an analysis and selection of meaningful, effective, representative, inclusive, gender-sensitive, youth sensitive and impactful citizens’ participation and deliberation criteria, processes, concepts and formats in the EGD and its wider sustainable development objectives.
    2. Build collaboration from a large spectrum of CSOs, researchers and policymakers and other stakeholders across Europe on deliberation of different areas of EGD and its wider sustainable development objectives.
    3. Test and validate innovations in deliberative tools, formats and processes across the EU and its neighbourhood related to topics relevant for the EGD involving representative samples of citizens from all cross-sections of society with a specific focus on marginalised and vulnerable groups, gender equality and youth.
    4. Evaluate the success of tested innovations in deliberative tools, formats and processes and elaborate recommendations of meaningful, effective, representative, inclusive, gender-sensitive, youth sensitive and impactful citizen’s and CSOs participation and deliberation.
    5. Inform, engage, and build capacity of citizens and other stakeholders on the EGD and its wider sustainable development objectives as well as the deliberative processes implemented in this project.

Project partner

The REAL DEAL research project involves:

  • Researchers and practitioners of deliberative democracy: transdisciplinary sustainability studies, participatory democracy, environmental rights and the law of public participation, ethics and responsible innovation, gender studies and ecofeminism, psychology, geography, urban planning.
  • EUs largest civil society networks advocating on the environment, climate, sustainable development, local democracy and the European movement.  Youth climate, social justice and women’s organisations mobilising networks with thousands of CSOs, uniting millions of citizens and activating contacts to thousands of policymakers.

The list of partners is:

  • European Environmental Bureau [EEB]
  • Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies [IASS]
  • Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenible [ASviS]
  • Association des Agences de Démocratie Locale [ALDA]
  • Central European University [CEU]
  • Climate Action Network (Europe) [CAN]
  • Dialogik [DIA]
  • European Movement International [EMI]
  • Global Climate Forum [GCF]
  • Nyt Europa [NE]
  • Technische Universität Berlin [TUB]
  • Trilateral Research [TRI]
  • Wageningen Research [WR]
  • Women Engage for a Common Future [WECF]
  • Youth Environment Europe [YEE]

You can find out more about each partner here.