Confidence in Citizens
Policymakers need to be more open to citizens who do something for society. Civic engagement is very important for a democracy that wishes to move with the times. It is therefore essential for policymakers to think more from the perspective of the citizens and to have confidence in them and give them the room to demonstrate their engagement, the WRR concludes in its report Confidence in citizens (Report no. 88, 2012).
Principles of an effective policy for civic involvement
Citizens are willing to do things for society far more than is generally thought. With a study of the literature and field work, the WRR explored ways and means of increasing civic involvement. They include consulting citizens more on policy, developing new forms of social participation by citizens (including disadvantaged groups) and welcoming public initiatives.
National policy is essential to create the right conditions
The key to successful civic involvement lies in trust: trust by policymakers in citizens and by citizens in policymakers. Local authorities and civil-society institutions have an important role to play in promoting civic involvement in practice, but they are powerless without national policy to create the right conditions.