We present exemplary political work from all over Europe to you – submitted to the Innovation in Politics Awards and from other sources.



(WINNER 2019) Building trust between people and politics by connecting participatory and representative democracy.

Trust is one of the most essential values in life. It is impossible to connect, create, love or develop without trust. As a politician, one meets many people over the years who do not have any trust in politics, politicians, or even in other people. That is the main reason the Cooperative Council in Oosterpark, Groningen, was conceived and realised. The primary goal was to rebuild trust between politicians and citizens.

This project has made a difference on various levels: by letting residents and city councillors sit shoulder-to-shoulder on the Cooperative Council, conversations took a positive turn; sharing responsibility coloured the dialogue in a way that would not be possible without connecting participatory democracy (active citizens) with our representative democracy (elected representatives). Citizens were randomly selected to encourage a variety of people to join. The Cooperative Council is monitored by the University of Groningen, which has found a collective rise in levels of trust, increased voting turnout and indicators of a tighter-knit community.

Project Owner

Wieke Paulusma

City councillor Groningen