The EU in BiH has launched the Citizens’ Assembly, an innovative model of deliberative democracy, which offers a unique opportunity for citizens in BiH to directly express their views on constitutional and electoral reform, to recommend concrete solutions for elimination of the discriminatory provisions in the BiH Constitution as well as for improvement of the Election Law. This process is based on two rounds of sortition, practice of random selection of citizens as a representative sample of a country’s population. During the preparatory phase of the process a team of local and international experts and the independent company specialized in polling representative samples of the BiH population (IPSOS) jointly developed the methodology for random selection of citizens’ and completed the first round of sortition. The letter signed by the EU, the US and OSCE Ambassadors in BiH was sent to 4,000 randomly selected households in BiH, inviting citizens to express their interest in participating in the Citizens’ Assembly.
The second round of random selection of citizens was held on Thursday, 4 November 2021 in Sarajevo, at the International Center for Children and Youth in Grbavica. Among those who applied to participate in the Citizens’ Assembly in BiH, the final group of a total of 57 members was randomly selected with the help of computer software and a draw. In order to ensure the impartiality and transparency of the process, unique registration codes were used instead of names, which citizens entered when applying for participation. The selection took into account the demographic characteristics of the group with regard to gender, age, residence and ethnic or national affiliation.
EU Ambassador to BiH Johann Sattler, US Ambassador to BiH Eric Nelson and Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Dmitry Iordanidi spoke at the event, stressing the importance of involving citizens in the Constitutional and Electoral reform process and encouraging BiH authorities to monitor the work of the Citizens’ Assembly and consider their recommendations.