On the 19th and 20th of October in the Aula Magna of University of Milano “La Statale” it took place a prototype of a sortition based citizens assembly on topics related to Social Parenthood.
Below you find the full program and everything you need to know about the Assembly and the topic.
THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER – FORMATIVE DAY
8.00 – 8.30: REGISTRATION OF PARTICIPANTS
8.40-8.45: WELCOME GREETINGS:
Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan
Prof. Ssa Marilisa D’amico
Marco Cappato, Co-president of Eumans
Filomena Gallo, Secretary General of Associazione Luca Coscioni
9.15 – 9.30: Samuele Nannoni And Lorenzo Mineo: CIVIC ASSEMBLY AND RULES OF WORK
9.30 – 9.50: Francesca Re And Alessia Cicatelli: CHOICE OF THEMES AND PRESENTATION OF THE SESSIONS
10.00 – 10.40: SESSION 1 – ADOPTIONS. Moderated by Chiara Ronzani (journalist)
Irene Pellizzone – Associate Professor of Italian and supranational public law at the University of Milan;
Melita Cavallo – Former president of the Juvenile Court of Rome
Marina Mengarelli – Sociologist
Monya Ferritti – President of CARE Coordination – Coordination of adoptive and foster family associations
10.45 – 11.25: SESSION 2 – ASSISTED REPRODUCTION. Moderated by Sonia Montegiove (journalist)
Benedetta Liberali, – Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Milan and cassation lawyer
Filomena Gallo – Supreme Court lawyer and National Secretariat of the Luca Coscioni Association for freedom of scientific research
Marilisa D’Amico – Vice-Rector and Full Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Milan, Supreme Court lawyer
Benedetta Vimercati – Associate Professor of Italian and supranational public law at the University of Milan
Filippo Ubaldi – Former President of the Italian Society of Fertility and Sterility, Gynecologist and Scientific Medical Director of the Genera group and Clinical Director of the Genera Roma, Genera Veneto and Genera Napoli centers
11.30 – 11.45: COFFEE BREAK
11.45 – 12.35: SESSION 3 – PREGNANCY FOR OTHERS. Moderated by Chiara Lalli (journalist)
Silvia Mazzoni – Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Dynamic Psychology and Health at Sapienza University of Rome
Massimo Clara – Lawyer of the Milan Bar
Stefano Bissaro – Researcher in Italian and supranational public law, University of Milan
Carlo Bulletti – Former President of the Italian Society of Fertility, Sterility and Reproductive Medicine (SIFES-MR) and Associate Professor Adjunt Dept Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science. Yale University, New Haven (Ct), USA
Francesca Re – Lawyer and PhD in Criminal Law, University of Rome, Tor Vergata
12.35 – 13.20: SESSION 4 – RECOGNITION OF THE LEGAL STATUS OF THE CHILD. Moderated by Alessandra Pellegrini De Luca (journalist)
Alessia Cicatelli – Lawyer and member of the Board of Associazione Coscioni
Gianni Baldini – Lawyer, Associate Professor (qualified) of Private Law and professor of Biolaw, he carries out research at the Universities of Florence and Siena
Alberto Gambino – Full Professor of Private Law and Vice Rector at the European University of Rome. President of the Scienza&Vita Association and of the Italian Academy of the Internet Code (IAIC)
13.15-14.00: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
**All presentations has been in Italian, but there was a simultaneous translation to English available for participants from abroad**
FRIDAY 20 OCTOBER – DELIBERATIVE DAY
8.30 – 9.00: REGISTRATION
9.30 – 10.30: Working groups
10.30 – 10.45: COFFEE BREAK
10.45 – 12.15: Working groups
12.15 – 13.00: PLENARY – PRESENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUBSEQUENT VOTE
13.00 – 13.30: PLENARY – PRESENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND VOTES
**Participants from abroad joined a dedicated working table facilitated in English**
What is a Civic Assembly
The Civic Assembly represents the most advanced form of participatory democracy: deliberative democracy. It is a process through which citizens arrive at policy proposals on issues of public interest, from climate to social justice to civil rights. Its members, who sit in this temporary decision-making body alongside elected institutions at various levels of government, are selected by statistical draw with the aim of forming a representative sample of society. During the work, participants learn in depth about the issues to be addressed, listen to experts and various stakeholders. Then they deliberate collectively and finally formulate recommendations and proposals that are addressed to the authorities.
Why social parenthood?
Social parenting is the expression with which we mean all those forms of non-biological parenting, but deriving from the use of various techniques including, just by way of example, assisted fertilization with heterologous technique and pregnancy for others. This is a complex subject on which it is important to provide both scientific and legal information, addressing its various angles. Thanks to the in-depth analysis and reflection of experts, the Civic Assembly aims to submit recommendations and proposals to Italian and/or European institutions.
Who does organize the Assembly?
The Assembly, funded by the European Union, is co-organized by Eumans, a pan-European movement of popular initiative, which has made innovation in democracy the heart of its activities, and by the Associazione Luca Coscioni for the freedoms of scientific research, which in Milan on 21 and 22 October will hold its XX National Congress to celebrate 20 years of activity in the field of civil rights and scientific research and has the patronage of the University of Milan
The University of Milan and the Association of Social Promotion Prossima Democrazia are also tacking part of in the project.
Random selection of participants
The Civic Assembly aims to match the demographic and socio-statistical profile of the community. For this reason, among the criteria for its composition there are – by way of example and not exhaustive – age, gender, place of residence, ethnicity, social group, etc. The goal is to create an assembly that, on a small scale, can “think, feel, reason and act like the rest of society” (Van Reybrouck). A “small society”; “Minipublic”, as the British call it. The size of the group should allow a wide variety of points of view to be included.
Drawing of lots for deliberative participants
Registration closed on Saturday 30 September, thus designating the participants of the first day. Through the support of the Sortition Foundation, we have activated a sampling of registered in order to have an audience as representative as possible from a socio-statistical and demographic point of view, based on the following criteria: gender, age class, area of residence, level of education, professional status, belonging to ethnic minorities, degree of prior knowledge of the topic addressed by the Civic Assembly and initial degree of propensity towards the theme itself, on a scale of 1 to 5 between very unfavorable and very favorable. In this way, the number of people who will take part in the second deliberative day of the Civic Assembly is extracted from the participants on the first day. Random extracts are contacted by e-mail and telephone during the first days of October.
Participants’ working table
The 50 random draws, on the day dedicated to the deliberation activity of 20 October, work in thematic groups. Each group will address one of the topics and then:
- A table on assisted reproduction
- A table on pregnancy for others
- A table on the institution of adoptions
- A table on the circulation of filiation status
Each working table, on the basis of what emerged in the panels of the previous day, will compare and with the help of a facilitator will hypothesize the text of the recommendations, related to the theme assigned to its specific table.
In order to guarantee a better and more complete experience, both from a human point of view but also from a content point of view, we foresee the production of ad hoc documents that will be sent before the October appointment to the participants in the experiment. Participants will also receive videos in which, experts or interested parties, will explain the topics covered and possibly their experience on the subject.
Who are the facilitators
Facilitators are people who have already had experience in facilitating and moderating tables and working groups. Their task is to accompany the participants along the path of discussion and deliberation, taking care that everyone has equal opportunities to express themselves and that there are no abuses of one citizen over another. The facilitator accompanies the participants in their work of study and deliberation, without leaving the role of “super partes” arbitrator.
Deliberation of recommendations
At the end of the group work, each group will have produced recommendations that will be presented in plenary to be first discussed and possibly reformulated and then voted. The Assembly will have to make recommendations and policy proposals, which will then be approved by vote.
Voting on the recommendations on a digital platform
The recommendations elaborated by the Assembly will be made available to a wider audience of voters through a digital platform. The individual recommendations, preceded by an introductory and explanatory text, will be presented in a clear and concise manner, respectful of the form in which they were expressed by the Assembly and accompanied by illustrative elements of the various positions, so that they can be the subject of individual deliberation before the vote. The vote can be expressed with a binary Yes / No option, or through the use of intermediate modalities with graduation scales that allow to grasp median positions. The results, accompanied by a comment text and consultation statistics, must be available on the same platform as the vote.
Closure of the works. Reading the recommendations
After the vote and any amendments, the final text of the recommendations will be drawn up and read.
Transparency of work
The works will be streamed and will be recorded and made available for the future: they will thus represent a testimony from which civil society organizations, institutions and all citizens will be able to draw.
The works are also open to the public, until the maximum capacity of the room is reached. It will therefore also be possible to follow the work in presence, without actively taking part, subject to prior announcement of one’s presence by sending an email to the firstname.lastname@example.org address with the subject: Pre-announcement of the presence as an observer of the Civic Assembly drawn by lot in matters of social parenting.
Promotion of results
Once the final recommendations have been drawn up, the Assembly will submit them to the Italian and European institutions. The aim is to identify common bases that, within the limits of the competences of the Member States, can effectively guarantee a minimum protection – common to the various EU countries – of the interests involved, especially with a view to protecting the best interests of minors.
The European project “Transnational European Assembly”
This Assembly is part of an overall framework of trans-European assemblies within the framework of the EU-funded project “Transnational European Assembly” and coordinated by European Alternatives, which has seen similar deliberative experiences organized by other countries. You can have a look at the outputs of the Transnational Assembly on end of life decisions (Brussels) and the presentation of the Transneuropean Assemblies Project by Niccolò Milanese (Founding Director of European Alternatives) and Ophélie Masson (Deputy Director of European Alternatives).
* The random civic assembly on social parenting is funded by the European Union. In any case, the views and opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. The European Union cannot be held responsible for these.