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The austerity dialogue in Zeist: How the Municipality of Zeist harnesses the ideas of ‘citizen-experts’


Like many other municipalities in Europe the City of Zeist in the Netherlands was faced with the challenge of achieving budget savings. Based on the belief that citizens have expertise, experience and skills to find new solutions, the City of Zeist launched a citizen engagement process to close a fiscal gap of €6m. During a period of three months, two hundred ‘citizen experts’ discussed new solutions related to eight topics, based on their personal expertise. As a result of this targeted co-commissioning process, ninety-five per cent of all citizen proposals were adopted by the local council without changes.

About this case study
Main Contact

Arno Schepers
Founding Father of the Austerity Dialogue 

Tom Overmans
Assistant Professor Utrecht University School of Governance
Role in case study: Member of the Research Support Team
Phone: 0031 30 253 9302

Tom Overmans and Arno Schepers wrote this case study in June 2015.

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