The idea to let citizens directly decide certain issues arose during the 2014 negotiations for the Amsterdam city council coalition. Bart Cosijn and Yvette Jeuken were enthusiastic: “The coalition didn’t make it, but this idea was really good,” says Cosijn. A year later, the Amsterdam Burgertop was realized: “The aim is to let people influence subjects they feel are important, even if those people are not usually involved in politics.”
In an initiative partially supported by the city, 250 engaged Amsterdam citizens met on June 6, 2015, in the Zuiderkerk. They discussed a wide range of topics at 35 different tables. Today, citizens are executing some of the resulting plans. Other plans, which require political involvement, will be presented to the city council, to district councils or to the Mayor and Executive Board.

Cosijn sees the Burgertop as a useful addition to the current political system. The Democracy & Media Foundation supports this fine, independent initiative of involved Amsterdam citizens who are concerned with local democracy. The initiative aims for democratic innovation and an increased involvement of citizens. Hence, Burgertop perfectly matches our objective of ‘democratic innovation’.