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Consensus-Oriented Dialogue

Experiences from “HZG in Dialogue” in Geesthacht
  • Silke FreitagEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Energiepolitik und Klimaschutz. Energy Policy and Climate Protection book series (EPKS)

Abstract

Nuclear power and waste have consistently been historically conflict-laden political issues. In seeking collective solutions the city of Geesthacht is an example of the possibilities of participatory and consensus-oriented dialogue. In 2012 in a political climate of mistrust, the HZG decided to involve neighbors, politicians and environmental groups in a dialogue seeking sought to dismantle the nuclearresearch- reactor. Whoever wanted to take part in the dialogue was welcome. When some environmental groups rejected participating due to previous negative experiences, the HZG endeavoured to understand their reasons and respected their concerns by asking the question: “What would need to be in place for you to participate?”. Based on the answers the HZG decided to ask a facilitator, who is known to be involved in the anti-nuclear-power movement. The process started with a pre-dialogue-period and with every meeting more people joined the process. The dialogue-group took the time needed until November 2013 when they published a guideline for “HZG in dialogue”. This framework includes agreements on inviting experts, agenda-setting and media - in essence making collective decisions. The dialogue-group has been discussing many topics and considered alternative options and possible solutions. Experts were only invited to provide information if a consensus was reached on their trustworthiness. Transparency is important – as well as confidentiality. The press is not invited during dialogue- meetings although press-releases are published as well as every expert’s report.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mediator “HZG in dialogue”BuchholzGermany

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