Grenoble Citizen Interpellation Mechanism



Type of experience

participatory planning consultation, vote, referendums


governance and transparency local development civic responsibility


SDG 16

The City of Grenoble has set up a Citizen Interpellation Mechanism to enable them to play an active part in the city's political and public life.


  • Reinforce the dynamism and interest of citizens in public affairs
  • Strengthen dialogue between citizens and the municipality


People over 16 living in Grenoble


Grenoble is the central municipality of the second-largest urban area in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region (after Lyon), and the third-largest in the region (behind Lyon and Saint-Étienne). Its conurbation of 450,000 inhabitants is also the largest metropolis in the Alps, earning it the nickname 'Capital of the Alps' in France. 


Between 2016 and 2018, the City of Grenoble experimented with a citizens' interpellation and voting mechanism. In a resolution passed on 14 June 2021, it launched a three-tier citizens' interpellation system: citizens' initiative mediation, citizens' initiative workshops and citizens' initiative voting. This approach is part of a political commitment to annual evaluation, involving the residents concerned and aiming for continuous learning and development.

The people of Grenoble contact the city informally to put a public issue on the agenda or to ask for decisions to be changed, rejected or created. These requests take various forms: letters, demonstrations, petitions, press articles or telephone calls. The City of Grenoble considers these requests to be signs of the dynamism and interest shown by residents in public affairs, which are essential to an active and vibrant local democracy.

Responding to the thousands of requests from residents every year is an important task, one that is constantly being adapted to achieve the objectives of fairness, efficiency and transparency.

To submit or support a collective interpellation, people must be at least 16 years old at the time of submission and a resident of Grenoble or pay property tax (individuals or companies). 



For a collective interpellation to be admissible, the subject of the proposal must

  • Be legal
  • Not be discriminatory or defamatory in its wording.
  • Fall within the competences of the municipality
  • Be of collective interest (not of particular interest). 

Against this backdrop, the City is experimenting with three schemes for dealing with collective citizens' concerns (citizens' initiative mediation, citizens' initiative workshops and citizens' initiative voting). 


  • Citizens' initiative mediation

Initially, an introductory meeting between the representatives of the request and the mediation service. An initial meeting is then organised between representatives of the request, the departments and the elected representative(s) concerned, during the month following verification of the request's support. This is followed by a period of work (2 months maximum) to flesh out the ideas put forward and/or gather additional information from both sides. Finally, a second meeting is held between representatives of the application, elected representatives and the technicians involved.


At the end of this mediation period, a report prepared jointly by the City and the citizen representatives of the request is published on the City's website.

The representatives of the request can continue their mobilisation campaign to gather more support after the end of the citizens' initiative mediation.


If the number of 50 supporters is reached within one month of the proposal being published online, the City's departments will check 20% of the support, certifying the proposal and initiating the citizens' initiative mediation process. 


  • Citizens' initiative workshop

An initial group of 25 citizens of Grenoble drawn by lot according to criteria of parity, age, level of education, nationality and geographical area.


An initial meeting is organised between the representatives of the request and the local democracy mission to prepare the citizens' initiative workshop. This is followed by the implementation of the citizens' initiative workshop, over three working sessions spread over a maximum of three months, following a format inspired by project workshops. As with the project workshops, the City undertakes to set out in detail in a deliberation what it decides following the report, and to carry out a progress review one year later. 


If the number of 1,000 supporters is reached within 3 months of the end of the mediation process, a check is carried out by the City's departments on 5% of the supporters, certifying the proposal and initiating the citizens' initiative workshop process.


  • Citizens' initiative votation

If, within 12 months of the online publication of the conclusions of the citizens' initiative mediation, the number of supporters reaches the equivalent of 5% of the population of Grenoble, a verification by the City's services of 3% of the supporters is carried out to certify the proposal. The mayor can then put the organisation of a public consultation on the proposal raised on the agenda of the city council.


These consultations involve public debates, including adversarial debates between the City and the representatives of the citizens' proposal; information on the City's website and in municipal establishments or on public notice boards. The voting procedures can be varied and adapted to the subject: majority decision, multiple choice, prioritisation of proposals, etc.


If the citizens' proposal receives more than the majority of votes, and a number at least equivalent to 10% of the population of Grenoble, the mayor may propose a resolution to the city council incorporating the results of the consultation. Whatever the outcome of the citizens' vote, it may give rise to a debate at the city council to specify any follow-up action. 


(Re)discover the IOPD interview with Annabelle Bretton, Deputy Mayor for Popular Education, Youth, Associative Life and Participatory Democracy at Grenoble City Council: 


Sources of information (in French):