Participatory tools and models for stronger EU engagement

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Submitted by Andrea Judit Toth on

Participatory tools and models for stronger EU engagement

New research paper from ECNL presents an overview on emerging tools and models to help safeguard citizen participation at the EU level.

Over the past two decades, there has been increasing interest in exploring governance innovations and testing new models of public engagement. Inspirational tools and ideas that promote public participation can now be found everywhere across the European Union (EU) and beyond. A new report from the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) showcases how emerging tools and methods can be used to enhance public engagement at the EU level and in Member States. A central motivation to the report is to reflect on how we can gather a broad spectrum of perspectives from people and civil society organisations (CSOs) to ensure more inclusive policymaking.

The paper presents an overview of the key safeguards of participation at the EU level, including the legal and policy framework ensuring the inclusion of marginalised groups. With a specific focus on online platforms and gamification, it also presents their key characteristics, benefits and challenges, and how EU institutions and Member States may use them to support public participation. The paper also explores other examples that can promote the engagement of the members of society, including facilitation tools, university programmes and living labs, social media platforms and hybrid forms of participation. It highlights examples from at least 12 countries, including Portugal, Hungary, Finland, The Netherlands, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Spain, Kosovo, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the United States. Finally, the research proposes recommendations for EU bodies, state institutions, CSOs, companies and academia to strengthen meaningful participation in decision-making at the EU as well as on the national level.

ECNL hopes that the experiences and recommendations outlined in the paper will facilitate further discussions and lead to more inclusive decision-making in the EU and beyond.

Visit ECNL’s website to read the full research paper here:

The research was prepared within the framework of the ParticipatiON Project, funded by the European Union. Aligned with Article 10(3) of the Treaty on European Union, the ParticipatiON project seeks to empower people and civil society organisations to actively participate in policy processes and identify new opportunities and models that can be applied in EU level policy processes as well as on the national level.

About the Author
Andrea is Senior Communications Manager at the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL). Leading ECNL’s communication portfolio, Andrea ensures the organisation’s consistent comms presence, impact and growth across all channels.