Participatory Lab, #EURegionsWeek: What does it take to mainstream citizen engagement and deliberative democracy?

Participatory Lab, #EURegionsWeek: What does it take to mainstream citizen engagement and deliberative democracy?


We are organizing an online Participatory Lab during the upcoming #EURegionsWeek (October 11-14, 2021). The session will take place on October 13th at 11:30 until 13:00 (CET)

Our session focuses on institutional challenges to co-creation encountered by public institutions, and on the kind of institutional work that is needed to introduce changes in the ways organizations work and policies are designed. You can register here.

The Participatory Lab aims to engage participants in the conversation and to co-create joint outcomes to mainstream participatory practices within public institutions.

The speakers of the session include representatives from the municipalities of Maribor (Slovenia), Regalbuto (Italy) and Valongo (Portugal), respectively Mr. Klemen Risto Bizjak, Mrs. Medea Ferrigno and Mr. José Ferreira. Mr. Karl-Heinz Lambertz (President of the German Speaking Community, Belgium) will be closing the session.

The session sits in the context of BiodiverCities, a pilot project that aims to improve civil society participation in planning and decision-making with respect to urban biodiversity and nature at large. 

The associated partners of the session, representing six of the twelve cities we collaborate with within BiodiverCities, are:

  • The National Green Roof Association, Serbia
  • Comune di Regalbuto/Municipality of Regalbuto, Italy
  • Mestna občina Maribor/City of Maribor, Slovenia
  • Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (FCUL/FCiencias.ID)
  • Câmara Municipal de Valongo/Municipality of Valongo, Portugal
  • Vilnius University, Lithuania

Do not forget to register:


Currently, there is a hype of institutional interest on citizen engagement and deliberative democracy practices as ways to address contemporary challenges of democratic practice. Yet, the institutionalization of such practices is still in its infancy. The challenges encountered by public institutions and practitioners on the ground, need to be properly addressed for citizen engagement to be mainstreamed across policymaking institutions. The Lab aims to address this uncharted yet pivotal issue by sharing first-hand experiences from BiodiverCities, a project about greening cities with citizens.

During the first part of the session, Mr. Klemen Risto Bizjak, Mrs. Medea Ferrigno and Mr. José Ferreira, civil servants respectively representing the cities of Maribor, Regalbuto and Valongo, will share their view on the issue.

Secondly, in the spirit of participation, the Lab aims to co-create with participants’ a joint proposal on how to move public participation beyond good intentions within institutions. Group discussions in break-out rooms will follow: they will be dedicated to identify institutional challenges encountered by participants and to collectively address the following question: what can be done?

Finally, Mr. Lambertz, President of the German speaking community of Belgium, will share his experience, moving from the Ostbelgien model of deliberation. 

This Lab is organized under the assumption that engaging citizens in the policymaking process may lead to enhance the overall quality of policy outcomes.

Registration link:


Online Event