Bannière publication participation citoyenne

Participatory democracy in Europe

September 2006
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This Guide stems from the “Network of Associations for Promoting Active European Citizenship in the context of Participatory Democracy”, otherwise known as the REACTION project. It aims to support the collective work of a number of European civil society organizations, associations and NGOs in collecting good practices in participatory democracy.

We will begin, therefore, with the concrete organization of this project, and with the partners who have joined it and given it its full European dimension. Their work in collecting participatory and citizen-based experiences has given rise to this Guide, which will put forward a number of success stories. As a preliminary, however, we wished to present to all our readers an introduction to the concept of participatory democracy : to invoke the various modalities which it can take, as well as the principal contributions and strategies which it brings up in reality. A methodological point seems necessary to inform the reader of the conditions governing the collection of case studies and the framework used for their analysis. With these tools, the reader will be able to approach the success stories, which are presented as a diverse collection of synthetic forms. These forms should be seen as a call to look at the structures around these participatory procedures, to make exchanges, and to get inspiration and conceive new and innovative experiments.

All the case studies collected will be the object of a detailed analysis, aiming to provide the keys for a more general comprehension, and to give a sense of perspective to those who work on these matters and those who are interested in them.

European Think Tank Pour la Solidarité On the basis of this analysis, we have tried to articulate a definition ofparticipatory democracy and to present a number of criteria for its success. These criteria, therefore, will determine the paths of action and the recommendations which we make. These recommendations are addressed to a variety of people and structures, associative and institutional, who wish to become actors or to reinforce their action in this form of citizen-based democracy. It is up to us to strengthen it.