Under Construction: Citizen Participation in the European Union

Stefan Bloch, Paul Butcher, Maarten de Groot, Janis A. Emmanouilidis, Dominik Hierlemann, Corina Stratulat

Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung / Gütersloh 05/2022

Download of study


On 9 May 2022, the Conference on the Future of Europe formally came to an end. Europeans were able to participate in debates in an unprecedented way. The Conference has shown that European democracy needs to be more than elections every five years. But how can citizens actually participate in the every-day politics of the EU? How well does citizen participation at the EU-level work and how can it be improved?

The study "Under Construction: Citizen Participation in the European Union" and the corresponding Policy Brief "The Missing Piece: A Participation Infrastructure for EU Democracy", drafted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the European Policy Centre (EPC), take a close look at the EU's current and future participatory system.

Up until now, the EU's participatory system is a patchwork of disconnected instruments. To give citizens a say and deepen democracy, the EU needs to develop a fully-fledged participation infrastructure.

The study itself is based on a representative population survey and, in particular, interviews and a survey among 100 EU decision-makers and EU democracy experts.

Download of Study here

Download of Policy Brief here (Englisch version)

Download of German version of Policy Brief here


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