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Boosting civic engagement - The role of participatory budgeting


Boosting civic engagement -  The role of participatory budgeting


Citizens’ participation remains a great challenge to democracies across Europe, especially given the rise of populism and voter disillusionment in recent years. Hence, many cities have developed new tools to boost citizen engagement, such as 'participatory budgeting'.

Participatory budgeting aims to involve citizens in decision-making around the uses of municipal budgets. It is a process whereby local authorities give residents the opportunity to voice their opinions and propose ideas about the allocation of funds within their cities. The tool aims to bring democracy closer to citizens, helping them become actors of change.

However, critics argue that although participatory budgeting across Europe has boosted civic engagement, it has not yet brought much diversity nor a wider range of views to the pool of participants. A major challenge lies in ensuring maximum inclusivity and encouraging all citizens to engage in local political processes.

In the context of the H2020 project DEMOTEC, join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss the opportunities and challenges participatory budgeting offers to strengthen democracy in European cities. Questions to be discussed include:

- Can projects like DEMOTEC make a material difference in encouraging citizen participation?
- How to help local authorities develop participatory budgeting?
- How can the pool of participants be expanded so that a wide range of views is represented?
- What can be done on a European level to support these local initiatives?

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement no 962553.

This website reflects only the author’s view and the Research Executive Agency or European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


Supported by:




Katja Reppel, Head of Unit, Democracy and European Values, DG RTD, European Commission
Elisa Lironi, Programme Director - European Democracy, European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)
András Farkas, Strategic Director, PONT Group
Marlène Siméon, Director of Operations, CEMR

Presentation of the project:

Fernando Mendez, Senior Researcher, Cyprus University of Technology & University of Zurich


Jennifer Baker
Journalist, EURACTIV


09:30 - 09:35 Welcome
09:35 - 09:40 Presentation of the project
09:40 - 09:55 Introductory statements
09:55 - 10:40 Discussion and Q&A
10:40 - 10:45 Closing statements


Elisa Collomp
+32 (0) 2 788 36 86

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