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Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy

We provide services, guidance and tools to support the development of socially robust policy through citizen engagement practices.

Page | Last updated: 30 Jun 2022

About the Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy

The main aim of the Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy is to support the development of socially robust policy through citizen engagement. 

In 2019, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen prioritized “a new push for European democracy” to “strengthen the links between people, nations and institutions in Europe” (Political guidelines for the next European Commission 2019-2024, PDF, page 3). As part of this commitment, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) is working to implement participatory and deliberative practices in science and policy, recognizing that expert knowledge may not be enough to address citizens’ concerns and complex governance issues. 

Strengthening EU Democracy

Democracy is a core European value. Democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights are the foundations on which the European Union is based. But democracy in the EU and in its Member States is faced with challenges: a growing distance between citizens and elected representatives, a loss in trust in European institutions, the rise of extremism and increasing political polarisation. The EU is responding to these challenges through a number of policies and actions to strengthen ties between citizens, EU institutions and Member States. To support these actions, there is a need for new tools and methodologies to equip the European Commission and other EU institutions to ensure inclusiveness and shared visioning in policy. 

We are advancing innovation in this area at the citizen-science-policy interface by researching participatory and deliberative methods across different levels of governance. At EU institutional level we are developing the scaffolding to facilitate these processes in-house, with guidance, training, tools and other resources. 

Our objectives are to:

  • Enrich the EU knowledge base on participatory and deliberative practices 
  • Provide guidance for researchers and policymakers  
  • Build capacity in citizen engagement and participatory governance 
  • Implement diverse perspectives in policymaking from practitioners in the field, civil society organisations and citizens 
  • Develop and experiment with new public spaces for citizen engagement 
  • Foster our Community of Practice (CoP) on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy in continuing to share knowledge on best practices in the field and build on these insights for  more participatory governance models in the EU and beyond.

The Competence Centre is a tangible contribution to the Commission’s priority 6: New push for European Democracy, and supports cross-cutting policy initiatives including the communication COM(2022) 404 Conference on the Future of Europe: Putting vision into action, the European Democracy Action Plan, the Conference on the Future of Europe and the EU Missions.


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