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Stephen Stec, Antoni Abat et al.: Developing Normative Criteria for Meaningful Citizen Participation and Deliberation in Environmental Policy

“The European Green Deal (EGD) represents the most ambitious environmental policy framework in European history,” Stephen Stec, lead researcher of our Environment and Democracy Workgroup, our Post-doctoral Fellow Antoni Abat i Ninet, and co-authors Mark Ryan, Else Giesbers, Rose Heffernan, Anke Stock, Solene Droy, Thomas Blanchet, Agata Gurzawska and Zuzanna Warso write in their article in Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research.

EGD is “aimed at improving the health and well-being of citizens and future generations through climate action and becoming the first climate-neutral region in the world by 2050. The EC has initiated the European Democracy Action Plan and the European Climate Pact to include the participation of citizens in a meaningful way to help achieve these goals (i.e. not simply a tokenistic gesture or box-ticking exercise),” they write.

“While these efforts to ensure greater citizen participation and deliberation in environmental policy are good first steps, there is still a lack of clarity about what meaningful citizen engagement should look like,” they argue.

The paper proposes that “for such efforts to be successful, we need to assess different perspectives in the debate and provide recommendations based on this.” It provides “a systematic review of various approaches within the academic literature on citizen participation and deliberation in environmental policy (ecocentrism, biocentrism, ecomodernism, ecofeminism, environmental pragmatism, environmental citizenship, environmental rights, and environmental justice).”

The authors also provide a list of 16 criteria (in five thematic sections) for policymakers, civil society organizations (CSOs), and society, “to ensure meaningful citizen participation and deliberation.”

Read the full article here.

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