Strengthening electronic participation rights in environmental protection in the European Union - at the same time further developing digital participation within the Aarhus Convention and the European Public Participation Directive (Aarhus-Strong)

Digital Public Participation is a vital element of modern democracy. Especially when it comes to infrastructural projects such as power plants, factories or railway networks, the whole society is affected. The legislation of the European Union (EU) provides for a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), where the public concerned can contribute its needs and expertise. Authorities are obliged to publish information on the planned projects and offer online EIA portals. Yet the implementation of EIA-portals across the EU is quite inconsistent and new opportunities for electronic participation offered by the digital transformation are currently not reflected in participation processes.

The overall objective of the project “Aarhus-Strong” is therefore to strengthen electronic participation practices of member state authorities within the EU. It must be ensured that the environmental administration takes greater account of the expertise, perspectives and proposals for action of the (young) public and environmental associations in the planning and approval of environment-related projects, plans and programs.

In cooperation with our project partner in Slovenia – Pravno-informacijski center nevladnih orga-nizacij / Legal-Informational Centre for NGOs – and three additional project partners in member states within the EU, national challenges in electronic public participation in environmentally relevant planning and approval procedures and the current situation of digital participation in the EU will be analysed. Furthermore, workshops with country experts will be held and a participation guide will be produced.

Furthermore, a contest will be held – the so-called “European Innovation Lab” – which allows young professionals from the EU to bring in their perspectives and proposals and to design a platform that meets the demands and goals of modern digital public participation.

To recalibrate public participation in environmental protection, a creation of digital competencies and capacities within the regulatory authorities is required. Hence the output of the project is to create an innovative practice-oriented participation guide for European environmental authorities. The focus will be on digital formal participation procedures and participation platforms like EIA-portals.

First workshop results of the projectReport of the third Workshop about the state of digital participation and EIA portals in EU Member States

To the workshops of the Aarhus Strong project

European workshop and contest for the (further) development of digital formal participation in the European Union

Event for people interested in digital participation in European Union

Date: 16th of September 2022

Uhrzeit:  10:00am – 01:00pm

Where: Online workshop

Registration: Click here

Workshop “What is the state of digital public participation and EIA portals in EU Member States?”

Event on status quo, good practice and agenda for digital participation in Europe

Date: 5th July 2023

Time:  10:00am – 12:30pm

Where: Online workshop

To access the workshop report click here

European Innovation Lab – A European workshop and contest for the (further) development of digital formal participation in the European Union

We are looking for Young Professionals to work on digital participation platforms of the future! Apply now until the 16th of May to join an international team and take part at our workshops.

Registration Deadline: 16th of May

Conducted: Online

Registration: Apply now