European Observatory on Citizen Participation

Citizen participation refers to the engagement of ordinary citizens, alone or as part of a group, to change and improve their community life. It occurs when citizens attempt to influence policy makers in order to improve the “living well together” principle. The sources of these movements can be multiple: they can be part of institutionalised frameworks; they can be initiated by members of the civil society organisations, or by policy makers themselves. They can also come directly from the citizens in a bottom-up approach.


The European Observatory on Citizen Participation is defined as a platform of information and analysis in line with the organisation’s motto “Understand to act”. It promotes good practices of civil actions in Europe, and is committed to all citizens, from the civil society organisations to policy makers that are willing to inform and act to promote participatory democracy.



Citizenship and Citizen Participation are interlinked: this section focuses on defining the two concepts in the core of this observatory.



The PLS team is composed of members with multicultural and interdisciplinary backgrounds and works in the public space alongside socioeconomic actors, having as its motto: ‘Understand to Act’.