Facilitating participation

Working together with individuals and communities requires flexibility and partnership to succeed. It requires adequate arrangements and processes by which individuals and communities can engage with public authorities and participate in the decisions that affect them.

Participation of the community and individuals concerned is a cornerstone of a joined-up strategy for fundamental rights implementation.

Platforms for participation
Participatory processes require creating mechanisms that empower individuals to participate fully. Such platforms should be inclusive, for example including people with disabilities or marginalised groups so that everybody can be heard on decisions that affect them. For example, access issues such as good public transport and special needs facilities need consideration.

Avoiding mistakes
Civil society organisations and individuals can often be sceptical about participation. They may have the impression that their input has little or no impact as the actual decisions have already been taken. Breaking away from standard ways of working and clear ground rules for participation should help public officials avoid mistakes that can cause individuals to become disengaged and not have their expectations met.