Culture of participation

stakeholder participation looks different from country to country across Europe.

1. Culture of participation

Different European countries have different cultures of public participation ranging from "leave it to the paid experts" to highly organised citizen-led initiatives that can go on for months or years protesting an initiative planned by the local, regional or national government.

An attempt to make a sudden "culture shift" to a form of stakeholder participation that's completely foreign to your citizens will not likely be very successful, but you can start to identify important stakeholders and begin building up relationships with them so that you can begin to gain from their knowledge and local expertise.

As noted earlier, you need to be clear about the aim for participation and those who do participate should be able to see some concrete effects of their input. It may also take time for a relationship of trust to develop (on both sides).