‘Citizens’ participation’ is a fashionable political concept, but one that increasingly means all things to all people. It is time to reclaim ‘participation’ from those who would use it simply to legitimise existing political institutions. This issue of Eurotopia explores different models of participatory democracy in Europe.
Since 2002, the number of municipalities across Europe which have taken up participatory budgeting in some form has grown from just a handful to well over 150. Yet the nature – and success – of the schemes varies widely.