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UfU: Strengthening Electronic Participation Rights in Environmental Protection in the European Union (Aarhus-Strong)

The overall objective of the project “Aarhus-Strong” is 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. 

This country report analyses the status of Digital Public Participation in Estonia, Germany, Slovenia, Spain and Hungary. The study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on digital public participation, as this has led in particular to the digitisation of face-to-face public hearings. The study also focuses on the design of EIA portals or comparable online services. The results show that the degree of digitisation of the EIA portals varies greatly in the countries examined. Effective participation is hardly possible in some cases, although the rights of the Aarhus Convention apply to all EU citizens. 

The result of the project will be the creation of an innovative and practice-orientated participation guide presenting EIA portals and good practice examples from EU and non-EU countries, which can be used as guidelines and inspiration for European environmental administrations and other stakeholders. 

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