Civil society ‘squeezed out’ of policymaking

The barriers to public participation in environmental policymaking are “numerous and growing”, the European Environmental Bureau has warned in a report published on Wednesday

The barriers to public participation in environmental policymaking are “numerous and growing”, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has warned in a report published on Wednesday.

“The space given to civil society in some member states does not reflect the commitments taken with the ratification of the Aarhus Convention,” it said. Public participation is essential for proper environmental protection, it added.

The EEB's most extensive criticism is for the “squeezing out” of civil society through an increase in the regulatory burdens NGOs face, but also more informally through their “discrediting and smearing”. New requirements aim to “distract" and “alienate”, while funding cuts and additional disclosure requirements can threaten their very existence, according to the report.

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