Joint press release with the Federal Ministry for the Environment

Wanted: success stories in civic participation!

Contest for exemplary civic participation kicks off

Zuhörer sitzen in einem Veranstaltungssaal in StuhreihenClick to enlarge
Early on, open-ended and transparent - the characteristics of good public participation.
Source: Anton Gvozdikov /

The contest seeking excellence in civic participation projects - Ausgezeichnet! – Wettbewerb für vorbildliche Bürgerbeteiligung kicks off today. It is the first time that the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB) and the German Environment Agency (UBA) are looking for projects, strategies and arrangements nationwide that are examples of good civic participation. Federal Environment Minister Hendricks is looking forward to an enthusiastic response.

Minister Hendricks said: “Well-executed civic participation strengthens our democracy. Citizen dialogue and new formats of community participation can help to find better policy solutions. Whether participation in project, strategies or law-making – get involved and show us what civic participation is and how well it can work!“

The newly launched competition by BMUB and UBA aims to make a contribution to the further development and strengthening of civic participation processes. The competition is aimed at project sponsors, ministries or local authorities which have implemented exemplary civic participation processes, particularly in the areas of building, urban planning and environment. The deadline for the submission of entries is 31 March 2018.

In a two-step procedure, a jury of interdisciplinary experts will select the best civic participation projects in three categories (projects, strategies and arrangements). Support for the expert jury comes from a citizen jury and an online survey which will bring both the experts' opinion and the civilian perspective to bear on the selection of the winners. Citizens are called upon to nominate the projects they consider exemplary and which will thereby be entered into the competition.

In addition to prizes in the three categories mentioned, there will also be a special prize awarded for special innovative approaches. The winning projects will be awarded at a joint congress held by BMUB and UBA in late 2018.


  • Dr. Volker Brennecke, Association of German Engineers
  • Dr. Brigitte Dahlbender, State chair, BUND Baden-Württemberg
  • Franz- Reinhard Habbel, German Association of Towns and Municipalities
  • Prof. Dr. Moreen Heine, Junior Professor of Business Informatics, Potsdam University
  • Dr. Klaus Ritgen, Association of German Counties
  • Petra Laitenberger, Association of German Cities
  • Claudine Nierth, Mehr Demokratie e.V.
  • Hanns-Jörg Sippel, Stiftung Mitarbeit (Foundation for the Development of Democracy)
  • Apl. Prof. Dr. Jutta Stender-Vorwachs LL.M. (Virginia), Faculty of Law, Leibniz Universität Hannover
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 civic engagement