Municipal citizen participation in Lusatia

AUTHORJulian Kilchling, Katja Treichel, Prof. Dr. Gesine Schwan

Especially in the context of the coal phase-out and the associated structural change process in Lusatia, participation at the municipal level can play an important role. By facilitating the effective participation of local citizens, municipal participation can not only strengthen acceptance for the transformation, but also for representative democracy as a whole.

In a number of municipalities in Lusatia, various participation formats have already been tried out and in some cases consolidated. These processes were initiated by various actors, such as committed mayors, but also by civil society organizations and actors from the business community. In the context of a qualitative study, these already implemented municipal participation processes in Lusatia were evaluated together with representatives of individual municipalities and opportunities and challenges for municipal participation in the context of structural change were filtered out. The key question was which formats are best suited to promote long-term municipal development in Lusatia and participation that increases self-efficacy, while at the same time integrating them coherently into overarching contexts, obligations and agreements.

The results were stored online in a participation atlas accessible to the general public (available at The report compliments the interactive participation atlas and summarizes central statements of the study.