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Morten Graversgaard

Evaluating public participation in Denmark’s water councils: How policy design and boundary judgements affect water governance!

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Under the Water Framework Directive, public participation was identified as a key part of water planning. This caused a
paradigm shift in Danish water planning. Water councils in River Basin Districts were established to provide public input
on how to improve the physical conditions in streams. A study of the water councils found that Denmark has complied
with the requirements of making background information available to the public and ensuring consultation. The facilitation
of the councils’ processes has worked well. However, while they are presented as the ‘new governance option’ in Danish
water planning, this does not accord with reality. The water council processes are limited in scope and controlled by the
central government. Their process can be better characterized as expanded stakeholder consultation, officially part of
the policy process but involving very little active public involvement. The article concludes by indicating the consequences for participation and collaborative innovation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOutlook on Agriculture
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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