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The current debate on citizen participation in the public domain shows that European citizens are no longer just considered as passive service users. Indeed, increasingly we are seeing greater involvement of citizens in service delivery. Therefore, it is timely to ask citizens a new question. What role do they play and are they prepared to play in the delivery of those public services which matter most to them?
In order to get some quantitative information on the role of citizens in delivering public services, the French Ministry of Budget, Public Finance and Public Services commissioned this scientific report, based on a survey of European citizens undertaken by Governance International and Tns-Sofres in 2008. The survey was complemented by focus groups with professionals and representatives of NGOs involved in public service delivery, which allowed us to capture the views of service providers on this issue as well.
You have several choices on how to read this report, depending on how much time you have available:
If you only have 5 minutes you should read the Executive Summary which gives you an overview of the main results of the citizen survey.
If you have about 30 minutes you can read the full report which provides you with more details on how and why citizens take an active part in providing solutions through „co-production‟ and what public agencies can do to co-operate with citizens and service users more effectively.
If you are interested in the questionnaire, the results to specific questions and the findings of the focus group sessions focusing on the views of public service professionals and representatives of NGOs on the role of citizens in improving community safety, the local environment and health you should read the annex to the report which can be downloaded in pdf format at www.5qualiconference.eu.