Joint International Economics - UNU-CRIS Breakfast Seminar by Maria Rodriguez Alcázar on What Citizens Do for Regional Organisations (ROs). De Jure Approximation to Citizen Participation in RO Founding Treaties

17 May 2023
Research Seminar

Citizen participation is increasingly recognized as a promoter of effective governments and public services, enhancing policy implementation, increasing responsiveness and effectiveness, and improving transparency and accountability. In the field of Regional Organisations (ROs), this extent translates into the creation of parliamentary bodies, the institutionalization of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and profit-oriented actors, or the creation of other participation mechanisms in RO policymaking processes.

This research develops the theoretical knowledge about citizen participation mechanisms in Regional Organisations. Studies of citizen participation in ROs have been for the most part qualitative and limited to one or two single ROs, which falls short to understand the dynamics taking place in the world. This research addresses this limitation by offering a systematic and comparative study of ROs across the whole world. By combining quantitative and qualitative methods, this research contributes to understanding the mechanism for the participation of citizens in the life of ROs in the world.

This research explores how citizen participation has been historically present in the treaties and agreements of the different ROs in the world in a systematic way, by using a comprehensive database developed by the Comparative Regional Organisations Project (CROP), that collects information about 78 multi-purpose ROs in the and allows for a historical evolution analysis of the dynamics of citizen participation in the treaties from 1945 to 2017. Participation is operationalized in three ways: the electoral process for citizens to select representatives for regional organisation bodies, the recognition of CSO and profit-oriented actors' participation in decision-making processes, and the existence of any other mechanisms for the direct participation of individual citizens in the structure of the regional organisation.

This is a closed event. For further information, please contact Ruben Dewitte ( and Pascale Vantorre in cc (

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