The French notion "Concertation" covers a wide spectrum of practices that extend from consultation of the public by authorities to joint decision-making, including in particular public participation and stakeholder engagement. Such practices have become a major feature today in addressing environmental issues. One of the goals of the Concertation, Décision, Environment (CDE) programme is to understand the stakes involved in public participation and related processes, and how these processes work. It is also to analyse their evolution and to look at experience feedback in order to improve methods in the future. Like all the research programmes of the ministry in charge of environment, CDE contributes to the progress of scientific work and to enhancing environmental and sustainable-development policies.

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During the first phase of the programme (1999-2005), more than 30 research projects were financed for more than €1.2 million. This first phase made it possible to encourage and structure the research by calling on a broad range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences (sociology, political science, geography, psychology, management, information and communication sciences, philosophy), as well as to encourage dialog between researchers and practitioners, and to develop interdisciplinarity. 


In 2008, the programme entered into a second phase with the launching in 2008 and in 2009 of two new calls for research proposals by the ministry of ecology, energy, sustainable development and regional development (MDD). One of the goals is to produce an assessment of the different waves of experimentation in the way environmental problems are stated, how they are debated, how conflict is managed, and the way to articulate this type of consultation with decision making.

20 research projects are financed: