Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence


(Environmental Democracy)




(Decision n. 2010 - 3347 / 001 - 001)

The Jean Monnet program has been launched and established by the European Commission in 1989. The objective of the Jean Monnet action is to strengthen and propagate the education of European integration in law, economics, politicy and history, to introduce innovative actions within the educational systems. The action is supported financially from the EU budgetary sources. More details:

Mission of the Centre:

Public participation is a key component of the 6th EAP[1], a tool that is integral part of all levels of decision-making, and also  supposed to remedy the democratic deficit in environment. EU courts (both domestic and EU level) have interpreted many provisions of EU environmental law – see the studies of the Jean Monnet Chair. A collection with a systemic approach in the field of public participation is much needed, looking also to international agreements, which are both part of public international and EU law[2]. New and innovative solutions concerning public participation emerge time to time, as the legal institution of the new Parliamentary Commissioner in Hungary, being a partner instutition.

The outputs of our project may be

  • a concise survey of existing legal institutions and references
  • proposals for further development (ombudsman as one option),
  • better clarifying the relationship between EU and international law,
  • the direct use in the practice of public participation[3],
  • all the above are summarised in a book,
  • documentation centre, the library of the REC as basis.

The impact is an improved, complex public participation system, with proposals towards new EU environmental policy and legislation

 Director of the Centre

Prof. Dr. Gyula Bándi:


Dr. Bence Stágel: 
Dr. Orsolya Csapó:
Dr. Ágnes Kovács Ms. Tahy:
Dr. Luca Kovács-Végh:
Dr. Irén Wirth:
Dr. András Lovas:
Dr Szilvia Szilágyi:
Prof. Dr. Tihamér Tóth:
Prof. Dr. Marcel Szabó:
Prof. Dr. Ákos Szalai:
Dr. János Zlinszky:
Dr. Benedek Jávor:



  • The Regional Environmental Center (represented by Ms. Márta Szigeti-Bonifert, Director), see:
  • The Environmental Management and Law Association (represented by Dr. Csaba Kiss, Executive Director), see:
  • The former Parliamentary Commissioner of Future Generations (represented by Dr. Sándor Fülöp), see:, currently Deputy Commissioner of Fundamental Rights, responsible for Future Generations (represented by Prof. Marcel Szabó), see:


Conference in 2012:

 Environmental Democracy Conference October 2012

The conference materials (PPT presentations) may be downloaded here:

Jerzy Jendrośka   Verena Madner   Benedek Jávor   Sándor Fülöp   Ágnes Tahyné Kovács   Csaba Kiss   8   Gyula Bándi   Gerd Winter

[1] Decision No 1600/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 2002 laying down the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme, (See. Preamble: (15) Provision for access to environmental information and to justice and for public participation in policy-making will be important to the success of the Programme.; Art. 2 Par 3. (- extensive dialogue with stakeholders, raising environmental awareness and public participation;); Par. 5; also Art. 3 Par. 5 (mentioning consumers and their organisations) Par. 6 (focusing on sustainable consumption patterns.) and first of all Par. 9 (9. To improve collaboration and partnership with consumer groups and NGOs and promote better understanding of and participation in environmental issues amongst European citizens requires:

- ensuring access to information, participation and justice through early ratification of the Aarhus Convention(7) by the Community and by Member States;

- supporting the provision of accessible information to citizens on the state and trends of the environment in relation to social, economic and health trends;

- general raising of environmental awareness;

- developing general rules and principles for good environmental governance in dialogue processes;)

[2] See, e.g. Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, Aarhus, 25 June 1998.

[3] See the Environmental Management and Law Association ( for cooperation