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Participation in permitting procedures

Permitting procedures are a series of actions through which market actors obtain the authorization from competent authorities to proceed with the wind farm project.

In all the EU member states, spaces for citizens’ participation are provided when the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure is applied, but these are limited cases: the EIA is mandatory only when the number and capacity of wind turbines exceed a certain threshold, which is established on a national basis. Otherwise, citizens’ participation in permitting procedures varies across countries and regions, and is usually quite limited, if not neglected.

The WinWind project found some cases in which citizens’ very limited participation was justified with the need for simplifying and streamlining the permitting process . Nevertheless, the outcome was the opposite: time extension and reduced effectiveness of the very same procedures, due to lengthy legal disputes.
Nevertheless, the WinWind project also collected examples featuring citizens’ active participation together with simple, fast, and successful permitting procedures.

Find out more

The WinWind project highlighted that citizens’ participation in the permitting procedures of wind energy plants is an imperative requirement. Here below further readings:

On key concepts about citizens participation and related policy recommendations:
Screening of Technical and Non-Technical regulations, guidelines and recommendations pages 30-36

Comparative analysis of national regulative frameworks:
Screening of Technical and Non-Technical regulations, guidelines and recommendations pages 37-44