The article considers the urgency of establishing effective public control over all branches of government in the modern Ukrainian society. The theoretical interpretation of the concept of “civic participation” begins with the analysis of the concepts of “citizenship”, “public”, emphasizes the distinction of civic participation from civil practices. It is argued that the necessary social environment for civic participation is civil society, the essence of which is to distinguish in society the most socially active part. It is noted that organizational forms of civic participation are determined primarily by the peculiarities of the social context of a particular society. The author draws attention to the methodological importance of distinguishing the form of civic participation and its real social content, which will avoid the false definition of civic participation of those forms of engagement, which are not consistent with the content (the phenomenon of “professional protesters”). The constitutional and legal principles of the indirect influence of the public on state policy are considered in detail. Despite the long history of the existence of the Institute for Public Discourse in Ukraine, the majority of elements of the Soviet practice of conducting such discussions are preserved, primarily the formalities of the aforementioned procedure. The article highlights the importance of using the potential of such an organizational form of public participation as public councils. However, the practice of such councils indicates significant impediments to their normal functioning. Among the main reasons is the organizational and financial dependence of such councils on executive bodies, the lack of information openness of the latter to the public, and the problem of legal protection and personal security of local activists. Instead, the main indicator of the effectiveness of the institution of public debate should be the use of constructive proposals put forward by the executive authorities based on the results of such discussions.
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