Over the past decades, general environmental consciousness has increased and triggered a tremendous movement, which finally led to the adoption of public participation provisions in international conventions and ultimately in legally binding Directives in the European Union. The Water Framework Directive and the Aarhus Convention represent two of them. A review of the public participation processes in Austria and France is assessed in this Thesis by using a case study approach. It investigates differences and commonalities and builds on state of the art research, which suggests that there is still a long way to go, until a successful implementation of public participation processes can be established. Even though the main findings support this conclusion, this research has shown, that a certain extent of accountability and transparency has been reached through the newly embedded public participation provisions. The public, as well as the Institutions of the European Union can monitor and evaluate the developments of the Member States and hold them to account. While France has a long tradition in public participation, Austria has only started public participation with the advent of the WFD. Naturally, this aspect influences the outcome of this research. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, it can be said that for the most part the WFD has been successful in regards to its public participation provisions. The public, as well as the Institutions of the European Union can monitor and evaluate the developments of the Member States.