The current context for public participation in the NECP process is not the most encouraging. Most Member States have not fulfilled their participation obligations to date and the time available for organising participatory processes, the lack of transparency on the part of most Member States and the opportunity to affect change in the Plans is limited. While recognising these limitations, this paper proposes a strategy to promote public participation, highlighting a number of advocacy intervention points for civil society organisations (CSOs). It considers the type of participation that CSOs should be arguing for: initiatives that combine both stakeholders and citizens in forms of dialogue and deliberation. An Appendix to the paper provides more detailed background on NECP guidance on public participation and how different forms of participation relate to the policy cycle.