This paper charts the evolution of eParticipation projects and discusses the uptake of social media by the latest wave of eParticipation projects funded under the CIP PSP 2009 call, building on the lessons learned by the pioneering eParticipation Preparatory Action. The shift towards social media is clearly visible on two currently active projects: Puzzled by Policy and OurSpace. This paper proposes that eParticipation projects benefit from the use of social media in two fundamental ways:
1) Promotion of projects via internationally popular social networks such as Facebook makes eParticipation platforms more visible to audiences otherwise hard to reach. These networks also assist in targeting specific audiences interested in the project’s subject matter.
2) Designing eParticipation projects from a social media standpoint enhances the likelihood of eParticipation becoming part of citizens’ everyday lives.
Moreover, it is suggested that the development of new eParticipation tools should be conducted in concert with the latest advances in social media to ensure eParticipation is not sidelined as an online activity, failing to engage a new generation of European citizens, whose online behaviour no longer reflects the traditional models of participation through proprietary web spaces.