In the countries looked at so far, the link with administrative reform was not central to participatory budgeting, with the small Andalusian town of Puente Genil and (as an unexpected result) the French Region Poitou-Charentes exceptions to the rule. The question arose in an entirely different manner in Germany, where between 50 and 70 participatory budgets were going on in 2012. In Germany, the inspiration came from the New Zealand town of Christchurch rather than Porto Alegre. In addition, the German term Bürgerhaushalt, literally ‘citizen budget’, is not a literal translation of orçamento participativo (participatory budget). It is doubtless due to these specific origins that the link between participation and Modernising the public administration was more pronounced than elsewhere. Using a description of German participatory budgets as a starting point, this chapter aims to assess whether this unique situation gave rise to different outcomes from those encountered in the countries presented so far. Moreover, it allows us to gain insight into the empirical reality of the participatory ideal-type, and addresses the question of whether it is possible to establish a close link between state modernisation and a participatory approach. Finally, we ask whether it is really democratic to use the participation of citizens, above all addressed as users (and not as joint decision-makers), to produce administrative modernisation. To broaden the range of the discussion we will compare the German experiments with those of the Finnish town of Hämeenlinna. Without implementing participatory budgeting (the device was implemented late in this country), Hämeenlinna engaged in an exemplary process of administrative modernisation that was linked to participatory procedures, with the goal of establishing ‘small democracy’.