What is the impact of participatory instruments in Europe today? We can provide only a partial answer to the question. However, our study does enable us to pronounce a verdict on the three interpretations mentioned in the introduction. As a reminder, the first interpretation is the view that participatory budgeting represents a democratisation of democracy – an initial step towards implementing another possible world. The second is the idea that institutionalised participation is primarily a means for the system to recuperate – participation, according to this view, contributes to the pursuit of their goals by some politicians who try to legitimate their own policies through participatory budgeting. The third hypothesis represents a intermediate view between these two radical interpretations: participation and deliberation are seen as regulatory reference points and pragmatic sources of experimentation that are increasingly being used to criticise and justify public policies, to the point that they are progressively becoming the new spirit of democratic institutions.