The HARMONICOP project has increased the understanding of participatory river basin management in Europe and supported the implementation of the Water Framework Directive on this matter. The research focused on crucial and scientifically challenging aspects of river basin management through in-depth case studies in nine countries. Such aspects included scale issues, the role of information and information tools and the cultural, political and geographical influences. The research resulted in a Handbook on public participation methodologies for use in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. Following this, an analysis and synthesis report was created which identifies historical trends, common features and cultural differences concerning public participation in river basin management planning. It is likely that the findings disseminated in the report can be utilised in assisting with the case studies. They can also offer significant points to be provided in the project's guidance handbook. In the long run, it is hoped that the gathered knowledge and experience will result in improved participatory river basin management.