The Natura 2000 network is one of the most important instruments for biodiversity conservation in the EU. Public participation at its establishment and its management is an idea often promoted for improving implementation and hence conservation results. The Habitats Directive being the legal basis for the network does not pay attention to the issue of public participation—leaving the task to the Member States. This paper analyses and compares the legal basis and administrative practices of a number of Member States in regard to public participation at different stages of development of the network. It distinguishes different of types of public participation and makes a preliminary evaluation of them.