Empowering Participatory Budgeting in the Baltic Sea Region


January 2019 -
June 2021
1. Innovation 1.3 Non-tech innovation

EmPaci

Participatory budgeting is a process of democratic decision-making in which ordinary people take part in preparing and adopting a municipal or public budget. In the Baltic Sea region, only a few municipalities have applied participatory budgeting to date. A typical type of citizen in such a process is male, politically active, well-educated, and 35-65 years old. The objective of EmPaci is to get more municipalities involved and mobilise different types of citizens by building municipal capacities, transnational clusters and municipality-citizen cooperation.

 

Summary

 

Challenges to citizen participation in the Baltic Sea region

The Baltic Sea region is characterized by fragmented living areas. This leads to challenges for public authorities and councils when it comes to involving all citizens into joint projects and to discuss relevant issues with all citizen groups. Instruments are needed that enable and encourage the entire citizenry to take part in decisions of their municipality such as decisions regarding expenditures and revenues in the local budget.

EmPaci fosters participatory budgeting

Empaci seeks for close involvement of both municipalities and citizens. We analyse citizens’s needs and develop specific communication on participatory budgeting for different citizen groups (e.g. youth, the elderly, families). Then, we set up an initial participatory budget to test and evaluate it taking into consideration perspectives of citizens and municipalities (i.e. administrations and councils). After an optimization, an advanced participatory budget is implemented to show enhancements and foster municipalities’ capabilities to set up the participatory budget. The project is complemented by orgware to facilitate technology transfer and a training program that builds municipal trainers who disseminate the participatory budgeting idea among Baltic Sea region municipalities. The entire project is backed up by experts with from universities and an Advisory Board, which reduce their project contribution over time during which municipal capacities are created.

Budgets

Total
€ 2.42
million
Erdf
€ 1.50
million
Eni + Russia
€ 0.46
million
Norway
€ 0.00
million

PARTNERS