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Local Democracy Talks – Participatory Budget: Let Citizens Decide

27 maj, 2021 , kl. 12:00 13:00

This high-level panel brought together a group of leading politicians from the cites of Nässjö and Åre in Sweden, Barcelona in Spain, and Mykolaiv in Ukraine to share their personal stories on the value of letting people decide over the municipal budget. What are their motivations? Why do they believe in participatory budget? What are the limitations and what can be achieved?  These are some of the questions discussed during the panel that was attended by 46 people online from 10 different countries.

Letting people participate and decide on how public funds should be spent can contribute to more democratic engagement. It can create a stronger link between citizens and local politicians leading to more accountability and transparency. Participatory budgets originally coined in the city of Porto Alegre in Brazil at the end of 1990s have been used for a long time in different parts of the world and few experiments have been conducted in Sweden and Ukraine. However, participatory budget requires politicians who can share power with their citizens. Why are some local politicians actively supporting participatory budgeting while many others don’t?  

The panelists: 

Marc Serra, Secretary General of the IOPD and Councilor Barcelona, Spain. Find more information about the participatory budget process in Barcelona here.

Anna-Carin Magnusson, Mayor of the city of Nässjö, Sweden. Find information about Nässjö’s citizen budget here.  

Peter Jansson, President of the city council of Åre, Sweden. Find more information about Åre’s citizen budget here

Oleksandr Syenkevych, Mayor of Mykolaiv, Ukraine. Find more information about Mykolaiv’s participatory budget in Ukrainian here.

Iryna Skaliy, National Programme Officer, Ukraine.

Moderator: Ana-Maria Vargas, ICLD

Find more success stories from Ukraine here

This paneldiscussion is a part of ICLD series Local Democracy Talks