The Citizen Participation path, led by CEECN, has been following the design and implementation of citizen participation policies at EU level. Advocacy actions are permanently carried out to raise citizens and stakeholders’ awareness on the role and importance of citizen participation in development.
In May 2017, the Citizen Participation path sent out a letter to Jean-Vincent Placé, long-standing representative of the Île-de-France Regional Council at the European Committee of Regions, in order to address the issue of Participatory Budgeting (PB). In the letter, CEECN strongly advocated for the expansion of the scope of PB through measures aimed at encouraging broader acceptance of PB and initiating new PB projects in locations where they have not yet been tried. Amongst other recommendations, CEECN calls on Mr. Placé to initiate an own-initiative in his assembly of local and regional representatives that would: create a fund specifically for use of local authorities in PB processes; fund research, collection of best practices, and provide structural support for local authorities engage in PB processes; increase funding for CSOs providing technical support to LAs wanting to implement PB.
Thus far, European policy-makers have failed to recognize the immense significance of PB in building a participatory society, and it is imperative to change this course. No city is better positioned to drive forward the PB agenda in Europe than Paris, home to Europe’s largest participatory budget. As a representative of the Regional Council, Mr. Placé should have a vested interest in pushing forward PB on a larger scale throughout Europe.
The letter is based on policy recommendations provided by several EU-based experts in the field of PB from July of 2016 until the beginning of 2017. The entire input-gathering and consultation process was coordinated by CEECN and organizations that participated in the research include: Shared Future, PB Partners, Stocznia, Empatia Project and Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra.
Given the diverse expertise of the research participants, PB practitioners etc. that put together the recommendations, the coalition serves as an important voice on the importance of expanding PB Europe-wide.