BIRN Serbia and local government representatives in Nova Varos, organized a panel ‘Local Budget Forum’ and presented the draft budget for 2013, part of its ‘’Participatory Budgeting’’ project.
More than thirty people and local community representatives in Nova Varos had an opportunity to get details about the budget and participate in the debate.
Mayor Dimitrije Paunovic stressed the importance of the public’s participation in the budgeting process considering that the budget resources belong to them.
’’The spring election led to delays in budget planning and I am afraid that we will not be able to realize all the plans, therefore I would like to invite everyone present to give their suggestions which will be considered during budgeting process,’’ he said.
The draft budget was presented in ‘’citizen’s budget’’ format that contains the budget spending for this and next year.
The presentation was followed by a discussion. Locals gave numerous comments and suggestions regarding the budget for 2013 while the mayor said that the proposals will be on the agenda for the Municipal Council session and at the parliament meeting.
‘’Your money, our responsibility’’ questionnaire results were also presented at the Local Budget Forum. The questionnaire was organized by local authorities and BIRN Serbia in order to involve people in the budgeting process by offering them list of municipal projects and asking them to choose three they think are the most important.
300 people from Nova Varoš selected ‘’Artificial snow system on the mountain Zlatar’’, ‘’Infrastructure works’’ and ‘’Waterworks and sewerage construction’’ as top community priorities.
BIRN Serbia signed a memorandum of understanding with the mayor confirming further cooperation.
The project of implementing the practice of participatory budgeting at the local level through the European Partnership Programme with EU PROGRES municipalities in 25 municipalities in the south and southwest Serbia is supported by the European Union, the Swiss and the Serbian government.
BIRN Serbia and Pro Concept held their fifth national budget forum at the National Assembly in Belgrade on 27 November, where panelists and participants offered their opinions and debated the proposed 2014 budget and the projected outcomes of the Serbian administration’s budgetary policy.
Journalists received bespoke investigative training as they prepared major cross-border stories into crime and corruption in the Balkans.
BIRN’s “Life in Kosovo” has been recognized for reporting on women in a TV programme.
Bardh Shkreli, a journalist for BIRN Kosovo, has won a third-place award in November from the German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ and the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo for education reporting.
Romania’s national journalistic competition Superscrieri has given awards to Elena Stancu and Vlad Odobescu, both fellows this year of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.
Eight journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIH, Croatia, and Serbia participated in a weeklong study visit to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, in October. The Tribunal's Outreach Programme organised the visit in cooperation with BIRN BiH.
BIRN Macedonia announces a call for journalists for an upcoming training session for investigative journalists.
Participants in this year’s Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence will meet for their final seminar and awards ceremony in Zagreb, Croatia from December 11-14.
During its EU membership negotiations, Serbia will be assessed on how well it has dealt with war crimes cases, European Commission official Pierre Mirel told a BIRN conference.