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.
The German government organization GIZ awarded Gazeta Jeta në Kosovë for investigative journalism about education.
The key conclusion from the debate in Belgrade on Tuesday was that the recently-published EU Progress Report on Serbia was not too hard on the Serbian government, but it does not mention many problems and some of the conclusions and recommendations are identical to the 2013 Progress Report.
BIRN’s documentary The Majority Starts Here was screened for the first time in the United States on Thursday, at Columbia University in New York.
Over 40 representatives of the media, non-governmental organisations and partners attended the official launch of BIRN Albania’s news website Reporter.al on October 3.
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Four men were sentenced to prison terms on September 18 for their role in a kidnapping of a woman in a case that BIRN Kosovo reported on even before Kosovo’s prosecutors did.
Money is a big driver in getting Kosovars to join Islamic militant groups such as an ISIS fighting in Syria and Iraq, Jeta Xharra, the director of BIRN Kosovo, told the Los Angeles Times recently.
The screening of BIRN’s road-movie documentary The Majority Starts Here in Mitrovica was followed by a debate examining how transitional justice can address the grievances of the wartime past.
KALLXO.com presented findings of a monitoring report from the second round of the 2014 National Matura Exam, held on June 28 in Kosovo.
The three best stories proposed by participants in this year’s Summer School were selected by the jury and will get financial backing from BIRN’s investigative reporting fund.