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.
An investigation by BIRN Editor Lawrence Marzouk and local journalists in Albania and Serbia has received widespread republications and praise in the Albanian press and broadcast media.
BIRN journalists Nektar Zogjani and Tinka Kurti were awarded the first prize for online investigative journalism about poverty by UNDP and the Journalists Association of Kosovo.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania launched a call for investigative stories on October 23rd.
The call is part of the program ‘Exposing Corruption in Albania,’ supported by th Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA), the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Power Games, an unprecedented investigation into the murky world of energy deals in the Balkans, has been launched by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Albania organised a roundtable on October 21st in Tirana, bringing together journalists with civil society organisations working in the field of education.
BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold the US premiere of its latest documentary, ‘Missing You’, on Thursday October 23 at Columbia University in New York.
The German government organization GIZ awarded Gazeta Jeta në Kosovë for investigative journalism about education.
BIRN Serbia held a public debate on the prospects of new models of budgetary financing for the media with NGO and media representatives in Novi Pazar, southwest Serbia.
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.