10 December 12

Together towards a better budget

BIRN Serbia and muncipal officials discuss the budgets of Raška and Kuršumlija with local residents.

As part of its "Participatory Budgeting" project, BIRN Serbia and local municipal officials held budget forums last week in Raška and Kuršumlija, where they presented the 2013 budget for each municipality and received input from residents.

Prior to the Forums, those municipalities conducted citizens’ survey on priorities to be funded out from 2013 Budget.  Among proposed, citizens could pick 3 projects of highest priority, by their opinion.

The forums allowed local residents to comment on the draft 2013 budgets and get answers from top local government officials about administration's plans for the coming year.

More than 20 local residents took part in the debate in Raška, and Mayor Jovan Čorbić stressed the importance of their participation. He told those gathered that it is important for all citizens to show initiative when it comes to examining the budget because it affects the life of the community.

"Let's determine together what is the most important and find out how to achieve it. It is useless to promise that it is possible to do everything in one year. Therefore, it is necessary to set priorities," said Čorbić.

Zagorka Šumarac, who heads the budget department in Raška, presented the draft 2013 budget in a "citizen budget" format, which gives residents a comprehensive look at the projects and plans that have been funded.

Zorica Nišavić from the NGO Women Raška said she was pleased that for the first time residents  had an opportunity to be informed about the budget.

"I hope that in the coming years we will again have a chance to talk about the budget and give our suggestions," she said. Nišavić's thoughts on the process were echoed by several other participants.

Meanwhile in Kuršumlija, more than 40 residents and local community representatives participated in the budget debate. Mayor Radoljub Vidić expressed his satisfaction with the large turnout for the debate and the questionnaire "Your money, our responsibility".

Local participation is crucial, Vidic said, because municipal officials can use the feedback from residents as an instrument to ensure the allocation of resources in accordance with local needs.

"The suggestions and complaints of residents push the local authorities to work on creating quality living conditions for all residents of our municipality," said Vidić.

The draft budget for 2013 was presented by Deputy Mayor Nebojša Jović, who stressed that this budget put forward 100 million dinars more than was planned in 2012.

"In 2013 we focused on priorities related to agricultural development and entrepreneurship, and some resources will be allocated for scholarships for high school and university students. The plan is to improve the living conditions of the citizens by reducing public spending and putting more funds into investments," said Jović.

Milivoje Perović, a local beekeeper, told the forum participants that Kuršumlija has the potential to be a substantial producer of organic honey, which would create new jobs, and suggested that this be considered in the next budget cycle.

The conclusions reached during the local budget forums will be presented to members of the Raška and Kuršumlija municipal councils, and BIRN signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the mayors that confirms further cooperation in this field in the future.

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.

Fill out my online form.

Latest News and Events

birn-macedonia-s-vlado-apostolov-awarded-for-investigative-reporting

BIRN Macedonia’s Vlado Apostolov Awarded for Investigative Reporting

The Association of Journalists of Macedonia gave its annual investigative reporting award for 2016 to BIRN journalist Vlado Apostolov on February 22 for his series of articles on properties connected to a Macedonian official, Vladimir Zdravev.

birn-albania-seeks-investigations-on-financial-industry

BIRN Albania Seeks Investigations on Financial Industry

Grants offered for three journalists to uncover corruption and abuse of power stories in the financial industry as well as mentoring by experienced editors.

birn-kosovo-wins-anti-corruption-reporting-award

BIRN Staff Trained in Project Cycle Management

Twenty BIRN Programme and Project Managers have been trained to build their capacities in the field of project cycle management.

birn-macedonia-launches-foreign-investments-database

BIRN Macedonia Launches Foreign Investments Database

BIRN Macedonia has launched a new database called ‘Foreign Investments Uncovered’ which indicates that the amount of these investments is seven times lower than announced by government.

new-investigative-journalism-project-launched

New investigative journalism project launched

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, is carrying out a three-year investigative journalism programme thanks to support from the Austrian Development Agency, ADA. BIRN Kosovo director Jeta Xharra and Gunther Zimmer, ADA’s Kosovo director, signed an agreement in Pristina this week, marking the start of the project.

birn-journalists-won-13-awards-in-2016

BIRN Journalists Won 13 Awards in 2016

Journalists from the BIRN Network won prestigious national awards in their respective countries and a number of international awards in 2016. 

birn-s-social-media-pages-grow-in-popularity

BIRN’s Social Media Pages Grow in Popularity

BIRN’s social media pages have increased their numbers of followers significantly, boosting the reach of the stories that BIRN is publishing and heightening public engagement.

birn-albania-holds-roundtable-on-financial-industry

BIRN Albania Holds Roundtable on Financial Industry

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania held a roundtable on the financial industry, bringing together journalists, civil society organizations and experts. 

birn-film-shows-problems-between-media-and-police

BIRN Film Shows Problems Between Media and Police

The difficult relationships between journalists and the police forces in various countries in the Western Balkans are highlighted in the BIRN Serbia documentary ‘Police and Media’.

internet-offers-income-perspectives-birn-serbia-debate-hears

Internet Offers Income Perspectives, BIRN Serbia Debate Hears

People in Serbia are willing to pay for good content on the Internet but there are major issues with clickbait articles, badly-produced news and commercially-led content, a BIRN Serbia debate heard.

In This Article

Network

Donors and Partners