This final element of the Local Budget Forum gave new emphasis to the creation of a budget at a local level. The programme gives the people of Novi Pazar the chance to directly participate in the drafting of the city budget.
The results of a survey conducted in Novi Pazar in November, showed the public’s desire that the city invest more in urban development projects, culture, social welfare and education and the budget presented by the delegates and representatives of the City Administration of Novi Pazar in the session of the City Council took into account the citizen’s budget priorities. The City Council adopted the proposed budget for the year 2011.
The report submitted to the City Council underlined the importance of the integration of citizen participation into the establishment of budget priorities for the forthcoming year.
Novi Pazar’s Mayor, Meho Mahmoudi expressed satisfaction that the budget proposal for 2011 were in line with the wishes of the public, as identified by the “Skockajte budžet” campaign.
After the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the City Administration and the organizers of the project, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN Serbia) and Pro-concept.
“Leskovac and Novi Pazar were the first two cities where the project has been implemented. It is all about the willingness of local governments to be open to the ideas and priorities of their voters”, explained Slobodan Gerogijev, from BIRN Serbia, one of the organisations that implemented the project.
He stressed that the results show the willingness of the people and the public administration to work together in order to define budget priorities and to contribute to the transparency of the budgetary process.
“We hope that the local governement will adopt some of the mechanisms we have tried to introduce them to, in order to include the real needs and priorities of the people”, explained Nermin Hasanovic, from the European Partnership with Municipalities, PROGRESS.
At yesterday’s session The Novi Pazar City Council adopted a proposed budget for 2011, in the amount of 1,856,457,000 dinars.
The project of participatory budgeting, carried out by BIRN Serbia and Pro Concept, is funded by the European Union, the Swiss Government and the Serbian Government and is implemented under the European Partnership with Municipalities, Progress.