Budgets presented to citizens in six more Serbian towns

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BIRN Serbia together with local authorities held Local Budget Forums in six different municipalities across south-east and south-west Serbia last week to give citizens better insight into spending priorities.

As part of the final phase of the Participatory Budgeting project, BIRN Serbia and local municipal officials held meetings in Surdulica, Zitoradja, Prijepolje, Novi Pazar. Bojnik and Sjenica, where they presented the draft budgets for 2013 to representatives of the local communities. 

In each municipality the head of the finance department presented the budget for 2013 in the ‘citizen’s budget’ format. After the presentation residents debated the plans for income and outgoing costs and were encouraged to give their suggestions.

Local government representatives stressed the importance of citizen’s participation in budget saying it was a way to improve the quality of life for all in the communities.

BIRN Serbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with all local government officials involved which ensures further cooperation in this field.

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.