Social & Economic rights

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Almost Non-Existent Public Participation in the Process of Act Adoption in Kraljevo


Preliminary results of the survey on the participation of civil society organisations and citizens in the decision- and policy-making process, conducted by Praxis within the framework of the project Contributing to Public Administration Reform in Kraljevo, as part of the grant scheme of WeBER project financed by EU and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, show that there is almost no public participation in the process of adopting acts in Kraljevo.

In the period 1 June 2016 - 1 August 2017, the Kraljevo City Assembly adopted 399 acts. With the exception of planning documents, whose adoption must be transparent according to the Law on Planning and Construction, none of other 399 acts were adopted after an organised public hearing, nor were citizens or civil society organisations involved in any other way in drafting these acts.

The situation is different only in case of strategic documents, which was demonstrated also in the process of drafting and adopting the Local Action Plan for the Roma in the City of Kraljevo for the period 2017-2020. This document was adopted in September 2017 following the consultations with interested citizens and CSOs and a public hearing. It is very important that CSOs got involved already in the drafting phase because it allowed them to substantially influence the content of the future act.  All the proposals presented during the public hearing were adopted and there was also the option to send additional written comments.

Although the procedure of adopting this act can serve as an example of good practice and the way of conducting genuine consultations, it is an exception, limited to the procedures of adopting strategic acts. Most decisions are adopted without public participation.

Apart from leaving a negative impression of the level of the local self-government’s commitment to public administration reform, a failure to include CSOs is a missed opportunity to use their experience for improving the quality of adopted acts and preventing the adoption of incomplete, unconstitutional or discriminatory decisions.

WeBER (Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform) is a three-year project financed by EU and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. More details about the project are available here

Media coverage: Ibarske novosti Weekl

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