In its constant endeavour to provide more possibilities for civil involvement in local self-governance and to follow the European policy for enhancement of democratic practices, the Municipality of Stara Zagora looks for innovative approaches in policy-making.
In 2008, an analysis of management’s decision-making procedures was made in order to make suggestions for citizens’ involvement in municipal policy-making. For this purpose, the municipal leadership took the decision to establish Public Consultative Councils that consist of experts and active citizens. The main goal of this initiative is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the decision-making process at local level through the involvement of citizens.
The implementation of the project started on the basis of a Municipal Council decision to set up Public Consultative Councils. As a result, two Councils have been established. One of them is dedicated to urban planning and the improvement of the urban environment. The other one focuses on improving the quality of public services. A significant fact is that all the Consultative Council members are volunteers. The Consultative Councils have established their own Statutes of operation and are entitled to initiate and to make suggestions for decision-making on complicated cases to the Mayor.
The practice of establishing Public Consultative Councils is an innovative approach of local community involvement in the decisionmaking process. This approach is not an obligation for the municipal leadership, but it shows a real participatory democracy. As a result, some sound solutions to complicated cases have come out of the joint consultative work between the Municipality and society. New methods for monitoring the provision of local public services have been initiated. The successful partnership has resulted in some new regulations and new internal rules for the provision of public services. Stara Zagora Municipality has developed an institutionalised policy framework to promote transparency in local government. This project will be enlarged and another three Public Consultative Councils will be established in Stara Zagora Municipality. They will deal with sectors such as transport, sports and culture. By implementing this project, the Municipality has increased civil participation in policy-making and civil control of municipal performance.
|Award category:||citizen involvement|
|Sector:||Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Public consultative councils, urban planning, public service delivery|
|Short English description:||The main goal of this initiative is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the decision-making process at local level through the involvement of citizens.|
|Organisation:||Stara Zagora Municipality|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|