Neighbourhood consultative councils are non-political, non-profit organisations for citizens, formed by volunteers acting to improve the quality of life in their communities. They were formed in Timişoara in 2003, following the example of the twinned city of Mulhouse in France, and as a result of the decision taken by our Local Council.
These organisations make proposals to the local administration regarding infrastructure, traffic, public transportation, environment, playgrounds, public lighting, schools etc., as well as monitoring the way problems are being solved. In addition to the definite results being seen in the neighbourhoods, civic spirit is being developed and voluntary involvement of the citizens is increasing.
People in each neighbourhood democratically elect their representatives: leaders of the councils (president, vice-president, secretary). These representatives have a permanent contact with the local administration and public services. There are clerks at the Communication Department in the City Hall designated to coordinate the activity of the neighbourhood consultative councils. They take part in the meetings of the citizens alongside with specialists from the City Hall, local services and local police - depending on the subjects being discussed. Following these periodical meetings in the neighbourhoods (generally each council gathers once every three months), consultative councils make a written description of the session, including problems which have been solved and those still to be solved. Once every three months, the mayor and department directors discuss together with the neighbourhood consultative councils the annual investment programmes. At the end of each year, the organisations come to the City Hall and discuss priorities in their communities for the coming year. Each year, citizens’ committees organise events (neighbourhood festivals) to promote voluntary activities and participation. Local people, firms, schools and cultural institutions can all take part in organising the event. The Local Council financially supports these events.
Given that in participatory democracy the emphasis is put on the quality of people’s inclusion and not on quantity, it has been proved that a small number of local volunteers can be efficiently organised and may successfully carry out their own projects and initiatives. Definite achievements (arranging parks, building fountains, decorative illumination of some churches, changing routes of public transportation) that appear as results of the councils’ propositions prove that an adequate communication leads to a good cooperation between citizens and public administration.
|Award category:||citizen involvement|
|Sector:||Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform|
|Type of activity:||community and stakeholder participation|
|Keywords:||Consultation, involvement, participatory democracy|
|Short English description:||Neighbourhood consultative councils are non-political, non-profit organisations for citizens, formed by volunteers acting to improve the quality of life in their communities.|
|Organisation:||City Hall of Timişoara|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|