Empowering Participatory Budgeting in the Baltic Sea Region
EmPaci
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
1 Innovation
objective
1.3 Non-technological innovation

EmPaci

Participatory budgeting is a process of democratic decision-making in which ordinary people take part in preparing and adopting a municipal or public budget. In the Baltic Sea region, only a few municipalities have applied participatory budgeting to date. A typical type of citizen in such a process is male, politically active, well-educated, and 35-65 years old. The objective of EmPaci is to get more municipalities involved and mobilise different types of citizens by building municipal capacities, transnational clusters and municipality-citizen cooperation.
Project summary

Challenges to citizen participation in the Baltic Sea region

The Baltic Sea region is characterized by fragmented living areas. This leads to challenges for public authorities and councils when it comes to involving all citizens into joint projects and to discuss relevant issues with all citizen groups. Instruments are needed that enable and encourage the entire citizenry to take part in decisions of their municipality such as decisions regarding expenditures and revenues in the local budget.

EmPaci fosters participatory budgeting

Empaci seeks for close involvement of both municipalities and citizens. We analyse citizens’s needs and develop specific communication on participatory budgeting for different citizen groups (e.g. youth, the elderly, families). Then, we set up an initial participatory budget to test and evaluate it taking into consideration perspectives of citizens and municipalities (i.e. administrations and councils). After an optimization, an advanced participatory budget is implemented to show enhancements and foster municipalities’ capabilities to set up the participatory budget. The project is complemented by orgware to facilitate technology transfer and a training program that builds municipal trainers who disseminate the participatory budgeting idea among Baltic Sea region municipalities. The entire project is backed up by experts with from universities and an Advisory Board, which reduce their project contribution over time during which municipal capacities are created.

Budgets

EmPaci
in numbers
  • 2.42
    Million
    Total
  • 1.50
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.46
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Highlights by mid-term

The project partners conducted a survey with around 22,000 citizens from 18 municipalities or districts from 6 countries involved in the project. The aim was to use the collected data to better adjust the participatory budgeting pilots in nine pilot municipalities (DE, FI, LT, PL, 2 in LV, 3 in RU), but also to draw general conclusions about the citizens’ needs in the region with respect to participatory budgeting design.

First participatory budgeting pilots have been set up in five municipalities. One of them was completed in the Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia.

It was one of the first public budgeting processes ever conducted in Latvia and the first covering a whole region that comprises 25 municipalities and one city. The public budgeting process was organised in three steps: voting of cultural priorities, making proposals and voting for proposals. In total 8,925 citizens participated with 12,364 votes. A fantastic number of 69 cultural projects were approved.

Participatory budgeting training materials have been jointly developed by the partners and training events were organised by some of the pilot municipalities, e.g. in Rietavas and Telsiai (Lithuania).

Outputs

Project Stories

Partners

University of Rostock

  • Town
    Rostock
  • Region
    Rostock, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
408,200.00
54.092444512.1286127

City of Bützow

  • Town
    Bützow
  • Region
    Landkreis Rostock
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
120,000.00
53.850004711.9832952

Pferdemarktquartier, registered non-profit association

  • Town
    Bützow
  • Region
    Landkreis Rostock
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
98,000.00
53.850004711.9832952

Public Institution Klaipėda University

  • Town
    Klaipeda
  • Region
    Klaipėdos apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
160,250.00
54.292469222.8131913

Rietavas Municipality Administration

  • Town
    Rietavas
  • Region
    Telšių apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
61,120.00
55.72836521.927102

Public Institution Rietavas Tourism and Business Information Centre

  • Town
    Rietavas
  • Region
    Telšių apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
104,620.00
55.72836521.927102

Vidzemes planning region

  • Town
    Cēsis, Cēsu novads
  • Region
    Vidzeme
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
110,900.00
57.314536125.2759759

Social innovation centre

  • Town
    Daugmale
  • Region
    Kurzeme
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
227,600.00
56.819110124.443474552107027

Regional Development Agency in Bielsko-Biała

  • Town
    Bielsko-Biala
  • Region
    Bielski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
150,600.00
49.82211819.0448936

Baltic Institute for Regional and European Concern BISER

  • Town
    Gdynia
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
68,750.00
53.255277819.3958333

Telšiai District Municipality Administration

  • Town
    Telšiai
  • Region
    Telšių apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
68,600.00
55.992842822.2515497

University of Tampere - legally succeeded by PP18

  • Town
    Tampere
  • Region
    Pirkanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
5,295.94
61.498021423.7603118

Lahti University of Applied Sciences - legally succeeded by PP19

  • Town
    Lahti
  • Region
    Päijät-Häme
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
57,414.07
60.982601425.6613764

Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO University)

  • Town
    St. Petersburg
  • Region
    City of St. Petersburg
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
386,900.00
59.91785735000000630.380619357025516

Council of Municipalities of St. Petersburg

  • Town
    St. Petersburg
  • Region
    City of St. Petersburg
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
57,900.00
59.91785735000000630.380619357025516

«E-Development Partnership in the North-West» Non-Profit Partnership («PRIOR North-West» NPP)

  • Town
    St. Petersburg
  • Region
    City of St. Petersburg
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
100,745.00
59.91785735000000630.380619357025516

Tampere University Foundation sr.

  • Town
    Tampere
  • Region
    Pirkanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
144,704.06
61.498021423.7603118

LAB UAS, LAB University of Applied Sciences

  • Town
    Lahti
  • Region
    Päijät-Häme
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
92,586.13
60.982601425.6613764