Timișoara Neighbourhood Advisory Councils

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT | GOVERNANCE

Challenge

In order to identify and solve the problems of the local community in Timişoara, there are set up a number of 20 Neighbourhood Advisory Councils, these being tools for citizen participation for improving the decision-making process in the local public administration, in order to carry out joint actions, works, services and projects of local public interest.

Solution

The neighbourhood advisory councils (C.C.C.) are established and function according to the provisions of Law no. 215/2001 regarding the local public administration, as well as in accordance with the Decision of the Timişoara Local Council no. 195/2003. The Neighbourhood Advisory Council is a non-profit citizen organisation that promotes the values ​​of democracy by conducting a permanent dialogue between local government and local residents, thus ensuring the active participation of citizens in solving concrete community problems. The neighbourhood advisory councils function as social partners of the Local Council. They represent tools for citizen participation in improving the decision-making process in the local public administration, in order to jointly carry out actions, works, services and projects of local public interest.

In 2009, Timisoara City Hall participated in the selection of projects for the European Public Sector Award – EPSA 2009. The awards ceremony of this competition took place on November 5-6 in Maastricht, Netherlands, organised by the European Institute of Administration, and also under the auspices of Sweden, which held the Presidency of the EU Council. The municipality of Timișoara submitted three projects in the competition – two in the field of “New methods of working in partnership” and one in the section “Involvement of citizens”. The first two projects referred to the cultural program “Timisoara – Little Vienna” and to the partnership on decision-making transparency concluded with the Western Foundation for Regional and Euroregional Journalism. The third project concerned the consultation of citizens through neighbourhood advisory councils. Out of the more than 300 applications submitted by public institutions from all over Europe, 20 projects were selected to receive excellence awards, and another 40 were awarded certificates of good practice. The Timisoara City Hall application regarding the neighbourhood councils was among the 40 projects that received the certificate of good practice from the organisers.

The evaluation of the projects was done in several stages, being carried out by 25 international experts from several European countries. The conclusions of the teams of at least three evaluators who analysed each application were then presented at a joint jury meeting.

Since 2003, when the neighbourhood advisory councils were founded, in 2003, the activity has been diversified and enriched in several respects. A great number of problems reported by citizens have been resolved, the local administration has cooperated through concrete joint actions to identify solutions to those reported, new methods of communication have been developed (neighbourhood newspapers) and festivals are organised annually in communities in the city to promote the civic spirit and belonging to the inhabitants.

Other best practices

  • Brno Metropolitan Area

  • West Athens

  • Brno Metropolitan Area