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Public discussion “Civil control of public finance: participatory budgeting for Ukraine”

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On May 20, in Dnipropetrovsk CASE Ukraine will hold a public discussion “Civil control of public finance: participatory budgeting for Ukraine”. The event is a part of the project titled “Popular Economy: Reform Monitoring”. CASE Ukraine implements this project together with East Europe Foundation and Media agency “Promedia Consulting” with the support of Open Society Institute, European Union and UNITER.
The event will take place on May 20 2014, 11 A.M. at “Mansarda” of art-center “Kvartira” (Chervona Ploshcha street, 3-1, Dnipropetrovsk).

The central topic will be how to involve the Ukrainian public in the budgeting process and to formalize public control of the state budget.

“State budget” – the two words that make Ukrainian officials’ mouths’ water. Even Ostap Bender (a famous fictional character) would feel jealous of bureaucrats’ astounding proficiency in squeezing out budgetary funds while pretending to take care of people. It makes no difference which political party is responsible for the budgeting process as corruption schemes are invariably transferred from generation to generation.

Civil society’s involvement in the budgeting process will be a step forward in decreasing embezzlement of public funds. One possible example for Ukraine to follow is the participatory budgeting invented in the Brazilian city Porto Alegre, which appears to be an impressive success story. In the 1980’s on the back of wide-spread corruption and clientelism by local elites, civic activists from Porto Alegre claimed their right to decide how to spend budgetary funds. As a result, after a few years the main budget issues were approved only by the general assemblies of citizens. Today Porto Alegre is a city with the highest quality of life in Brazil, which is reflected in the development of its infrastructure, the health of its environment and its ability to solve its housing problems.

It is obvious that participatory budgeting can be useful for Ukraine. The necessity of reforming the nation’s “state-citizen” relationship is clearly long overdue.
The following questions will be proposed for discussion:

• How do we understand “civil control” of the budgets?

• How can international experience of “participatory budgeting” be useful?

• What instruments of civil control can be applied in Ukraine?

• What “participatory budgeting” do we want to implement?

Among the participants of the discussion are executive director of Center Case Ukraine Dmytro Boyarchuk, the deputy at Dnipropetrovsk city council Serhiy Zhukov, the deputy at Zhovtnevyi district council at Dnipropetrovsk Pavlo Medvid, the head of Dnipropetrovsk regional Association of Co-owners’ of Multi-Apartment Houses Unions and Housing and Building Co-operatives “Nash dim” Kateryna Chyzhyk, the activist of a public union “Sestryns’ka sotnya” Victoriya Narizhna, and also the moderator Olga Buhay, media agency “Promedia Consulting”.

The working languages are Russian and Ukrainian.

Please, RSVP till May 16, 2014.

Contact person:

Olga Buhay, tel. 067 534 28 28, olga.buhay@gmail.com

May 11, 2014