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Monument of Independence in Tulcea, Source: Rus Irina Gabriela on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 RO

Direct democracy will guide the future of Tulcea in Romania

Direct democracy will guide the future of Tulcea in Romania

The city plans an online platform for submitting and voting on projects that will be financed by a portion of the budget

The Romanian city of Tulcea has unveiled its new project to give citizens the right to vote on how a portion of the municipal budget is going to be spent. The funds allocated for the initiative are a total of 50,000 euros (250,000 lei) and it will be distributed to extra-governmental organizations proposing environmental, educational or digitalization projects.

The evaluation commission will consist of 13 members appointed by the Mayor, one of whom will be representative of the community.

The proposed mechanism is currently up for public debate, as well as improvements and amendments. The deadline for proposals is 23 July and every citizen can submit a proposal.

The first round of projects will be evaluated and voted on next year and these should be centred around issues of playgrounds, parks, urban mobility, cultural and educational infrastructure, environmental protection and digitalisation.

Voting directly on how to allocate a portion of the budget

The document, initiated by local councillor Tatiana Haliţ, calls for the participatory budget to be divided among five projects. The winning projects will be selected by a commission appointed by the mayor and featuring a representative from the community.

Regular citizens will also be able to vote on the projects they like through an online public platform, used for registering project ideas and rankings based on citizens' votes.

The maximum amount a project can receive is 10,000 euros. People who want to propose said projects must also be registered as living in Tulcea.  

Sometimes the selected projects will have a total value of less than 50,000 euros. In this case, the remaining money will be distributed among the projects, without exceeding the 10,000-euro threshold, while prioritising those that have been ranked higher.

Direct democracy will help citizens make Tulcea their own

This initiative aims to increase the transparency of the local government giving a chance for the citizens of Tulcea to shape the city they want to live in.

Municipal authorities stated in a press release that participatory budgeting is a more efficient way to spend public money. It strengthens the link between the local representatives and the community and fosters cohesion in the city’s vision for the future.

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