Introduction of the participatory budget
What is the Tallinn participatory budget?
Participatory budget means that all residents of Tallinn are able to submit favourable ideas to their community that could be established with the city’s money. It is important to note that the money from the participatory budget can only be used for facilities that are meant for public use and free to access.
An expert committee will evaluate the feasibility of the ideas submitted and the best ones will be introduced, discussed and put up for public vote.
In accordance with the conditions of the participatory budget, each city district has the option to carry out one project a year, which the residents of the city districts have submitted and which has gained the most votes.
The participatory budget has a lot to offer both the residents and the city itself
The participatory budget:
- creates a great platform for the emergence of ideas that promote communities;
- raises citizen awareness of how local governments are managed;
- provides local governments with direct feedback about citizens’ wishes and needs;
- increases active citizenship and gives local governments ideas on how to include their residents more;
- makes the residents think and act together, increasing coherency and a sense of community; and
- helps achieve the city’s strategic development goals.
The mandatory parts of the Tallinn participatory budget process ensure transparency
Requirements for using the money. Ideas funded by the participatory budget must offer public goods, must be meant for public use and must not create unreasonable costs for the local government’s budget in the future.
Public discussions. Everyone who is interested can participate in the thematic discussions organised during the process of the participatory budget.
Selection of the expert committee. The committee that evaluates the feasibility of the ideas consists of experts in their fields who are able to accurately evaluate the cost of the ideas and other important indicators.
Accountability. The organisation of the entire process must be clear and transparent from start to finish. The organisers of the participatory budget provide information about implemented and not yet implemented projects on the city’s official channels; they also provide feedback to the participants of the process.
The final decision will be made by public vote. When the expert committee has evaluated the feasibility and compliance of the ideas with the requirements set by the city council, the best ideas will be put up for public vote. Each city district will carry out the idea that received the most votes.
Stages of the Tallinn participatory budget
25 August to 2 September 2021: preparation and procedure of the participatory budget draft in the city government, city district administrations and city council
3 September to 1 October 2021: collection of ideas (information days for introducing the opportunities for submitting ideas; idea collection in the online environment and by post)
4 October to 26 November 2021: evaluation of the feasibility of ideas (specification of the ideas with the creator; selection in the expert committee) and introduction of the ideas selected by the expert committee and public discussions
29 November to 12 December 2021: public voting
1,000,000 euros have been planned for the Tallinn participatory budget in 2022. Seventy-five per cent of the total amount will be divided equally between the city districts, and for the remaining 25%, the number of residents of the city district as of 1 July of the current year will be taken into consideration.