Regional Conference on Public Participation in the Budget Process - List of Lectures (19. 5. 2017)
On 11 May 2017, the Regional Conference on Public Participation in the Budget Process was held in Ljubljana. The Conference was organised by the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia and the GIFT - Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency.
This one-day conference was attended by more than 70 participants from Slovenia, Croatia, Great Britain, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia, Macedonia and the Netherlands.
The conference was organised in the premises of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, therefore the participants were welcomed by its president Mr Mitja Bervar who formally opened the conference.
The President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia Mr. Mitja Bervar held the welcome speech and thereby formally opened the Conference.
There are some municipalities in Slovenia that are familiar with the procedures of public participation (i.e. Maribor, Kranj, Ajdovščina, Komen, Ankaran), but in general the participation of the citizens in the preparation of the municipal budgets in Slovenia is almost not existent. Unfortunately, citizens' interest in budgetary issues is rather small. Due to the prevailing feeling that one has little impact on the public affairs and due to marginalisation the turnout at elections is low.
The lack of opportunities for cooperation in preparation of budgets is not solely the problem arising in Slovenia but in the whole region. The Open Budget Survey carried out by the International Budget Partnership and published last year presented the assessment of the budgetary processes in 2015 and Slovenia totalled 56 points. Regional average is 32 points (Czech Republic 32 points, Slovakia 25 points, Hungary 42 points, Bulgaria 38 points, Croatia 38 points, Bosnia and Herzegovina 23 points, Serbia 21 points and Macedonia 6 points). Given the regional aspect we believe that the result of Slovenia is excellent, from the perspective of promoting participative practices in other regions and from the perspective of assessment measures there are still possibilities for improvements.
There were two objectives of this regional meeting, namely to improve the awareness about opportunities offered by the public participation of budget preparation and to promote its application in the region. The expected outcome is to increase the impact of the public on the process of preparation of budgets, consequently the interest of the citizens in local budgetary issues shall increase. After the level of participation in the region increases, the assessments shall improve at the level of individual state as well as at the level of the region. In our opinion the outcome would be satisfactory if in the next ten-year period the regional average was increased by 10 percentage points, i.e. from 32 points to 42 points of 100 possible points.
All presentations of the guest speakers are attached for those who participated in the conference and for all those who are interested in the matter but were not able to attend the conference.
Guest speakers with the President of
the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia Mr. Mitja Bervar
Ivana Jakir-Bajo, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Croatia
Juan Pablo Guerrero, Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency
Jay Kruuse, Public Service Accountability Monitor, Grahamstown, South Africa
John Maritim, Director of Economic Planning, Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya
Maja Stranić Grah, Head of the Department of Economy, Finance and Budget, City of Pazin, Croatia