New paradigms for public participation emerging – the first public hearing in a local assembly featuring tweet wall and live streaming

24 Jun 2014

imagePublic Hearing: Tweet-Wall in the Baroque Chamber of the Town Assembly of Zrenjanin

Innovative applications of public participatory mechanisms are launched at the Town Assembly of Zrenjanin, where the first public hearing on local level in Serbia took place.  The topic was Draft Strategy of Sustainable Development of the Town of Zrenjanin 2014-2020.

Following dynamic changes around the world involving decentralisation and ceding decision making powers and responsibilities from central to local level, the UNDP Project pilots public hearings as a mechanisms for public participation, pre and post-legislative scrutiny. Moreover, the Project introduces uncommon approaches to finding a common ground by introducing tweet wall and live streaming to incite public participation and social accountability.

“Zrenjanin is the first local assembly to pilot a public hearing. The topic is of utmost importance to the citizens. This is just the first in a series of public hearings, after which we will transfer the practice to other municipal and city assemblies“, said Radovan Bulajic, the President of the Town Assembly of Zrenjanin.

“This type of consultation that includes the involvement of citizens, civil society, the executive and the legislature, is the only way to make a quality long-term development document”, said Cedomir Janjic, the Mayor of Zrenjanin.

 “Involvement of citizens in politics and administration in the work of parliament at the central and local levels allows for integration of the public in the development of policies that affect the daily lives of people”, said Biljana Ledenican, UNDP Portfolio Manager for Parliamentary Development.

Town Assembly of Zrenjanin has been selected as one of five pilot local assemblies for transferring a good practise of public hearings from national to local level, in the framework of the UNDP/SDC project “Strengthening the Oversight Function and Transparency of the Parliament”, implemented with the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.