Citizens' service

Šabac - Local investments aligned to citizensŠampioni.jpg

Ranking: Champion
Population: 115.884
Number of businesses: 3.290
Development level: Group II
Score: 117
Contact: www.sabac.rs; violeta.sestic@sabac.org

 

Owing to an initiative enabling citizens to participate in decisions on spending the funds generated from income tax within their local community, the city of Šabac received the title of Champion of local development in the category of citizen services.

In 2015, the Šabac City Assembly issued a decision which, for the first time, introduced a principle where funds generated from income tax in suburban and other local communities outside the city center would be returned to the citizens and spent for purposes selected by the local community councils. A 2017 Assembly decision defined explicitly and in detail the rights of local communities on the return of funds generated from property tax for individuals on the territory of their community, with the power to decide about their spending being transferred directly into the hands of citizens. This act provides for these funds to be invested in projects selected by local communities through a direct voting system. The voting rights are extended to any adult citizen who registers on the list. Project proposals to be included in the ballot lists can be submitted by local community councils and groups that represent at least 5% of tax-paying citizens. The winning projects are published on the city’s website, bulletin boards of local communities and other means of public information. The list is simple, transparent and available to the public, while the citizens receive information about project realization via media or direct inquiry. Real effects include graveled roads, developed village centers, repaired school fences. More significantly, the effect of this solution is a three-fold rise in the collection of income tax from the moment of its introduction in 2015, and increased citizen awareness of the role they may have in the process of the making of decisions significant to their local community

Video on winning solution broadcast on TV Show Ovo je Srbija, RTS

 

Article on winning solution published in daily newspaper Politika

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Mionica - Free courses for citizensVicešampioni.jpg

Ranking: Vice Champion

Population: 14.335
Number of businesses: 665
Development level: IV group
Score: 99
Contact: www.mionica.rs; kabinet@mionica.rs

 

As a municipality that indicated the improvement of informal education among citizens, regardless of their age, as its top priority, Mionica has been awarded the title of Vice Champion of local development in the category of Citizen Services.

With the aim of satisfying the needs of citizens in the area of education and development of human resources on a local, regional and national level, as well as providing educational/recreational and sports activities, the municipality of Mionica founded the Center for Education and Development Mionica. This center for informal education and citizen development closely cooperates with institutions for preschool, elementary and high school education, Mionica Cultural Center, library and the municipal tourist organization. All these institutions are linked and they exchange human and material resources, as well as available spaces, amongst themselves. The goal is to provide the local population with quality educational content and training, regardless of their age, free of charge. The Center provides free foreign language courses, programming, computing and IT training, web design modules, organizes a journalist school, photography course, acting school, dance lessons, training for the development of special intellectual skills among children such as fast reading, memory and learning techniques, mental arithmetic, etc. The Center also organizes outdoor workshops, walks, race walking, hiking. Costs for renting the space and equipment were brought to a minimum, while the only expense for the Center is the hiring of a number of lecturers. In the past two years, the Center has taught 342 children and adults English language lessons, 69 for German lessons, 105 citizens for dance lessons, the school for young programmers has 18 students, while the IT course was completed by 12 students. 250 trainings for farmers and 100 round tables for the business community were organized within the Center.

Article on winning solution published in daily newspaper Politikavicesamp-1.jpg

Video on winning solution broadcast on TV Show Ovo je Srbija, RTS