29 November from 9.30 to 11.30 - Room 6 - Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation: FR/EN/PT


Sponsored by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe


How successful participatory budgeting is in fostering dialogue and trust between citizens and authorities? What can we learn from experience in order to avoid tokenism and avoid alienating local elected officials who may feel deprived of their influence and prerogatives or that having the process hijacked by some interest groups? 

Municipality of Amadora, Portugal

Participatory Budgeting is an instrument of participatory democracy characterised by being universal and direct, allowing citizens to participate in the discussion of local public policies. It is directed at residents and workers in the municipality of Amadora, who may present their proposals in public meetings in the Parish Councils of the county and/or through the Internet (website of the Municipality). Proposals are selected according to criteria of relevance, contribution to strengthening social and territorial cohesion, which is a strategic objective of development of the city, and of economic and financial rationality.

Website: http://www.cm-amadora.pt


Ms Áurea DANTAS, Portugal, Financial Department at the Town Hall of Amadora

Aurea Dantas works in the Financial Department, Office of Asset Management, at the Town Hall of Amadora. She holds a degree in Political Science and in Management and Public Administration by the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences at the Technical University of Lisbon.

49th Ward of Chicago, USA

In an innovative experiment in direct democracy, transparency, and economic reform, the residents of the
49th Ward of Chicago are asked to participate for the third year in the Participatory Budgeting process. The
first year, over 100 volunteers worked to develop 36 projects. Of these 14 were selected in a vote by over 1600 members of the community to receive a total of $1.3 million in funding–the entire capital infrastructure budget from the wards' Menu Fund. In 2012, 21 projects made it onto the ballot in addition to a separate question on the percentage of the Menu Fund that should be dedicated exclusively to street resurfacing. The 49th Ward is the first political jurisdiction in the nation to implement a participatory budgeting process.

Website: http://www.ward49.com/


Mr Joe MOORE, USA, Alderman of the 49th Ward of Chicago

Known as a pioneer for political reform, governmental transparency and democratic governance, Joe Moore represents Chicago's 49th Ward, one of the nation's most economically and racially diverse communities. Moore became the first elected official to bring "participatory budgeting" to the United States.  Each year, Moore turns over $1 million of his discretionary capital budget to a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making in which his constituents decide through direct vote how to allocate his budget. Moore's participatory budgeting model has since been adopted by four of his Chicago City Council colleagues, as well as city council members in New York City, San Francisco, and Vallejo, California.



Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Mr Oliver HENMAN, United Kingdom, Head of the EU & International team at NCVO

Oliver has considerable experience in working with civil society in Europe and in South America. He started work in the favelas and rainforests of Brazil on participatory budgeting. In his role at NCVO he has spearheaded the development of the European Network of National Civil Society Associations (ENNA) that links national umbrella bodies across Europe, he was also a co-drafter of the Council of Europe's Code of Good Practice on Civil Participation. In September 2011 he was elected Chair of the Steering Group of the Affinity Group for National Associations (AGNA), which is the group for national umbrella bodies within CIVICUS, the global alliance for citizen participation.


Mr Andris JAUNSLEINIS, Latvia, Councillor of Ventspils municipality, member of the Congress of the Council of Europe and Head of the Latvian Delegation

Since 1993 Andris Jaunsleinis  has been the Chairman of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments. His many other activities include membership of the Municipal Borrowing and Guarantee Control and Monitoring Council; the Economic Development Council; the Municipal Financial Stabilization Commission, the Lisbon Strategy Monitoring Board and the National Council on Disability Affairs. He has also been an Expert for the UNDP and the World Bank and has held various positions on company Boards, including President.

Mr Igor KOLMAN, Member of Parliament, Croatia, Third Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Social   Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe         

Igor Kolman has been a member of the Croatian Parliament since December 2011 as one of the youngest MPs of the current term. He is a member of several committees - on foreign affairs, European affairs and education, science and culture. Mr. Kolman also very actively represents Croatian Parliament in the Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe where he is a member of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development. He holds a degree in Political science, has worked as a journalist, was press officer for his party (HNS – liberal democrats) and now holds the position of Political spokesman.

Mr Enrico PACE, Italy, JournalistACE 

Enrico Pace works since 1993 for local magazines and newspapers and is a professional journalist since 2004 at Il Nuovo Corriere di Lucca. He was Senior Editor at Il Nuovo Corriere di Lucca and at Il Nuovo Corriere di Firenze. Since 2012 he is editor in chief for two on-line newspapers: Lucca in Diretta (news) and Dilettanti Toscana (Sports). Pace graduated in Law at Florence University in 1999.


Rapporteur to the plenary session

Mr Charles-Edouard HELD, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Council of Europe

Charles Edouard Held is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Council of Europe since 2011. Before taking up duties in Strasbourg, he served as Ambassador-at-Large for the Geneva Conventions (2010-2011) and as Ambassador in Senegal, Cape-Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Mauritania (2009 to 2010). He was also Ambassador in Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea from 2005 to 2009 and Ambassador in Chile from 2001 to 2004. From 1995 to 2001 he served as Vice-Director of the International Law Directorate.


Mr Mario MARTINS, Director General, Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe



Your opinion

Does/Do the following initiative(s) increase significantly citizens' influence in the policy-making process and/or make democratic institutions more transparent, responsive and accountable? 

For the Amadora initiative:
% Votes
82% 107
a. Yes
18% 23
b. No

Total Votes: 130

Voting is disabled because this poll expired on 29/11/13 12:00.

For the "49th Ward of Chicago" initiative:
% Votes
76% 78
a. Yes
24% 25
b. No

Total Votes: 103

Voting is disabled because this poll expired on 29/11/13 12:00.