Congress’ continuing support to Bosnia and Herzegovina on the road to deliberative democracy

Co-operation Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 March 2023
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Congress’ continuing support to Bosnia and Herzegovina on the road to deliberative democracy

The cities of Banja Luka and Mostar were granted support by the Congress to commission citizens’ assemblies in 2023, thereby contributing to keeping Bosnia and Herzegovina at the vanguard of deliberative democracy in the South-East of Europe.

The Congress pursues its efforts in promoting deliberative democracy as a valuable tool for enhanced citizen participation in local decision-making. Building upon the positive results of the first Citizens’ Assembly held in Mostar in July 2021, the City of Mostar is committed to leading a new process that will bring together a group of people randomly selected to discuss a topic in the strategic area of economy and tourism development.

Following a competitive call for proposals targeting local authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the City of Banja Luka was selected to give a unique opportunity to their citizens to engage in a deliberative process, on the topic of empowerment of youth through entrepreneurship.

Banja Luka becomes the second city in the country to join the deliberative wave, after the City of Mostar. Two grant Agreements, in the amount of some EUR 40.000 each, were signed in February 2023 respectively with the Mayor of Banja Luka Draško Stanivuković, and the Mayor of Mostar Mario Kordić.

The co-creation processes will run in parallel in the two cities. The peer-exchanges, know-how and lessons learned from these democratic practices will contribute to further sthenghten openness and inclusiveness of local authorities in the country.

These activities are carried out in the framework of the project “Innovating democratic participation at local level in Bosnia and Herzegovina” implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022-2025. The project aims to enhance the quality of local democracy and create opportunities for citizens to engage in innovative participatory processes in Mostar and elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It promotes new democratic approaches, open government, public ethics, transparent and inclusive local policy making in the country.

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