On October 6, LPA representatives, citizens and rural development experts discussed a number of current challenges related to the budget process at the local level, including through the involvement of citizens in the decision-making process. The 4 mayors present at the training represent 3 regions of the country: Carbuna, Ialoveni district and Telita, Anenii Noi district (Center), Huluboaia, Cahul district (South) and Dezghingea, ATU Gagauzia (South). iRi team assisted by experts Veaceslav Ionita (public policy expert, IDIS Viitorul) and Tatiana Costev-Cosuleanu (iRi executive director) facilitated the discussions on the latest developments in the Republic of Moldova related to fiscal policy and practice in rural communities of Moldova, but also about practical ways to involve citizens in local development initiatives.
“Our goal is both education and involvement of citizens in rural areas in the development and monitoring of local budgets with the specific objective of improving public spending in rural areas.” – Tatiana Costev-Cosuleanu, iRi executive director, expert in community mobilization.
A topic that aroused interest among mayors was decentralization and legislation in the field of fiscal autonomy which represents an obstacle to the development of local communities:
“If we talk about the philosophy of local public finances, we don’t even have much to talk about. Unfortunately, local councils can decide on how to manage only about 6% of the local budget, the rest goes to central transfers… If we are in a governed state, an unjust subject of law (the mayor) should address to the court to solve its problem.” – Veaceslav Ionita, public policy expert IDIS Viitorul.
At the end of the event, the 4 present mayors signed with iRi a memorandum of partnership following subsequent activities, the 5 partner LPAs together with civil society representatives and initiative groups will receive the necessary methodological and organizational support for LPA to successfully implement requirements for citizen participation in the budgetary process, including the expert analysis level.
The project “Citizens ACT: growing local partnerships for open and transparent budgets” is implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) with financial support from the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a project of the German Marshall Fund, USA.
More photos from the event can be found on the Facebook page of the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi):