Participatory Budgeting – Lisboa Eu Participo! (Lisbon - Portugal)
In 2008, the city of Lisbon opened up its governance procedures for the first time by allowing citizens to participate in the decision-making process to allocate part of the municipal budget. For the 2017/2018 edition of the Participatory Budgeting – Lisboa Eu Participo! – a budget of 2.5 million euros was made available.
The participation process is very simple: citizens have to register on the website (www.lisboaparticipa.pt) or in person (during Participative Sessions, with the aim of including citizens who have difficulties accessing digital means), then they can submit their detailed proposal for further evaluation by the competent municipal services (technical assessment). After the analysis, provisional results are made public, so that the authors of rejected proposals have the opportunity to submit a formal claim if necessary. The final proposals are then submitted to public voting, and citizens can vote by SMS, in person, or online, using their website account. Finally, winning projects (projects with a minimum number of 250 votes) are incorporated in the Municipal Budget and Activity Plan, that will afterwards be subject to approval by the City Council and Municipal Assembly.
Since the project was started, 6,204 proposals have been submitted, 1,957 projects were opened to public vote, 120 winning projects have been implemented, 33,805,668.00€ have been invested, and 268,536 votes were cast.
Improved e-Governance and citizen services.
Description of the specific objectives:
- Engage the citizens in the governance of the city by participating in the budgeting activities of the municipality.
- Improve the quality of life in the urban settlement of Lisbon.
As written in the Charter of Principles for Lisbon Participatory Budgeting, the main official objectives are:
“- Foster dialogue between politics, municipal services, citizens, and the organised civil society in order to find the best solutions, taking into account the diversity of available resources;
- Contribute to a civic education, encouraging citizens to identify their personal concerns with the common good, to grasp the complexity of problems and acquire postures, practices, and skills of participation;
- Adjust municipal public policies to the people’s needs and expectations to improve the living conditions of the city;
- Increase the transparency of the activities of the authorities, the level of accountability of municipal elected officials in order to strengthen the quality of local democracy.”
City of Lisbon.