More direct democracy at the local level

18 January 2023
More direct democracy at the local level
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More direct democracy at the local level 

Draft bill #7283 of April 13, 2022 

Status: adopted in the first reading, MPs still have time to amend the bill. 

Who is affected: local residents, community heads, local councils, officials of local governments, voters, civic and charitable organizations, professional and creative unions, employers’ organizations, and population self-organization entities. 

Summary of the bill: 

  • community heads and local councilors will report to residents in a new way: they will report at least once a year in accordance with the charters of their communities. These reports will be made at open meetings where residents will be able to ask questions, make comments, and submit proposals. A written report will be available to the public on the official website of the community and on the premises of the local council no later than seven days before the public report meeting 
  • the law defines a list of formats for residents’ participation in solving problems of local importance. It includes local referendums and initiatives, general meetings, public consultations, and public evaluation of the executive authorities’ work 
  • local self-government bodies will be obliged to consider decisions made by general meetings, local initiatives, and proposals based on the results of public hearings. The authors of the decisions will be able to participate in the considerations 
  • local residents will have the right to influence the distribution of a part of the local budget. The forms and proposals’ submission procedure concerning the use of this money will be approved by a local council’s decision or the community charter. The results of the submitted proposals are to be considered during budget planning 
  • civic and charitable organizations, professional and creative unions, employers’ organizations and population self-organization entities may initiate public evaluations of the work of local government executive bodies and officials. The initiators have to submit conclusions and proposals based on the results of the evaluation within three months. Local councils will have to consider these conclusions and proposals and make decisions within 30 days 
  • residents from the age of 14 will have the opportunity to initiate and participate in local initiatives, public hearings, public consultations, and electronic petitions. 

What is right: the bill strengthens residents’ participation in community life. Residents will have more tools to influence the work of local self-government bodies and participate in making important decisions. 

What is wrong: some of the proposed tools can significantly complicate and stall decision-making. Corrupt politicians or citizens can abuse these procedures to make local governments’ work impossible. 

Voted in favor: all factions and groups.