Legal framework – local level
Basic documents that treat the issue of citizen participation in decision-making at the local level are the Law on Local Self-Government, Statute of the Municipality, Rules of Procedure for Transparency as well as Rules of Procedure for Organizing and Functioning of Consultative Committees in municipalities. The manner of informing and consulting with the public is determined through these documents.
The Law on Local Self Government recognizes the right of citizens of a municipality to participate in activities of a respective municipality (Article 4, item 5). The law foresees open meetings of the Municipal Assembly, furthermore, it requests that the public is informed on the date of a meeting as well the approval of rules to enable the participation of the public in meetings (Article 45). Whereas, the Article 68, item 5, facilitates access to official information for all the citizens of the respective municipality based on the Law on Access to Official Documents. This Law also foresees a regular mechanism for information and public consultation; Article 68, items 1 and 2 foresee the organization of at least two public meetings per year by each municipality. Furthermore, the municipality is obliged to inform the citizens of ‘important public interest plans or programs’ (Article 68, item 3); Municipal Assembly is obliged to adopt the local regulation to ensure an effective implementation of this Law (Article 68, item 4).
Besides these provisions, the Law on Self Government foresees the right to petition (Article 69); Citizens’ initiative (Article 70); as well as local referendum (Article 71). Also Article 73 of the Law refers specifically to CSOs, by obliging the municipalities to establish Consultative Committees within sectors, where representatives of CSOs need to be invited into.