Council of Europe Congress to co-organise the First Citizens’ Assembly in Mostar to promote deliberative democracy

Council of Europe Congress to co-organise the First Citizens’ Assembly in Mostar to promote deliberative democracy

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, jointly with the City of Mostar, organise a Citizens’ Assembly, which will be inaugurated on 10 July 2021, as part of the first deliberative process of this kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the South East of Europe. The opening session and presentations by stakeholders and experts will be broadcasted on the dedicated website.

During four consecutive weekends, the Citizens’ Assembly will bring together a representative group of 48 randomly selected citizens who will deliberate upon and make recommendations on the cleanliness of the city and maintenance of public spaces in Mostar. This topic was proposed by citizens of Mostar and chosen after consultations with civil society and the city authorities.

The Assembly is organised on the basis of a tailored methodology that provides for a transparent and inclusive process and allows citizens to learn about the topic from relevant experts and experiences in other cities, and hear the views of local stakeholders and political representatives.

The Assembly represents an opportunity for citizens to be more engaged in policy development and local decision making, and for the local authorities in Mostar to genuinely address the recommendations of citizens on an issue of their concern, by pioneering an approach of deliberative democracy.  This form of citizen participation is being used in many communities at local, regional or national levels where authorities wish to improve the quality of local governance with the contribution of representative groups of citizens and civil society.

The Assembly will be inaugurated by Bernd Voehringer, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities within the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe; Bojana Urumova, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo; Salem Marić, President of the City Council of the City of Mostar; and Radmila Komadina, Advisor to the City of Mostar.

Ahead of the Citizens’ Assembly, a Memorandum of Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the City of Mostar will be signed on Friday at the premises of the City Hall of Mostar.

The Citizens’ Assembly is organised in the framework of the project “Building democratic participation in the City of Mostar” implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2018-2021. The aim of the project is to create opportunities for citizens to engage in a deliberative process and increase their contribution to local decision-making. In turn, this process will foster dialogue at the local level and contribute to the revitalisation of democratic processes in the City of Mostar.