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Plans for citizens budget : Berlin can hope to co-determination in Finance

A children's farm in Hellersdorf-Ost, brightly lit walkways, a Gesprächscafé for seniors in Marzahn-North-West, or new benches and trees for the "Elsterwerdaer Platz": For the next district citizen budget were in Marzahn-Hellersdorf submitted 235 proposals. Most of the time it is about to beautifying with little money, the living environment and to strengthen the cohesion in the neighbourhood.

Also in Neukölln and Spandau, Lichtenberg and Treptow-Köpenick can involve citizens in modest to reasonable distribution of public finances.

The rest of the districts were not even at the Start, they gave the project "citizens ' budget", or laboriously try a fresh start. In fact, Lichtenberg a shining example of how it can work. "We expect you", calls on the district since 2005, to make proposals for the "design of community", financed by taxpayers ' money. Lichtenberg was the first Metropolitan municipality in Germany, which has set up a citizens budget.

Once the roof renovation of the club house, a water pump for the Playground. With a well-stocked Online platform, but also with the district conferences of the contact to the citizens. Anyone who wants can also a letter to the district office to write. An "Advisory group", in the district politicians and residents to sit, reviewed the proposals. And then there's the Kiezfonds, with € 10,000 for each of the Lichtenberg district. The use of a citizens ' jury to decide. Over the years, far more than 10,000 light Berger participated in the citizens budget.

The Senate could take that as an example. Because a citizens budget for the city-state of Berlin, whose annual budget is 30 billion euros, not until today. Instead, the household view of politicians and experts in Paris, Helsinki and Potsdam. Representatives of the three cities exchanged recently with the Berlin-based members, scientists, and Management experts on their experiences, at the invitation of the Foundation "Zukunft Berlin". The Senate had a Secretary of state, Sawsan Chebli to the conference sent to the "recruited on behalf of the mayor" for a Berlin-based citizens budget "should also enable people who otherwise find little hearing".

In the new year could be made for this in the state Parliament of Berlin, the Soft. Serge Embacher works in the national network of "Civic commitment", but warned of illusions. The citizens budget is a promising idea, "shows, unfortunately, appearances in many municipalities fatigue". Participation rates would be 1 to 3 percent, the procedure to be challenging and complex, and often the Budget that could be distributed was too low. And it should not join again, just the usual Suspects. "As an elite project of the citizens will fail budget, then you prefer to leave it". The biggest hurdle was "the "lack of political will".

After all, there is in Berlin, budget, policy, inside, burning for the project. For example, Hendrikje Klein, Deputy to the Left of Lichtenberg, and Clara West, Deputy head of the SPD parliamentary group in the house of representatives. Small pointed out that the recently retired previous financial state Secretary Klaus Feiler've already said: "We do." The fellow member West requested to provide a citizens ' budget for the state of Berlin and have enough money available and of interest to as many people as possible. "Citizen participation can only work if it is to really decide something."

participation joyous districts will be rewarded

That it can work, show, the role models Paris and Helsinki. The French capital has started 2014, a year at least 100 million euros of investment funds (about one percent of the total budget) for projects to be kept free, through which the citizens decide in a multi-step process. It goes to projects for the entire city, but also for the 20 Paris districts (Arrondissements). This also includes special budgets for schools and municipal housing. This year 127.000 of the total of 2.2 million citizens were involved in the distribution of the funds.

At the Start four years ago there were 40,000, says Charlotte Fouiller from the Centre Marc Bloch, who accompanied the mega-project in Paris. Clubs and District are involved on Advisory boards, communicating with residents via the Internet, Mail, phone, events and brochures. For the citizens budget 2018, over 2000 proposals were submitted, the majority by letter. Especially the participation of joyous districts are rewarded with higher Budgets.

Similarly, to be successful, the citizens budget for Helsinki, under the slogan "My City" is, however, only an annual budget of 4.4 million euros. Even so, total urban, and district funded projects, which are selected in a year-round, multi-step process. Children from twelve years of age may participate in a game of football, appealing Designs and direct address is attempted, migrants, young people from problem environments, and lack of education. "We work in a multilingual and easy-to-understand information," says Kirsi Verkka, who co-developed the citizens ' budget.

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Marzahn-Hellersdorf as of today, citizens of the household money to self-distribute

Susan Djahangard

In the Berlin neighborhood there is such a thing. In Potsdam all citizens from the age of 14 to have a say for the financing of municipal projects or for savings proposals. The responsible project Manager Christian Maass encouraged the people of Berlin: "The local can strengthen management."

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