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The municipality of Alcoutim, Portugal, launches Participatory Budgeting
an article by Diári Online

For the first time in its history, the Board of Alcoutim is implementing a Participatory Budget for the municipality of Alcoutim (PBA), which will take effect from 2015, with an investment of 100 million euros.

Alcoutim is on the border with Spain along the Guadiana River

click on photo to enlarge

The goal of the initiative is to foster participatory, active and responsible democracy, with a view to improving the quality of life. It invites proposals for investments of collective interest, which are then rated and integrated into the municipal budget next year.

This measure encourages active citizenship by promoting the participation and involvement of citizens in the dynamics of governance and prioritization of investments. It deepens the connection of authority to its citizens and contributes to an increase in the transparency of government activity.

The Participatory Budgeting of Alcoutim is a deliberative process because tit is the citizens themselves who submit proposals and decide, through voting, which projects will be included in the municipal budget for the following year.

The proceedings may be attended by all citizens over 18 years old, as long as they are registered in Alcoutim.

Each citizen may submit only one proposal, with a value that does not exceed the amount allocated to participatory budgeting for the year in question. These proposals should be based on the expertise of the municipality and should address the needs of the collective.

The collection phase for proposals runs until July 31, with discussion on the process to be held in each of the parishes of the municipality, or by submitting a proposal, which will then be available on the premises of the municipal bodies, or by email to the address The voting on the proposals will take place between September 29 and October 10.

The first session of disseminating and collecting the participatory budget proposals will take place in the auditorium of the Town Hall of Alcoutim on Monday, July 7, at 18:30 hours.

Four more sessions are scheduled to take place at the same time on consecutive days, between 8 and 11 July, in the buildings of the parish councils of Pereiro, Martim Longo, Vaqueiros and Giões, respectively.

(Click here for a Portuguese version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Participatory budgeting, How does it work?

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Latest reader comment:

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For more recent articles and discussion, click here.

This report was posted on July 13, 2014.