The project proposed by PONT Group, in partnership with SHARE Federation, the City Hall of Cluj‐Napoca is entitled Participatory Budgeting of Youth in Cluj2015, European Youth Capital. The Participatory Budgeting (PB) aims the inclusion of the citizens in the democratic process of consultation and decision‐taking, with the goal of establishing optimal ways of spending (some part) of the public budget. The goal of the project is to conduct a process of participatory budgeting based on the inclusion of the young people; on the base of this process the City Cluj‐Napoca will subsidize the implementation of the most agreed on (voted) projects under the EYC 2015. The strategic objective is to create a portfolio of 250 small projects projects proposed by the young people, addressed to the local community (especially the peripheral areas of Cluj‐Napoca); these projects will contribute to the active participation of the inhabitants in the life of the community, will include the inhabitants in proactive activities, will happen in public and community spaces, being assured free access to the inhabitants, without a financial barrier (a ticket).
Summary of project results
COM’ON Cluj-Napoca 2015 - Participatory Budgeting for Youth came to life when the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania earned the title of European Youth Capital for 2015. The project implied social innovation aiming at improving several basic aspects of participation of young people in urban life: first, their participation as parts of informal groups, second, their active contribution to the life of the community and third, their participation in decision-making through a direct, participatory, democratic process. Through the partnership with the Municipality, a local contest was supported: informal groups applied with project ideas and the funding was given from the Municipality based on citizens' votes. The project mobilized 248 informal groups, totalling over 750 young individuals, which proposed 437 eligible initiatives. They were publicly voted for funding from the Municipality funds and received a total number of 48,609 votes from 18,782 individual voters. All of these figures beat original estimates for the project. Furthermore, the project provided a model on how to sustain legally not registered informal groups from public budgets and how to enable these groups to be an important part of what was the Cluj-Napoca 2015, European Youth Capital programme. All the 117 initiatives of informal groups which were eventually funded from the public budget plus the extra 25 projects which received additional funding through crowdfunding campaigns and actions were implemented in fact by the young people who proposed them. Besides the success of implementing the first participatory budget project in Romania, the project also managed to prove how co-financing and partnerships for this kind of initiative can be put in practice: on how public institutions can co-fund EEA Grants projects, on how a bank can give a credit line in order to provide pre-financing for informal groups and on how other partners can provide co-funding for resources coming for informal groups from public budgets.
Summary of bilateral results