On Friday 20 November the e-Governance Academy, the Urban Lab, NENO and regional development centres will be launching Common Week with the forum “Let’s make local authority Local!”, which is taking place in Rakvere.

According to organiser Kristina Reinsalu, active citizens and representatives of communities and municipalities are welcome to participate in the forum and share their thoughts on how to decide and achieve in a more collective way when organising life in municipalities. “During the forum we’ll be discussing the role of the community during and after administrative reform, and in workshops we’ll be sharing practical examples that could encourage people to try new initiatives in their communities,” she explained.

In the opening debate of the forum, the Estonian Minister of Public Administration and people who are experienced in aspects of running municipalities will discuss the action plans of administrative reform and the lessons learned so far.

According to Reinsalu, the debate over administrative reform during the forum will focus on expanding people’s horizons rather than amending administrative boundaries. “The recent discussions in counties focused on cost-saving and new financial opportunities achieved through administrative reform,” Reinsalu explained. “The purpose of our debate and subsequent discussions on administrative reform is to find ways of benefitting from the reform in terms of new, more broad-based decision-making models and putting active people to greater use in municipalities and communities.”

Watch live broadcast from the opening debate of the forum on communities and municipalities in Postimees.ee

During the following six discussions, which will have a practical focus, the participants will gain an insight into the experiences of Estonia, Iceland and Norway and discover beneficial examples of how to increase safety in the community, use social media and VOLIS for better information exchange, fund community services and apply inclusive budgeting. In addition, students from Rakvere Co-Educational Secondary School will be discussing how they can increase their participation in community life.

The forum will end with the announcement and recognition of the most cooperative people in Estonia.

The kick-off to Common Week will take place at the conference centre of Rakvere Aqva Spa and is free of charge. More information and the programme can be found on the e-Governance Academy website.

The forum is being organised by the e-Governance Academy, the Urban Lab, NENO and regional development centres. It is taking place within the framework of the ‘Open Government Partnership in local municipalities’ project funded by the NGO Fund of EEA Grants via the Open Estonian Foundation and the National Foundation of Civil Society.