On 27 April, marked the start in Tartu of the gathering of ideas for the third participative budgeting to be drawn up in the city. Tartu was the first local authority in Estonia to adopt a participative budgeting. The e-Governance Academy assisted in the development of the original concept, and one of the academy’s resident experts, Kristina Reinsalu, continues to advise the city’s public relations department on preparations for and the conducting of the inclusion process.

Ideas can be submitted online at http://www.tartu.ee/kaasaveelarve until 17 May. The inclusive budget must be directed at an investment whose maximum cost is 70,000 euros. The two ideas which gather the most public support will be implemented, with the option of further projects also receiving funding. The ideas must be connected to Tartu, for public use and of benefit to ordinary citizens. Implementation of the ideas must not generate unreasonable costs in future budgets for the city.

Experts from the relevant fields will assess the feasibility of all of the ideas submitted. In-depth discussions of the ideas and their impact will be held in June between the experts and the people behind the ideas. These discussions will determine which ideas go forward to the final vote in October.

The objectives of the participative budgeting are to boost cooperation between communities, to promote among residents of the city the principles of drafting budgets and to actually implement people’s ideas.