III CONFERENCE OF CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN THE LOCAL AREA (2010)



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00900397Do we have a plan for citizen participation? With that title, on May 26, 2010 a hundred representatives of the Aragonese local administrations and municipal social institutions, as well as technicians of the locations linked with citizen participation, reflected in the III Conference on citizen participation at the Local level about the necessity of having a plan organized by the participation and, through this strategic planningturn it into a real public policy. Minister of Presidency of the Government of Aragón, Javier Velasco, opened this meeting, organized by the direction General of citizen participation, which insisted that in this time of crisis you must "communicate and listen more and better". Moreover, the general director of citizen participation, Nacho Celaya, remarked that local authorities "should be schools of citizenship".



00900345PRESENTATION BY THE MINISTER OF PRESIDENCY, JAVIER VELASCO

The Minister of Presidency of the Government of Aragón, Javier Velasco, presided, along with the general director of citizen participation, Nacho Celaya, and the Secretary general of the Aragonese Federation of municipalities, regions and provinces (FAMCP), Nicolas Martín, the III Conference on citizen participation at the local level, the title of which was we have a plan for citizen participation?

 

 

In the Centro Joaquín Roncal of Zaragoza, Velasco stressed the importance of this event to give tools to the Aragonese municipalities enabling them to carry out participatory processes and this "be closer to citizens".

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"Deepen participation is key to the democratic system and decision-making"

 

During his speech, to a hundred of attendees representatives from all local level Aragonese, stressed the importance of deepening the participation: "It's a fundamental issue for the democratic system and decision making". Although he assured that articulate this public policy is not easy, he also claimed that the municipalities "have always been those who best channels of participation have had".

 

"In these difficult times we need to communicate and listen more and better"

 

00900421Javier Velasco referred to the difficult time spanning the towns by the general situation of economic crisis. The adviser urged attendees that transparency is greater in these times of crisis. "We need to communicate and listen more and better at all levels, and should be in a proper and organized manner". That offered from the Government of Aragon, through the direction General of citizen participation, overall strategies so that the town councils wishing to compromise the participation, "an element of success", recalled.

 

"It is necessary to sit at a table without knowing what will be the final result."

 

Finally, Velasco warned local representatives to make policies for the participation citizen "is necessary to sit at a table without knowing what will be the final result". "At this time we have the obligation of making that effort for the participation," he said.

 

INTERVENTION OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE FAMCP, NICOLAS MARTIN

 

The FAMCP, Martín Nicolas, Secretary-General stressed the great neighbourhood and associative movement of the Aragonese territory in the local administration. Nicholas, however, lamented that sometimes due to depopulation and the number of municipalities there is no support for these initiatives.

 

 

 

The need to plan the local policies of participations citizen, NACHO CELAYA

 

00900363To facilitate the involvement of associations and citizenship in general, director general of citizen participation of the Government of Aragon, Nacho Celaya, put tools with which this Department has available to councils.

 

"Sometimes, for participation, must say that not to citizens, always with transparency and explaining the whys"

 

In his speech, returned to emphasize that at this time "plays managing shortage and so more never needing the voices around the world". Before starting to develop the theme that gave title to the day, we have a plan for citizen participation?, Celaya told attendees that participate "is tremendously painful". On the one hand, administrations is should "get naked so that citizens can analyze, criticize and assess their decisions; "and on the other hand, citizens must be aware of one thing is participate and another decide, and sometimes have to say no, always with transparency and explaining the whys", argued.

 

00900414"Local authorities should be schools of citizenship."

 

The director-general stressed the need to bet on politics when they are worse things and, through participation, improve democratic quality and regain the trust of citizens. To do so, he stressed that local authorities "must be schools of citizenship".

 

A Decalogue for "a common way"

 

Participation plans allow you to make participation a real public policy. Through a strategic planning each local authority can build an own route, but "all along a common road," said Nacho Celaya.

 

DESD00900556and DG were presented to attendees ten points to make from them, they can ask how they are and to check if they have advanced in terms of participation. This Decalogue is based on analyze if there is a political commitment; have a diagnosis; If it is located participation policy; having a regulatory framework; offer stable spaces for participation; promote citizen participation; carry out participatory processes; facilitate training and sensitization on the subject; experiment with small experience of direct democracy; and to evaluate its bid. Thus, municipalities can develop actions relating to those points and know its shortcomings and strengths.
 

 

 

 

EXPERIENCES AND HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS

After the intervention of Nacho Celaya, representatives of different local administrations in Aragon explained their experiences in participation schemes. Municipalities such as Alcañiz - which passed a regulation on participation and carry out a process to develop together with children, adolescents, and citizens in general a plan of childhood and youth - or Sobradiel - Zaragoza City that pioneered all Aragon unanimously signed a commitment by participation - transmitted to attendees the motivations, goals and the situation of these initiatives. In addition other locations, such as Ejea de los Caballeros and Sabiñánigo, and the regions of Albarracín and Campo de Borja presented their experiences.

 

At the end of these exhibitions began a debate and resolution of doubts about construction of a local participation plan, which could open around of 100 representatives. Later, the conclusions of the deliberations arose.

 

 

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