Initiative “Centre for Regional Development of Bilozerka”
Place: Bilozerka, Kherson Oblast
The progressive trend of emancipation of part of civil society can also be observed in remote Ukrainian regions as illustrated by the initiative campaign in the district town of Bilozerka. This initiative tried to pursue two district municipalities – Stanislav and Shyroka Balka – to establish and manage not only the online broadcasting of the council meeting which approves all the important decisions, including the budget, but also the commission meetings – in particular of the commission which discusses the details of the budget before approval by the council. The initiative through online streaming (more than 900 views), provided easy access to the process of budgeting and approving the budget for citizens who had the opportunity to bring their own proposals from June 2017. In addition to online broadcasting, representatives of the initiative collected comments on municipal budgets from more than 40 citizens of Stanislav and Shyroka Balka. However during the decentralization process in October 2017, these two municipalities were merged. In November the initiative managed to get the online broadcasting into proceeding rules. At the same time the initiative organized seminars about the rights and duties of local representatives and initiated an electronic complaint to investigate corrupt practices that might be witnessed. Stanislav and Shyroka Balka were the first municipalities in the district with online broadcasting. The Mayor of Bilozerka, who was also inspired by these progressive methods and efforts, is trying to make work of the city council more transparent now as well.