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Civic Engagement

    • The municipality of Etterbeek is a democratic public body. Decisions are taken by:
      • the municipality Council;
      • the municipality College (daily management).
    • All members of the Council are directly elected by universal suffrage every 6 years. The municipality College is composed of members of the Council who together form a political majority that governs the municipality.
    • With some exceptions (e.g. HRM), there is an obligation to inform the public about the decisions taken by the municipal authorities: public access at the Council meetings, decisions available online or in paper, etc.
    • But Etterbeek goes beyond the legal obligations and in 2017, the municipality obtained an award for transparency after a survey led by a consortium of journalists associated with the “Transparencia” citizens’ platform.
    • Etterbeek wants to encourage the involvement of everyone in local affairs by multiplying the possibilities for citizens to take part in decisions, in compliance with the municipal legislation. In recent years, citizens’ participation in local affairs has gained in importance in Etterbeek:
      • Public participatory and information meetings (including “walking diagnostics”), additional to the legal obligations
      • Online info and participatory platform Fluicity
      • Information website and Facebook page
      • Info brochures and letters
      • Supporting and putting forward initiatives from citizens and local associations: logistic support, cofounding…
      • Different thematic Advisory Councils composed of citizens: European Affairs (CCAE), Disabled People, Sustainable Development, Gender Equality, Youth, Seniors, International Solidarity, etc.
    • And the renewed Council / College wants to progress further in that direction during the coming years:
      • Consolidation of existing initiatives
      • Reinforcement of the participatory budget
      • The future “House of Participation” and the “Crossroad of the Regions”
      • Establishment of a citizen's right of initiative
      • Thematic and neighborhood citizens’ meetings
      • Active participation in the European Local Democracy Week
Public participatory and information meetings (including “walking diagnostics”), additional to the legal obligations

Etterbeek regularly organizes ad hoc public meetings to inform and involve citizens in public works projects carried out by the municipality.

"Walking diagnostics" are exploratory walks that invite people of a neighborhood to walk around together with elected officials and municipality agents. These walks are an occasion to find solutions to the problems spotted by the dwellers in their neighborhood. It is also possible to obtain communal financing to carry out citizens’ projects proposed by the inhabitants, as long as they are validated by the municipality (feasibility) and approved by a citizen vote.

These meetings are regularly announced through various channels: Facebook, municipal website, Fluicity, letters, etc.

Citizens are also kept informed of the follow-up, through an updated inventory of issues raised and responses provided.

Particular attention is paid to people who are not inclined to spontaneously get involved, whether for linguistic, social or other reasons, thanks to intermediary people and associations.

Online info and participatory platform Fluicity

The Fluicity citizens’ online platform, launched in 2017, has been a great success and more than 1200 people were registered at the end of 2018. This tool allows citizens to post comments, but also to organize polls, or inform and consult the public in depth about important communal projects.

Fluicity is a good complement to public meetings, as it allows less mobile or busy people to get involved in local life.

Information website and Facebook page

The municipal information website and Facebook pages are very useful information tools.
Citizens can find a lot of information:

  • Official / general information
  • Administrative procedures (including an e-desk and an appointment-making tool)
  • The contact details and description of the municipal services
  • Local news
  • Leisure and sports
  • Many downloadable documents
  • Etc.
Municipal newspaper, info brochures and (news)letters

The municipal newspaper, info brochures and (news)letters are traditional means of communication used by Etterbeek.
The municipal newspaper is published every month in electronic and paper form, distributed to all households. Municipal services also send thematic e-newsletters to those who request them.

In addition, various thematic brochures are regularly published and available in different info points (city hall, libraries, etc.) and in electronic form. Depending on the circumstances, it can be information on waste management, public parks, mobility or the right to vote.

Personalized letters are also regularly sent to residents to send them news or remind them of their rights and obligations.

Supporting and putting forward initiatives from citizens and local associations

Collectively or individually, residents or associations can propose a citizens' initiative: conference, urban infrastructure, workshops, etc.

For their project, they can benefit from logistical or financial assistance from Etterbeek. This is possible via:

The municipality can also provide logistical assistance to people who want to organize an event: loan of equipment and provision of premises, publicity.

Thematic Advisory Councils

There are various thematic Advisory Councils in Etterbeek:

These boards are composed mainly of citizens and their main missions are to:

  • Discuss topics having a local interest
  • Promote social cohesion and improved living together
  • Make proposals to the municipal authorities

They meet regularly and the municipality facilitates their creation and their democratic functioning.

Participatory budget

The notion of participatory budget stems from an increasing expectation from the population to actively take part in the development of projects of general interest (urban infrastructures, mobility, parks, leisure, culture, etc.).

The Municipal Law provides for the existence of a participatory budget, which is already in place in Etterbeek. It will be consolidated.

In practice, the municipal authorities vote annual participatory budget lines (operational and investment), reserved for projects originating from citizens, neighborhood committees or representatives of the civil society, and validated by a jury composed mainly of Etterbeek’s citizens.

The process can be facilitated by an independent consultant.

The future “House of Participation” and the “Crossroad of the Regions”

The House of Participation will open in the early 2020s. It will be a space reserved on the site of "Jardins de la Chasse", in the old chapel under renovation. It will become a place of collaboration between all the stakeholders of local democracy. Open to all, it will be a place of information, meeting and social link. It will welcome citizens and associations wishing to meet and promote exchanges. A digital and multimedia public space will allow everyone to have the necessary technological means to work and communicate on topics of local and citizens’ interest.

The Hap House is a listed building currently under renovation. From 2021, it will host the "Crossroad of the Regions". It will be a place managed by the municipality and open to all. The goal is to promote diversity, social cohesion and participation in local life, by organizing or hosting activities (exhibitions, music, conferences, conversation tables, language courses, cooking) that highlight the regions and the countries of the world represented by the very diverse population of the neighbourhood, which hosts more than 150 nationalities.

Establishment a citizen's right of initiative

Beyond the right of citizen interpellation and communal popular consultation, which are provisions explicitly provided for by law, the municipality of Etterbeek has established in 2019 a citizen's right of initiative.

This is a commitment of the municipal Council to deliberate and vote on a point of local interest submitted by at least 750 inhabitants of Etterbeek (over 16 years of age).

After debate, the Council may:

  • Vote in favor of the initiative (and provide the necessary budget)
  • Vote against (and give reasons for)
  • Propose a modification or amendments to the citizens
  • Consider submitting the item to the popular consultation

These new provisions aim to bring elected representatives closer to citizens, by enabling citizens to take initiatives and politicians to be more transparent, closer, and more responsive to citizen concerns.

Thematic and neighborhood citizens’ meetings

In the future, thematic and neighbourhood citizens' meetings will be held in Etterbeek on a more regular basis. These will be permanent or ad hoc bodies, composed mainly of citizens and whose purpose will be to:

  • Make comments, proposals or recommendations on any subject of local interest
  • Evaluate the existing local democratic system and make proposals to bring citizens and elected representatives closer together
  • Contribute to the management of the participatory municipal budget
  • Identify the needs and challenges of different neighbourhoods and propose appropriate responses
  • The municipality will take into account the recommendations of these participatory bodies.

The municipality will also offer them logistical and methodological assistance:

  • Promote democratic functioning with the help of independent consultants
  • Provision of meeting rooms
  • Publicity
  • Etc.
  • Particular attention will be paid to people who are not inclined to spontaneously take part in such initiatives, whether for linguistic, social or other reasons, thanks to intermediary people and associations.
Active participation in the European Local Democracy Week

Each year, Etterbeek participates in various ways in the European Local Democracy Week.

From now on, we will take advantage of this opportunity to organize a major event in the municipality. The House of Participation will be put forward on this occasion. During the week - and beyond - participation will be at the heart of all attention.

Therefore, this European Week will not only be a symbol but a real vector for action and change in Etterbeek, in favor of responsible citizen participation.


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translation – übersetzung ; oversættelse - prijevod - traducción - traduzione ; vertaling – tłumaczenie - tradução – traducere – tõlge – μετάφραση – fordítás – tulkojums – vertimas – traduzzjoni – översättning – çeviri – käännös – превод – překlad – aistriúchán – prijevod – Iwwersetzung

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