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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.
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.
The municipal information website and Facebook pages are very useful information tools.
Citizens can find a lot of information:
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.
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.
There are various thematic Advisory Councils in Etterbeek:
These boards are composed mainly of citizens and their main missions are to:
They meet regularly and the municipality facilitates their creation and their democratic functioning.
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 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.
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:
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.
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:
The municipality will also offer them logistical and methodological assistance:
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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