September 13-16, 2017, representatives from Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Croatia were able to visit Poland for experiences exchanged on the best participative practices. The visit was organized by the City of Rzeszów – leader of the “STEP UP - Involving Citizens of Europe” Project, funded by the “Europe for Citizens” EU Program.
For three days, more than 25 participants from 9 cities, namely Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lutsk (Ukraine), Satu Mare (Romania), Nyíregyháza (Hungary), Stropkov, Svidník and Prešov (Slovakia), Pula (Croatia), have been exchanging their experiences on participative democracy for decision-making processes within local governments. The participants got acquainted with various participative techniques, presented their cities’ achievements, and using SWOT analysis and risk management methods, developed the road maps for practices implementation.
“I was excited to learn that Poland has truly thorough approach to participative democracy. The future experts in the field are being raised already within their alma mater walls. In fact, there is a bunch of curricular university subjects in Rzeszów. After graduation, the alumnus could implement their knowledge already as certified employees, officials and civil servants.” – shared her impressions one of the participants, Iryna Kryvenchuk, the City Institute Director’s Assistant.
The program included a walk-and-ride acquainting tour through the city and visit to the Cultural Incubator of Rzeszów that has been functioning as an open space for cultural initiatives since 2013.
During the intercultural exchange evening, the participants could present specifics and traditions of their cities, as well as to network informally.
Newly gained experience and fresh ideas on participative democracy tools now have a chance to be successfully tested and implemented within daily administrations’ activities by the Project participants.
Aim: to revive border dismantled cooperation between Lviv and Tbilisi, Georgia and Ukraine in the fields of culture and mutual promotion of cities as tourist and investment centers. Another important objective is the exchange and dissemination of experience between employees of municipalities progressive cities.