More channels to boost the participation and political influence of the public

The new legislative project, now entering the public scrutiny stage, has been defined via a participatory process on the platform Decidim Barcelona and is the result of work carried out by a driving group made up of different political formations and entities. The aim is to regulate the channels shaping relations between the public and Barcelona City Council and facilitate citizen participation in political decisions and the operation of municipal services.

The regulations set out the channels for participation, backing more direct control from citizens on the actions of their political representatives and introducing measures for direct democracy to ensure the involvement and influence of the public on the political agenda.

More direct democracy

Public initiative, as the intervention of citizens to push a determined action in the public interest which is a municipal responsibility, is one of the aspects to be bolstered by the new draft project. To this end, more ways for citizens to drive public consultations are being developed: consultations can be presented by anyone officially residing in the city and aged 16 or over, and for city matters they will need to have the support of between 9,000 and 15,000 signatures.

The municipal government is also keen to facilitate a multi-consultation every year (most likely every May, starting in 2018). The process will last a week and bring together the consultations put forward by municipal groups and the public which have first been approved at Full Council. These consultations will be guaranteed a 30 day debating period and local residents will receive information on the issues to be voted on.

The new legislative project allows for anyone officially residing in the city and aged 16 or over to vote, and in contrast to current regulations will not insist on a minimum participation percentage.

Guarantees for reliability and transparency

The legislative project which has been approved backs a hybrid formula between participating in person and doing so digitally via the platform Decidim.Barcelona. It also envisages the creation of a series of commissions to ensure the reliability and transparency of participatory processes.