EMPACI (Empowering Participatory Budgeting in the Baltic Sea Region):
EmPaci aims to get more municipalities involved in participatory budgeting and mobilise different groups of citizens. Therefore, Empaci fosters capacity-building for municipalities, transnational clusters and cooperation among municipalities and their citizens. The project promotes civic acceptance of the idea and spreads it across the Baltic Sea Region through the good practices piloted within EmPaci.
To begin with, EmPaci provides a comparative analysis of participatory budgeting in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany and collects the experiences of European municipalities. Building upon this analysis, the project equips the participating municipalities and public institutions with the right tools to assess citizen needs. Eventually, this approach allows to design participatory budgeting, which is particularly interesting for less active and less-heard citizen groups such as young people, the elderly or the unemployed. EmPaci empowers municipalities to develop, test and optimize participatory budgeting concepts and adjust them to local needs and interests. The concept includes:

  • defining the amount of the budget to be distributed through these mechanisms,
  • defining the areas of necessary interaction based on citizen needs,
  • establishing rules for participatory budgeting (such as practices for the submission of ideas, voting on them, selection and implementation procedures etc.),
  • designing a platform for participatory budgeting actions,
  • coordinating the communication and dissemination of participatory budgeting schemes,
  • ensuring evaluation, and
  • implementing projects emerging as winners from the newly introduced participatory budgeting schemes.

The project sets up a municipality budget through a participatory process. The project is complemented by “orgware” to facilitate technology transfer and a training program that builds municipal trainers who disseminate the participatory budgeting idea among Baltic Sea region municipalities.

EmPaci project website

2019 – 2021

Funding Programme: Interreg Baltic Sea Region
Lead Partner: University of Rostock, Ellen Haustein (Email)