Dudelange is the 4th largest city in the country with a relatively young population, distinguished and diverse districts, important and innovative expansion projects (e.g. Neischmelz) and a strong attachment of the citizens to their city. Although the city has always made efforts to engage citizens, it made a political commitment during the last legislature to become a pioneer in the field of participatory democracy by providing modes of participation that meet the demands of citizens in the best way.
It is within this framework that on December 9, 2020, the University of Luxembourg and the city of Dudelange signed a collaboration agreement that aims to launch the PLDP and to make Dudelange a “pilot city” in the field of participatory democracy. The collaboration between the University of Luxembourg and the city of Dudelange focuses on three axes and three goals:
For more information: : https://www.ondiraitlesud.lu/signature-dune-convention-de-collaboration-pour-la-promotion-de-la-democratie-participative/ (in French).
One of the central tasks of the platform is to monitor and analyze existing participatory projects – especially the Biergerrot (Citizens’ Council) and the Citizens’ Panel – and to support upcoming projects, in particular the introduction of the participatory budget in 2022.
Composed of 15 Dudelange residents selected at random among the residents registered at the population office of Dudelange, the Biergerrat is a discussion process about possible improvements of the services provided by the municipality of Dudelange. Participants are selected on the basis of a ratio of 50% men/women and 50% Luxembourg and non-Luxembourg residents. They are invited to freely initiate any question concerning their experience with the commune and to interact with representatives of the different communal services as well as with one or several members of the alderman’s council. The working session is held face-to-face or remotely and lasts about 1.5 hours. At the end of the process, a report containing the concrete problems raised and the envisaged solutions is drafted and then communicated for opinion to the participants of the working session before its distribution to the College of Aldermen of the municipality of Dudelange, which decides on the follow-up of the various subjects discussed. The action points retained by the College of Aldermen are then communicated within one month to all the members of the working group as well as to all the other stakeholders (citizens, communal services) via the usual communication channels of the commune of Dudelange. The process was set up by BoB Marketing & Projects.
The Citizens’ Panel is a group of voluntary citizens, who are invited at regular intervals to answer a questionnaire (online or on paper) to give their opinion on an upcoming project on which the services of the municipality of Dudelange and/or assimilated organisations are currently reflecting or planning. The panel members are recruited on the basis of public calls. Before receiving the questionnaire, the panel members receive a comprehensible information file on the specific theme determined by the College of Aldermen on the proposal of the municipal services according to the current situation. The results of the panel are then communicated to all panel members as well as to all other stakeholders (citizens, municipal services) via the usual communication channels of the municipality of Dudelange. The results of this panel are then taken into account by the political leaders in their decision making for the city.
The city of Dudelange plans to set up the first participatory budget in 2022. It will thus become the first municipality in Luxembourg to adopt the participatory budget. Through the participatory budget, residents will have the possibility to propose and vote – both on the internet and on paper – concrete projects up to a percentage of the city’s investment budget that is defined by the College of Aldermen. This is part of citizen education and participation as citizens are directly involved in the process and are encouraged to be better informed about the functioning of the municipal budget.
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