A panel discussion on transparency in the work of local government in Kosovo, organized by NGO Aktiv, was held on Tuesday, July 12, in Gračanica.
Representatives of local civil society organizations and the media pointed out that there is a certain level of non-transparency in municipalities with a Serbian majority, while that greater citizen participation is needed.
Caleb Waugh, Head of Policy Section of the NGO Aktiv, said that the laws provide mechanisms allowing citizens to participate in decision-making process at the local level, but that it is “generally not respected”.
“Citizens are not sufficiently informed about their legal rights, and most of the time they do not have access to information about how they can actually be part of the process in local level”, said Waugh.
Rajko Jovanović from the Communication for Social Development, Fatir Berzati, editor of Kosovo info portal from Prizren, and Albulena Sadiku, deputy director of BIRN, participated in the panel, which was moderated by journalist Budimir Ničić.
The participants indicated that one of the problems in the area of transparency of local self-governments with a Serbian majority, south of the river Ibar, is that there is an insufficient cooperation with the media, while in the municipalities of the Prizren region it was indicated that there are problems in the area of language use.
The debate is part of the project “Enhancing Transparency and Rule of Law in Serb Majority Municipalities in Kosovo”. The project is implemented by NGO AKTIV, financed by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and in partnership with the Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture (ACDC).