Thursday, 26 April 2018 | News today: 21

OSCE launches campaign to raise awareness on civic participation

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Citizens show little to no interest to react to problems within the community. According to a 2015 IRI poll covering 81 municipalities in Macedonia, including the City of Skopje, 81% said they didn’t believe that the authorities would do something after a public outcry.

To encourage civic participation so as to improve the quality of life in municipalities, the OSCE Mission to Skopje has launched a campaign whose slogan is ‘If It’s Up to Me’ (#IfItIsUpToMe).

Last year, OSCE had reviewed the needs of the municipalities, said Yannis Piliouris, expert at the OSCE Mission to Skopje. Projects aimed to increase citizens’ participation are already under way in six municipalities.

“It’s important the citizens to file initiatives to the municipal councils and to seek responses to their initiatives in order to become aware of these instruments. We didn’t work directly with the mayors regarding the matter, it is something that will be dealt with thoroughly next year. It will be a project dedicated to improving the democratic capacities of municipalities. It’s a two-way street,” stated Piliouris.

The campaign is taking place from Dec. 11 to Dec. 22 in six municipalities and includes roundtable debates, civic participation, competitions, etc. So far, local debates have been organized in Veles, Stip and Struga, four more are to follow in Ohrid, Bitola, Tetovo and Kumanovo.