What does the typical participatory budgeting process in Germany look like?

In Germany, PB is typically consultative: Citizens submit proposals and make comments. They enrich the professional budget planning debate by contributing their local expertise and priorities. Administrators take these proposals and comments into account when drafting the budget. The local council decides on the proposals, and explains why which proposals can be implemented and which not.

Typically, a PB process in Germany looks like this:

In Germany, PB is indirectly a tool of democracy; citizens do not decide, they advise.

Of course, there is no such thing as the German PB process. There are many models. Most PB processes cover the entire budget, while others cover specific areas of it. Many local authorities ask themselves ‘What should we spend our money on?’, while others ask ‘How can we save money or generate new income?’.



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