Channels and participation mechanisms

Participation channels are instruments that the general public can use to influence government action in order to promote, debate, co-produce and decide on questions relating to municipal policies.

The City Council must provide the resources needed to ensure plurality, enabling the presence of the diversity of opinions and perspectives that define the City of Barcelona.

There are three regulated channels:  bodies, processes and public consultations.  

  • The city's participation bodies are regular forums where the City Council and the general public can debate aspects of municipal policies and influence government actions.  They can be territorial (neighbourhood, district, city) or sectorial, by area of action according to the subject under discussion (culture, mobility, education, etc.).
  • Participatory processes are a series of meetings within a specific time frame to promote debate and contrasting arguments among the general public or between the general public and municipal authorities, in order to receive their opinions and proposals concerning a specific municipal action.
  • Public consultations are used for determining the general public's decisions concerning important city matters, by means of a direct, free, equitable and secret vote, cast either in person or online.

All of these participation channels can be activated through a citizen initiative.

 

What is a citizen initiative?

A citizen initiative is the means by which the general public influences the development of the City of Barcelona's public policies, through the collection of signatures.

This is an intervention by a group of people (a minimum of three) who demonstrate that their proposal is not just personal interest, by means of collecting a certain number of signatures to prove it. A citizen initiative may convene a Neighbourhood Council, request a public consultation on a specific question or hold a participatory process, among others.

Therefore, the initiative recognises people's ability to become active players in matters that affect the community as a whole.

 

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