Participatory Budgets of Polish Major Cities During Covid-19

Jaroslaw Olejniczak, Dorota Bednarska-Olejniczak
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Special Issue 3, 983-996, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2553


Purpose: This article aims to determine the "resilience" of solutions adopted in Poland in the scope of participatory budgeting regarding the crisis in the economy. Design/Methodology/Approach: Multiple case studies as the research tool was used. It enabled a multi-faceted analysis of the functioning of participatory budgets (PB). Firstly - a review of the literature on the subject of PBS, secondly - an analysis of the legal sources regarding the PBs in Poland; thirdly - an analysis of information available on the websites and in the source, documents published by individual main regional 17 cities in Poland, associated with the implementation of PB procedures in 2019 -2020. Findings: Data obtained from individual city offices concerning the distribution of the procedure over time and the decisions made regarding the shape of PB in 2020 indicate a relatively strong impact of the pandemic on the implementation of PB in the studied cities. Changes in the scope of schedules, reduction in the pool of funds, changes in the scope of consultation processes, or changes in the proper voting methods constitute apparent consequences of the pandemic's impact on the PB processes. Practical Implications: The research shows that earlier implementation of remote voting and the strengthening of the inhabitants' belief in the importance of PB can undoubtedly have a significant impact on the strengthening of PB processes. Also, the ability of citizens and municipalities to use new technologies both in designing PBs and voting will be essential to strengthen the PB process in crisis times. Originality/value: The analysis carried out indicates some of the problems in implementing (mandatory) PB processes under crisis conditions. It, therefore, provides an opportunity for discussion regarding the purposefulness and optimal scope of introducing legal regulations concerning PB while indicating the potential threats associated with this.

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