Participatory Budgeting In Russia: Problems And Perspectives Of National Legal Regulation


In 2020, the Russian Federation at the national level adopted amendments to the Federal Law of 06.10.2003, №131-FZ “On general principles of local self-government”, regulating the issues of participatory budgeting. That was an important step in the development of citizens, commercial and non-profit organizations participation practices in local government. Nowadays in Russia there is a contradictory tendency: the state itself initiates and supports the development of practices for involving the population in local self-government, but, the adopted amendments demonstrate the reluctance of the authorities to delegate to the population the authority to make budget decisions. This is expressed in endowing the local administration with broad powers to reject proposed projects at the stage of their examination, in establishing such a procedure for the formation of the composition of tender commissions, in which at least half of their composition should consist of representatives of local administrations, as well as in the absence of involvement of the population in the process of placing orders for municipal needs, and in the process of monitoring and control over the implementation of participatory projects. There are also a number of technical and legal problems related to the complexity of implementing mechanisms based on direct participation of citizens in large cities, with the ratio of participatory payments and self-taxation, which is mainly available only in sparsely populated municipalities, as well as the final integration of participatory budgeting procedures into the budget process.

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