The Pécs City Hall scheduled the convening of the 3. Civil Forum on Santa Claus’ Day, 06.12.2023.
The aim of the Civil Forums is to provide the city administration and civil organizations working for the city with up-to-date information from the local government, indicate their needs and have conversations.
The need for regular convening of Civil Forums is one of the results of the urban Civil Concept established in 2021. This was formulated jointly by the municipality and NGOs in order to cooperate more smoothly and closely from now on.
The topics of the current 3. Civil Forum were the Pécs City Civil Framework and the “Decide with Us!” participatory budget.
The Pécs City Civil Framework was established last year, also based on the needs of civil organizations. Its essence is that the city should allocate an amount from which it supports the programs of the city’s civil organizations through tenders.
This year was preceded by the provision of an extraordinary overhead subsidy to NGOs, also through tenders.
In the end, HUF 50 million was available for the Pécs City Civil Framework. 95 applications were received, of which 57 organizations received funding, typically all of them half of what they requested. The reason for this, according to the City Hall, is to allow as many organizations as possible to receive funding. However, the largest amount of support was HUF 400,000. The People First Association also implements the exploration of new locations in the Barrier-free Pécs Database from only HUF 300,000.
In their comments, NGOs asked for the tender to be announced earlier next year and for the decision and contract conclusion to go much smoother, which made the work of NGOs very difficult this year. They also asked the city to create an online platform for this purpose and not have to submit the application in paper form.
This year, Pécs joined the “Decide with Us!” participation budget, following several Hungarian cities. The aim of this exemplary initiative is to enable citzens themselves to decide over a certain amount what kind of urban development they want to implement from it.
Of course, the first year caused minor and especially major bumps, but the process has started and will continue, which makes us proud of our city.
Unfortunately, the implementation of the cooperation principles laid down in the above-mentioned 2021 Civil Concept is already progressing more difficultly. Since April 2023, a large civil umbrella organization has been coordinating the Civil Concept. However, none of the activities undertaken have been implemented in the past two years, which is demotivating for many NGOs.
– Creation of a Civil Portal to provide news to and about civilians.
– Establishment of professional working groups with the participation of NGOs on Equal Opportunities, Democracy Development and Climate/Green topics.
– Creation of a Civil Database for which all NGOs can register. It would be an excellent partner search opportunity for each other, and the municipality would also know who to turn to. Registered organizations can regularly receive information from the city about tender opportunities, and only registered applicants could apply for the Pécs City Civil Framework.
– Pécs Civil Day, one-day colorful program with the opportunity to introduce yourself.
We are still waiting for all this and we strongly hope that it will be implemented in 2024.
An important closing topic of the Civil Forum was ESG introduced by the EU, the social responsibility obligation of large companies. To learn about this, the town hall promises to organize training for civil organizations in Pécs. We are looking forward to it, it will be an exciting topic!