of the participatory budgeting for youth process Com'ON Cluj-Napoca
- 2022 edition -
- WHAT IS COM’ON CLUJ-NAPOCA?
The purpose of Com'ON Cluj-Napoca is to carry out a process facilitated by the generation, development, collection of community initiatives proposed and implemented by informal groups of young people in Cluj-Napoca and supported by public funds. The process is based on the principles of participatory budgeting.
Participatory budgeting (BP) aims to involve citizens in a democratic process of deliberation and decision-making to determine the optimal way to spend (part of) the public budget.
The strategic objective is to create a portfolio of at least 45 initiatives proposed by young people and addressed to the local community, initiatives that will contribute to the active participation of residents in community life, take place in public and community spaces and ensure free access without a financial barrier (ticket).
Com'ON Cluj-Napoca aims to involve young people from the local community in the development of the local community through a mechanism based on the principles of participatory budgeting. This participatory approach aims to demonstrate the capacity of young people (and especially young people who do not necessarily have a permanent presence in the life of some organizations).
The mission of the Program is to strengthen the role and support given to young people and informal groups, formed by them in their active participation, in changing society through a process of sustainable, responsible and inclusive urban development.
The participatory process Com'ON Cluj-Napoca is implemented by the PONT Group and is primarily supported by the City Hall and the Cluj-Napoca Local Council. The Romanian Commercial Bank joins the participatory process by supporting the co-financing of the project.
- COM’ON CLUJ-NAPOCA ‘22 FRAMEWORK
Cluj-Napoca European Youth Capital, the Genesis of Com’ON Cluj-Napoca
The foundations of this participatory approach were laid by the PONT Group in the context of the Cluj-Napoca 2015 European Youth Capital program. The first edition of Com'ON Cluj-Napoca, held in the same year, had generated impressive figures: 248 informal groups proposed 437 eligible initiatives that received in the voting process a total number of 48,609 votes, from 18,782 persons who have expressed their intention to vote.
Com’ON Cluj-Napoca ‘22 framework
This edition is organised by the PONT Group. PONT Group is an organization founded in 2009 that aims at social innovation through participation, entrepreneurship and culture with a special focus on youth and digitalization. The PONT Group operates through framework programs and specific projects carried out through intersectoral and multidisciplinary partnerships at local, regional, national and European level. The PONT Group is headquartered in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania.
Cluj for Youth 2030 Framework
In view of the title of European Youth Capital 2015, Cluj-Napoca has decided to launch a collective effort to improve the quality of life of young people. The municipality of Cluj-Napoca defines youth as a special priority on the 2030 time horizon. Cluj-Napoca envisions a future in which young people are an essential part of the development of the municipality and the well-being of its inhabitants. Cluj-Napoca defines this well-being through the perception of the feeling of happiness. This personal and community happiness can be achieved through a high quality of life, a positive outlook for the future as well as self-determination and participation in community life. According to the vision, the average young person in Cluj should feel 8.5 happy on a scale of 1 to 10. This happiness is subjectively perceived by the young person and in 2022 the average is 7.2.
The strategy aims for the individual and community experience of the young person to be of a high quality. By doing so the urban and metropolitan area of Cluj will benefit from generations of young people choosing Cluj for the long term and contributing collectively and proactively to its development as well as adapting to any challenges through high community resilience.
Com’ON Cluj-Napoca ‘21 is based on the Com'ON Europe model, a project supported by the European Union through the Erasmus+ programme through which the cities of Turin (Italy) Braga and Cascais (Portugal), Maribor (Slovenia), Thessaloniki (Greece), Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Varna (Bulgaria) have created a common strategic framework for participatory youth budgeting mechanisms. The European project took place under the coordination of the PONT Group, the initiator of Com’ON Cluj-Napoca ‘21.
ESG principles in the participatory process
ESG is an analysis of an organization's sustainability in terms of three factors: environmental, social and governance. Starting with 2021, Com’ON Cluj-Napoca monitors and reports the application of ESG principles in the stages of implementing the participatory approach. Thus, the aim is to demonstrate the environmental, social and sustainable governance effects in the investment of public funds of the main municipality of Cluj through the main financier, the City Hall and the Local Council of Cluj-Napoca and of the private co-financier, BCR.
The entire cycle of this edition takes place between May 17 – November 20, 2022, starting with the first call for the creation and submission of initiatives and until the end of the last activity supported by this participatory approach.
Any development process is composed of several stages, cycles, "versions".
Com’ON Cluj-Napoca ‘22 is built around an essence-related message: Let’s do well together! - focusing on well-being, on the quality of community life - always important, but essential in this atypical period.
Consequently, the participatory process emphasizes four essential dimensions, relevant to the current context in which we all must adapt as we go to status quo still in formation. We need new ways of thinking, innovating and approaching groups and members of the community in a new light.
Com'ON Cluj-Napoca aims through this first edition to activate informal groups and micro-communities of young people in the city aged between 14 and 35 who are not part of legally established organizations, or even if they are, I believe in the potential as a group to generate something positive for the local community in the city. We want to prove that young people can contribute organically to the development of the local community. We also aim at connecting in general the youth communities with all the inhabitants of the city through the voting tool and the participation and involvement in the implementation of the initiatives supported by this participatory mechanism.
Last but not least, on the principle of participatory budgeting, we aim for the decision on a part of the budget of Cluj-Napoca to be delegated directly to the resident citizens of the city.
Com'ON Cluj-Napoca also wants to contribute to the creation and development of a local e-citizenship, through its gradual integration in the e-government mechanisms developed by the City Hall and the Cluj-Napoca Local Council.
Who can participate in this process as an initiator?
Participation is open to any initiative group, consisting of at least 3 young people who want to implement an activity in Cluj-Napoca, and are between 14 and 35 years old. There are no restrictions on training/experience, gender, ethnicity etc.
Only team initiatives are accepted. A team with the same name, and consisting of the same members, can propose as many initiatives wants. However, a maximum of 3 initiatives will be funded, if they qualify in terms of the number of votes.
The theme of the initiatives within Com’ON Cluj-Napoca ‘22
What does Let’s do well together mean for us?
HEALTH – How do young people feel currently and what can be done for a general wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
This means initiatives related to improving health, whether it is physical or mental, spiritual, but also through initiatives related to healthy lifestyle – nutrition, sleeping and resting habits, physical activity.
ENGAGEMENT – What can young people do for the community and how can they be an active part of the city life.
This means ideas that encourage the spirit of initiative, collaboration, civic-social-cultural participation in community life: initiatives related to culture, sports activities, volunteering, free time. Also, there can be addressed challenges related to equal opportunities in terms of participation in community life.
ENABLING ENVIRONMENT – What the city must offer to its young people to enable them to reach their potential and for them to be involved in solving needs present in the community.
This means identifying and activating some spaces in Cluj or rethinking the existing spaces through which they can receive another function, even temporary. Also, there can be addressed ideas on youth centres, mobility, transport, but also youth rights and public policies related to youth.
LEARNING - How do young people develop in order to feel ready for various aspects of their lives and what competencies do they need to reach that point.
This means ideas with educational potential, which aim to develop general or specific skills. The focus is non-formal education, so there can be developed proposals - including digital tools - that can contribute to the development of creativity, the ability to collaborate or solve problems. You can also write initiatives that address the teacher-student relationship or issues related to gender equality or ethnicity.
The types of ideas described above aim to inspire in the process of developing ideas and initiatives and are not exclusive. The four priorities could mean other creative ideas coming from the applicants.
The activities eligible for Com'ON Cluj-Napoca must be in line with the vision presented above and the priorities listed. Each proposed initiative may opt for one or more of the categories presented above.
General principles of this participatory process
The organizers recommend that the proposed initiatives take into account the following aspects:
- Com'ON Cluj-Napoca aims to support those types of community initiatives that can bring a change for the better in the community and that start from a clearly identified need among the local community and especially among young people;
- through the approaches proposed by the informal initiative groups, of the young people, it is wanted the involvement of the whole local community, the involvement of the young people who are part of various socio-cultural groups and age categories;
- it also encourages those initiatives that creatively involve the participants in the proposed actions and takes place in locations in various areas of Cluj-Napoca. The initiatives will take place exclusively within the municipality of Cluj-Napoca;
- initiatives to be carried out in the city's neighbourhoods (outside the centre) are also encouraged;
- initiatives to be carried out in the online space, as long as they are addressing the citizens of Cluj-Napoca are also welcomed;
- display initiatives are allowed in various spaces or for the creation / rethinking of products, as long as they are not intended for sale;
- Com'ON Cluj-Napoca does not want to support initiatives that impose a financial barrier of access for participants. Access to the activities of the proposed initiatives will be free for the public;
- the initiatives respond in an innovative way to needs identified at the community level;
- projects allow for clear, visible results that can have a long-term impact;
- the initiatives provide safe conditions for leisure for young people and adults;
- initiatives identify and mobilize other resources (financial and non-financial) in the community.
What initiatives cannot be supported?
To comply with both the principles of this approach and the legislation in force, certain categories of expenditure cannot be financed under initiatives:
- initiatives that are not part of the objectives and activities of this participatory approach;
- initiatives that are not drafted based on the standard competition form;
- individual funding applications (eg scholarships, travel sponsorships);
- initiatives that, by their nature, are traditionally carried out / organized by other entities organized in legal forms (organizations, companies etc.);
- loans, retroactive expenditures of completed or ongoing initiatives and activities;
- political initiatives;
- initiatives that incite xenophobia, racism, violence, hatred;
- initiatives with a discriminatory message towards certain social/ethnic categories;
- initiatives to encourage alcohol/drug use;
- initiatives initiated/implemented by other age groups than 14-35 years.
All the initiatives proposed in this approach will be verified from these conditions before their submission to the public vote.
- 2022 EDITION CATEGORIES
Young people with reduced opportunities
To ensure the access of categories of young people with reduced opportunities to this participatory approach, a special funding category is created for these groups.
The special category with reduced opportunities refers to the origin and current status of the members of the initiative group, and not to the target group addressed by their proposal. To be considered a group of young people with fewer opportunities, all members must belong to this special category.
The following categories can be considered as situations with reduced opportunities:
- major cultural differences
- disabilities and health problems
- economic and / or social obstacles
- educational barriers
- geographical and accessibility barriers
However, as a general principle, it is recommended that all initiative groups include young people belonging to disadvantaged groups as far as possible in their work.
14-17 age category
To encourage access to more categories of young people, the 2021 edition will have a distinct age category, namely 14-17 years old. To be considered an initiative group included in this age category, all members of the group must be aged between 14-17 years old at the time of application.
The status of young people with reduced opportunities or of young people which are part of the 14-17 age category will be highlighted in the proposal form of the initiative by checking this option and by a short motivation from the group (regarding the belonging to one of the subcategories presented above).
A number of 5 initiatives will be awarded for the 14-17 age category and a number of 5 initiatives for the group of youth category with reduced opportunities. Funding will also be granted in this case based on the number of votes in this special category.
If an initiative in this special category receives several votes by which it becomes eligible without being considered a special category, then the initiative will not be calculated as part of the 5 (reduced opportunities), respectively 5 (14-17 age category) that will receive funding through the special list.
If any of the seats allocated to the two categories remain unallocated due to a lack of initiators for them or their award outside the special list, the remaining seats shall be redistributed to the other competing initiatives in descending order of the number of votes.
- APPLICATION PROCEDURE
The registration in the first stage of the competition is done by filling in and uploading an initiative form online through the web page WWW.COMONCLUJ.RO. It is possible to submit the forms in physical format. In this case, each initiative group must present both the initiative form (or forms) and the presentation form of the initiative group on paper, at the headquarters of the PONT Group, in Horea Street no. 5, ap. 7, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Considering the current context, the physical form (or forms) will be sent through the services of the post office / courier companies or will be left directly in the mailbox of the PONT Group, at the address mentioned above.
There is no limit to the number of initiatives that can be submitted by an initiative group, but there can be a maximum of 3 initiatives that can receive funding.
For each initiative, a separate form will be filled in within the application system on the website WWW.COMONCLUJ.RO. Each initiative will be officially registered in Romanian. It is possible to upload a short description in English and/or Hungarian on the platform. If necessary, the Com'ON Cluj-Napoca Facilitator Group can provide assistance in adapting the descriptions for the Romanian language for informal groups belonging to national minorities or foreign communities in Cluj-Napoca (to facilitate access to the approach, regulation and the official proposal form can also be downloaded in Hungarian and English).
The community facilitators involved in the process can be contacted in person, by phone or online through the methods presented on the website WWW.COMONCLUJ.RO.
This stage involves analysing the initiatives entered in the competition:
From the perspective of the feasibility of the initiative: each initiative subject to a public vote is feasible in practical terms. The verification will take place both during the period of preparation of the initiative forms and after the deadline for submitting the initiative forms.
From the perspective of eligibility criteria:
- The initiative was submitted by the deadline set by this Regulation.
- The initiative was sent based on the contest form and was entered in the competition through the platform COMONCLUJ.RO.
- The initiative is proposed by a group of at least 3 young people aged between 14 and 35.
- The initiative takes place within the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca, or, in the case of the online initiatives, they are addressing the citizens of Cluj-Napoca.
- The initiative offers free access to the public to the activities carried out, without a financial barrier (ticket).
- The initiative respects the principles and values of Com'ON Cluj-Napoca.
- The initiative complies with the budgetary criteria set out in this Regulation.
- The proposed initiative is innovative.
- The initiative is not traditionally run/organised by other entities organised in legal forms (organisations, companies, etc.).
We recommend contacting the coordinators or facilitators directly before the deadline for submitting forms if an initiative group is unsure whether or not the initiative proposed by them meets these criteria.
Public decision (vote)
Proposals for initiatives considered eligible will enter a classification process through a public vote on the own responsibility of citizens who declare on their own responsibility that they are from, live, work or study in Cluj-Napoca. The voting mechanism will take place online. The voting system will be accessible online at WWW.COMONCLUJ.RO.
Voting takes place exclusively online during the period mentioned in the stages and calendar chapter. Special information about the voting mechanism will be presented before the mechanism. In special cases the calendar may be subject to change.
An initiative must have a minimum of 50 votes to be eligible for the award, except for the special category of young people with fewer opportunities. The awards will be made after the voting phase has been completed, based on the minimum number of votes, in descending order of the number of votes and the places allocated to the special categories.
- THE BUDGET OF AN INITIATIVE
Maximum amount awarded for an initiative
The initiative group can propose an initiative with a maximum budget of 9.000 lei. The prize received through Com'ON Cluj-Napoca will be a maximum of 4.500 lei per initiative. There is no minimum limit for the prize of an initiative. A maximum of 3 initiatives of an initiative group with the same name and the same composition may be funded, in descending order of vote.
CAUTION: if the initiative has a budget of more than 4.500 lei is the responsibility of the initiative group to provide additional funds above this limit.
Type of costs accepted
The costs presented by the initiative group must be in line with the activities proposed in the description provided in the form. If necessary, Community facilitators will be able to assist initiative groups in their budget planning before the deadline for uploading initiative forms online.
The list of ineligible expenditure
- alcohol, tobacco,
- land acquisitions,
- car purchases,
- telephone subscriptions,
- other purchases of equipment or inventory items,
- salaries or any other income of the members of the initiative groups.
- ESTIMATED CALENDAR
The estimated calendar is as follows:
Launching the call for initiatives
May 25 - June 27, 12:00 (noon)
Period for proposing initiatives
June 28 - July 3
Technical evaluation of initiatives
July 4 - July 24
Voting of the initiatives and announcing the order of initiatives following the vote
July 25 - November 20
Implementing the winning initiatives
November 21 - December 5
The calendar for the steps following the period for proposing initiatives may change. Any such change will be announced through the participatory approach website and the complementary communication tools.
- IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INITIATIVES
The initiatives awarded through this participatory process will be implemented between July 25 - November 20, 2022. The PONT Group is the entity that provides the legal framework for the implementation of the initiatives selected following this participatory process. The implementation of the initiatives materializes through the following process:
- The legal form of funding is the prize.
- The award is made after the signing of a contract between the financier and the beneficiary, a contract in which the parties agree on the expenses that will be made in the business plan, provided in the annexe to the contract.
- The PONT Group will ensure the financing of the initiatives from own resources, co-financing attracted, pre-financing of the City Hall and the Cluj-Napoca Council and through a credit line provided by BCR.
- The prizes will be paid by the PONT Group in the bank account of the eligible beneficiary (representative of the initiative group), with payment order, within the available funds. If during that period there is no money available in the account of the participatory approach, payments will be made as soon as the financial statement of the account allows.
- Before signing the award documents, the initiative group undertakes to obtain all the approvals and legal agreements necessary for the implementation of the initiative. The PONT group will collaborate with the Cluj-Napoca City Hall in order to assist informal groups in this regard.
- The implementation of the proposed initiative within Com'ON Cluj-Napoca falls under the responsibility of the informal group through its official representative. During the implementation, each informal group will consider the visual aspects that must be observed, both in online communication and communication through printed materials and visibility on the spot. The PONT Group will provide assistance through a special communication guide.
- The informal group will make a narrative and financial report on the implemented initiative which will describe according to a model report the initiative carried out, also attaching documentation of the initiative through images, possible online and press presence.
- The PONT Group will accept it or request additions to the report.
- ACCEPTANCE OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The registration of an initiative group and an initiative in the selection process implies the unreserved acceptance of the terms of this regulation and the registration of personal data in the Organizer's database, in compliance with the legal conditions in force.
More details regarding the participatory process Com’ON Cluj-Napoca can be obtained on the web page www.comoncluj.ro and the contact data presented there, respectively at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA
Personal data will be collected and processed by the PONT Group. Personal data are processed in order to establish the person's identity, to establish the legal framework and to verify the person's eligibility to participate in a certain activity, in order to establish an easy and efficient way of communication. The PONT Group undertakes not to disclose such data unless the legislation in force will oblige PONT to make such personal data available. The data subjects have the right to information, access to their own data held by the PONT group, the right to intervene on the data (rectification, deletion), the right to oppose (withdrawal of consent, restriction of processing), the right not to be subject to automatic decisions, the right to data portability and the right to go to court. In order to exercise the rights recognized to the data subjects, they can address a written request, dated and signed at the e-mail address email@example.com or at the correspondence address str. Horea no. 5, ap. 7-8, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj. The PONT Group undertakes to communicate the requested information within a maximum of 15 days of receipt of the request.
The general policy of the PONT Group on the protection of personal data can be found in detail HERE.
- OFFLINE MODEL FORM
The model form below serves as an example for the online form to propose a Community Initiative through Com'ON Cluj-Napoca 2022.
IMPORTANT: This form serves as a template. An initiative is only valid if submitted online via the website www.comoncluj.ro. If there is a difficulty in accessing an informal group (a form of reduced opportunities), Com'ON Cluj-Napoca facilitators will provide assistance in uploading initiative plans to the online system.
Download the offline form HERE.