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Authors: Shumanovska-Spasovska Ivana
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Published by NISPAcee PRESS
Journal: From Policy Design to Policy Practice e-Proceedings of the 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference May 24-26, 2019 Prague, Czech Republic Organized in co-operation with Charles University, Prague and Masaryk University, Brno
Conference: 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference May 24-26, 2019 Prague, Czech Republic Organized in co-operation with Charles University, Prague and Masaryk University, Brno
Abstract: The right to express an opinion and the right of the citizens to participate in the decisionmaking on issues of public interest is a right that is directly recognized by the Constitution, as the highest legal act, as well as by the Law on Local Self-Government, which defines it as an individual or collective involvement of the residents of the municipality in decisions regarding affairs of local importance at different levels of decision-making, while, on the other hand, the procedure for the realization of the forms of direct expression, at both state and local level, is determined by the Law on Referendum and other forms of direct expression. The significance of this issue is also indicated in the international acts and documents, among which we highlight the European Charter for Local Self-Government and Recommendation 19 of 2001. Consequently, one of the main goals of this research is to carry out the analysis of the legal framework that regulates this issue from a theoretical, legal and comparative aspect. In the paper, special emphasis will be put on answering the questions that are related to: determining the reasons that influence the reduction of the intensity of the citizen participation in the political process, whether there is a need to add elements of participative democracy to the model of representative democracy, as well as whether the institutions take sufficient measures that are adequate for affirmation of citizen participation in the decision-making at the local level? Namely, the direct participation of citizens in the realization of the political process is an expression of the participatory democracy. The direct participation of citizens in the governance process is regarded as a fundamental right in a democratic society, an opportunity for the citizens to contribute in achieving a better life and overall progress. Therefore, citizens should be informed, adequately and timely consulted and complementary participation of the citizens with their representatives should be provided. As a special recommendation, we would like to 1 Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law "Iustinianus Primus" - Skopje, University St. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje, Republic North Macedonia 2 emphasize the need for affirmation not only of the use of the forms of direct expression such as the referendum, the gathering of citizens and the civic initiative, but also to promote the role of civic forums, citizen panels, public opinion polls, focus groups, etc. All of these measures would affect the strengthening of democracy, the fulfillment of the principle of accountability and transparency in the work of the institutions, and the improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making process. Keywords: participative democracy, representative democracy, local self-government, direct citizens' expression, accountability
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Law: Journal Articles

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