Dušan Kokot, President of the Board of Directors of Gradjanski preokret, announced at today’s press conference the activities of the association in the coming period.
According to him, due to the assessment that the long duration of the pandemic, primarily the restriction on public gathering, movement, and physical distance, significantly negatively affected civic activism, and that the disaster was followed by already poor conditions reflected in executive authority pressure on every critical word, Gradjanski preokret will try to support and strengthen citizen participation in public life and decision-making on important issues.
He announced organization of several workshops, several panel discussions and creation of an interactive website, all together called the Active Citizens initiative.
The idea of the workshops is that local activists, along with eminent experts in the field of civil rights, learn something new or improve their knowledge of exercising the rights guaranteed by the constitution and the law. The idea for the panel is to open debates that do not exist or do not exist in an adequate way in public institutions and media and are important for the society in which we live. The idea of the interactive web application is to enable participation in the Active Citizens initiative to those who cannot physically attend workshops and panels but have good ideas and want to practice their rights.
Active citizens will be able to start debates, formulate proposals, set up polls and petitions, vote for proposals and effectively send requests to the authorities. If they are successful, they will revive the true social dialogue that has now been banned from the assemblies and the media. The initiative Active Citizens will be implemented on the territory of the city of Zrenjanin during this and next year, and after that the idea of Gradjanski preokret is that initiative comes to life at the national level.
The Active Citizens initiative should “wake us up”, move us and make us stand up after a long period of withdrawal before the pandemic and the suffocation of democracy – Kokot pointed out.
People who are interested in participating in this initiative can apply at aktivnigradjani.rs.
After a year, Gradjanski preokret will give award “the most active citizen” to those who will contribute the most to the revival of social dialogue and citizen participation in public life.