28 July 2015, Cluj-Napoca – The Com’ON Cluj-Napoca project, initiative of the PONT Group, has gained strategic partnerships in several fields: Cluj-Napoca’s Mayor’s Office and City Council, The Cluj Community Foundation, the SHARE Federation, the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) and the ERSTE Foundation.
The importance of the Com’On Cluj-Napoca initiative lies within the basic idea: the young citizens of Cluj-Napoca work on and vote for initiatives that are being funded by the city’s participatory budget. So far Com’ON has provided a portfolio of initiatives proposed by local non-formal groups, consisting of young people, for the community of Cluj-Napoca.
The initiatives’ implementation is currently taking place in Cluj-Napoca, the Mayor’s Office and City Council of which awarded an amount of 500.000 lei, supporting the process. The grant covers the first 117 projects, voted by young citizens.
„The aims of the PONT Group by the already set strategic partnerships are:
- Increasing the number of supported initiatives;
- Involving more organizations, institutions and groups in the participatory budgeting, each of them having its specific role;
- Promoting the recognition of the innovation aspects of the participatory budgeting and the brand of Com’ON Cluj;
- Strengthening the participatory budgeting’s local tradition;
- Setting a financial proceeding, that sets precedent in the field of the local non-formal community’s groups’ support;
- The temporal sustaining of the process.
‘The strategic partnerships that we have recently concretized will help us reach these aims” András Farkas says, founding member of the PONT Group.
The Cluj Community Foundation manages
the grant offered by the Cluj-Napoca’s Mayor’s Office
and City Council
Considering the sustainability of the project, a host organization recognized by the community constitutes a very basic element. The Cluj Community Foundation manages the grant offered by Cluj-Napoca’s Mayor’s Office and City Council for the community.
‘The Cluj Community Foundation is a connection between the projects in Cluj-Napoca and the founders. We organize fundraising events such as the Swimathon or the Scope of Funders. Besides, we manage and transfer funds offered by civilians or organizations to those who need it the most. Between the years of 2008 and 2014 we provided support of more than 1.400.000 lei for more than 200 applications and scholarships, says Simona Șerban, manager of the Cluj Community Foundation.
The ERSTE Foundation cooperates in the
supplementary funding of the project
For completing the funding of the initiatives of the Com’ON Cluj-Napoca, together with the Cluj Community Foundation and the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) we asked for a grant of the ERSTE Foundation for ensuring the 10% supplementary fund that is necessary for the managing and contribution of the 500.000 lei grant, allocated by the Mayor’s Office.
The cooperation with BCR in the Com’ON Cluj-Napoca
The BCR, as the official bank of the Cluj-Napoca 2015 – European Youth Capital, has been supporting the project from the very beginning. BCR provides an amount of 15.000 Euros for the initiatives. The groups can utilize this fund trough a matchmaking fund on the site called “Bursa Binelui” (about ‘Scholarship of Good Causes’). It is a very simple method: those groups who have been voted in the first 250, but haven’t gotten the grant appointed by the local budgeting (they are not included in the list of 117 initiatives), will have the possibility to use the community’s resources (crowdfunding) for the implementation of their initiatives. As soon as an initiative has gathered 1.000 lei, this amount will be doubled with another 1.000 lei by BCR. This way the Com’ON Cluj-Napoca’s portfolio will provide funds for 65 other groups, too. Besides, the BCR ensures that floating capital that enables the initiatives to get their support in advance.
Advertising the results of the project in Europe and Romania
In September and October 2015, the PONT Group with its strategic partners aim to advertise the project’s results in a wider field. With the caravan of the project we will visit five Romanian (Bucharest included) and two European (Brussels and Strasbourg) cities. After this, the project’s closing conference will take place, where we will discuss future plans considering the participatory budgeting for 2016-2018.
Reminder – the Com’ON Cluj-Napoca’s main results:
COM’ON STATISTICS – after the voting period –
Young people in Cluj had the opportunity to present their projects for Com’on Cluj between the 16th December 2014 and the 28th February 2015.
The voting process took place between the 30th of March and the 15th of April.
Process leaders (facilitators): 25 people
The number of registered groups: 248
Median age of group members: 25
143 groups suggested only 1 initiative while 16 groups applied with the maximum of 5 initiatives.
*If the groups needed more people for the implementation of their initiatives, they had the possibility to write it in their application.
Most of the groups asked for the participation of more people for the implementation of their idea.
In average, they would like to involve 3 persons, that means 1369 more people.
18.782 persons voted.
48.609 votes were registered.
For the first 250 initiatives 43.337 votes have been registered.
After the first administrative check we had 451 registered and technically acceptable applications, out of which 437 remained until the end of the process.
Out of these 8 initiatives gained more than 5000 votes.
The overall budget is of approximately 1.900.000 lei.
The first 250 initiatives’ budget is 1.119.865,49 lei.
Applicants asked for 1.015.716,25 lei for the first 250 initiatives.
The overall budgets are 4.186 lei in average, while the first 250 initiatives required 4.062.865 lei in average.
Com’on Cluj is the first budgeting process that aims the involving of young people in Cluj-Napoca into a democratic conference and decision making. They can make optimal plans on the spending of (part of the) public funds under the Cluj, European Youth Capital 2015 project.
The coordinator of the project is PONT Csoport / Grupul PONT with SHARE Federation, the Mayor’s Office and the City Council of Cluj as partners. The project’s official title is “Youth Participatory Budget in Cluj 2015, Europe’s Youth Capital.” The project is funded by the EEA fund for 2009-2014 in the program of the Civil Support Fund in Romania (Norwegian Fund.)