Maastricht does not belong to the municipality, its municipal council members or its officials – it belongs to the community. More than 122,500 residents make up the welcoming, versatile city that is Maastricht. Visitors and people who come to work here also belong to Maastricht’s community. That is why we want to involve them, as well as Maastricht companies and institutions, in organising projects and initiatives, and in policy (implementation).
Participation is all about involving others in your plans – about working together. We believe it is important to involve residents, visitors and companies in what we do. That is why we invest in cooperation. This form of cooperation is called citizen and government participation.
Citizen participation and government participation: the differences
Citizen participation refers to involvement of the community in municipal policy making. Residents are given the opportunity, directly or indirectly, to influence policy making, implementation and/or evaluation. It can involve joining the conversation, brainstorming or co-deciding.
Government participation refers to residents taking the initiative to improve the city or their living environment. As a government, we take part in these initiatives, welcome them and connect where possible.
Getting to work
We have decided to practice with participation initiatives and cooperation with residents, as is stated in our action plan citizen and government participation. Examples of this are the burgerbegroting (citizens' budget), the youth badge of honour and the children's mayor of Maastricht.
In 2021 we organised several online meetings about participation. During these dialogue evenings we discussed whether you think it is important that we ask for your opinion. Or what we as a municipality should do with different opinions. And what we as a municipality should do if residents have a different opinion than the municipal council.
We have made a presentation with the input of residents that we collected during the dialogue evenings.
The participation process was not yet completed with these meetings. We have included the results of the dialogue evenings into our starting document for participation. The document serves as the basis for participation policy and regulation. The municipal council adopted this document on 16 November 2021.
Plans for 2022
The municipal council wants to make a decision on citizen and government participation before the summer of 2022. This also includes adopting a participation regulation. A regulation contains rules that apply to everyone.