Local referendum

Local referendum (LR) is a participatory decision making tool, which the community can use in order to decide collectively on public issues. Each country might have a bit different legal format for local referendum.

Subject or what can be decided in local referendum and what can not. The question, which shall be decided by the voting of community, must be regulated. Otherwise it could potentially be in conflict with the other law or governance system. In some countries it is not only the public matter in competence of local executive body, but even the dismissal of some bodies of such body (dismissal of local government council or mayor).

Entitled participants or who is allowed to participate and initiate the local referendum. Usually these are all the residents of the local unit (municipality, region etc.). What differes is how many (how big percentage) of those can initiate the local referendum.

Mechanism or what is a procedure leading to a successful LR. Before the referendum - e.g. voting for yes/no in a proposed solution - there always few steps one needs to do.

Financing or who is supposed to pay the costs of LR. Consequently, the steps to do mean the costs to cover. Since the referendum is a constitutional right in many countries, it shall also be paid by authorities, not by citizens. But reality is different.

Validity or which are the conditions for LR to be valid and to get binding nature. Importantly, valid - means that the whole referendum is correct, even though the result might not be binding (usually because too few citizens voted). Binding nature means that the result must be implemented by authority.

Effectiveness and functionality or how is LR practically used in Visegrad countries and what are the positive results coming out of the usage.

Latest Cases

How to make a local referendum in Belarus

How to make a local referendum in Belarus

Local Referenda

Ondřej, Belarus, 29 August 2018

According to Belarusian legislation, local referendum exists in order to address key issues for local population belonging to particular administrative-territorial units corresponding to relevant councils, executive and administrative bodies.

The Protivanov town in the Czech Republic

The Protivanov town in the Czech Republic

Local Referenda

Adam & Aneta Jareš, Czech Republic, 02 February 2018

In 2015, a reconstruction of a wind power plant park and its subsequent extension from existing two to another five wind turbines began to be discussed within the municipality council. There are a number of positive aspects showing from the municipality councils´ records, which can be clearly identified as examples of positive practice.