CeRe: the Resource Center for public participation and ActiveWatch obtained in court the final decision to cancel article 50 from the General Council’s Organization and Operational Rules. The article contained an abusive procedure regarding citizens’ participation in General Council meetings, especially regarding the possibility to take the floor in the meetings. Our opinion, confirmed by the court, is that this article (50) lead to serious violations of the citizens’ rights using the legal framework for authoritarian purposes. After a trial initiated in September 2017, according to the court sentences pronounced in public meeting on June 20th, article 50 of the Regulations approved by HGCMB No 52/2017 is canceled.

The general context

In February 2017, CeRe: the Resource Center for public participation and ActiveWatch asked the City Mayor and the General Council of the Municipality of Bucharest (GCMB) to debate publicly the proposed regulation. The General Council refused the dialogue and approved the regulation.

Subsequently, CeRe and ActiveWatch made numerous efforts to convince the General Council of the Municipality of Bucharest to change the procedure by which the citizens could speak out in the GCMB meetings, unfortunately to no avail.

The real problem

The General Council of the Municipality of Bucharest and the city mayor used article 50 as a backup for citizens’ rights violations, for example not to allow them access to the GCMB meetings and to prevent them to take the floor in the public meetings.

Conclusion

In this context, CeRe and ActiveWatch decided to take the GCMB and General Mayor to court on the issue of article 50 from the General Council’s Organization and Operational Rules, which regulates the framework in which people can speak out in GCMB meetings, but in fact was used to prevent people from speaking in those public meetings.