Open Access Article SciPap-1248
Enablers of Participatory Budgeting in Slovakia During the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Jakub Bardovič 1,* iD icon and Jozef Gašparík 2,* iD icon

1 Department of Political Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Bučianska 4/A, Trnava, Trnava 91701, Slovakia

2 Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava, Gondova ulica 2, Bratislava 1 811 02, Slovakia

* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: In Slovakia, participatory budgeting represents one of the relatively new instruments of political participation. It has been used since 2011. Currently it is present on both levels of territorial self-government (i.e., local level and regional level). Nevertheless, its implementation into practice is only a gradual one, as the number of local and regional governments using participatory budgeting is limited. Furthermore, both local and regional governments are currently exposed to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, so a question arises as to how they managed to deal with the situation and how it affected the implementation of approved participatory budgets. The aim of this paper is to identify how the local governments in Slovakia approached the implementation of participatory budgeting in 2020. With regard to the above-mentioned goal, we focus on the following: the implementation of participatory budgeting before 2020, its continuation in 2020 and, if maintained, its adjustment to the "period of social distancing". The findings show that there is a large group of local and regional governments that have decided to either suspend or cancel the implementation of participatory budgeting. Out of those who opted for its implementation, one group did not need to significantly adapt to the distancing restrictions, another group managed to hold potential meetings before the first restrictions came into force. It was only the latter group that faced the most serious challenge. However, active employment of online tools along with the use of the period of released measures proved crucial for the implementation of participatory budgeting.

Keywords: Slovakia, Covid-19 Pandemic, Local Governments, Participatory Budgeting, Regional Governments

JEL classification:   D72 - Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior,   H72 - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

SciPap 2021, 29(1), 1248;

Received: 9 February 2021 / Revised: 16 March 2021 / Accepted: 27 March 2021 / Published: 26 April 2021