In its second year, the Participatory Budgeting project of the Municipality of Canicattini Bagni (Province of Syracuse) involved citizens participating in the allocation of resources to proposed projects in the areas of sport and public education.
Problems and Purpose
The participatory budget constitutes a moment of participation in administrative decisions, consisting in the definition—for each year of financial management—of an articulated budget proposal, for a total amount equal to 2% of regional current account transfers. As foreseen in the Regulations, the municipal council with resolution no. 105 (4-10-2019) set the budget for 2019 at €7,017.45. Since at the present date, the extent of regional transfers for 2019 was not yet known, it has been provisionally assumed on the basis of the calculation of the 2018 transfers; the resources definitively bound to the participatory budget will therefore be redetermined, in excess or in deficit. With the same resolution, the Board has identified the following thematic areas on which it will be possible to present project proposals as sport and public education.
The Board established that one project for each thematic area will be eligible for funding and that therefore the costs of the individual project proposals cannot exceed the sum of €3,508.725 (half of € 7,017.45). If the costs of the first two projects did not integrate the sum of € 7,017.45, the excess would be divided between the projects themselves, subject to their remodelling within seven days of selection. In the event of greater regional transfers, additional resources were to be assigned by scrolling the ranking; or that in the event of fewer regional transfers, the financing of the admitted projects will be proportionally reduced.
The accepted proposals were to be published on the appropriate banner on the institutional website of the Municipality, where it is also possible to find the application forms (also available at the office of the Municipal Deputy Secretary). After 30 days of publication, the projects were to be illustrated and described in detail by the proponents to citizens at a public meeting in which the choice will be made with a ballot paper. In the event that two or more projects in the same thematic area should obtain the same number of votes and cannot be carried out jointly due to insufficient economic resources, the project/s to be implemented will be selected, compatibly with the resources available, by means of public draw .
Background History and Context
The Municipality of Canicattini Bagni (7,000 inhabitants), with Council Resolution no. 11 of 13-7-2018, approved the new municipal regulation for the participatory budget, pursuant to art. 6, paragraph 1, of the regional law 1/24/2014, n. 5 and subsequent amendments. The Municipality had already undertaken the first edition of participatory budgeting in 2018. The mayor Marilena Miceli (Civic List Sviluppo e Futuro) has been in office since June 6, 2017.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The Municipality of Canicattini Bagni was the promoter and financier of the 2019 project. It did not employ facilitators or external consultants. The share allocated to the overall projects was 7,000 Euros, 2% of regional transfers. The expenditure for the BP path is not indicated which in any case should be almost zero, given the initiatives implemented.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
For the communication of the PB project, the Municipality relied on word of mouth, posters printed by the municipality itself, and institutional communications on the site. Resident adults over 18 could vote. All natural persons who have reached the age of 18 and live in Canicattini Bagni as well as associations, companies, public and private bodies with registered offices in the municipal area were invited to submit proposals within the deadline. They were then subjected, within 10 days of the expiry of the deadline for submission, to a technical feasibility assessment by a table made up of the relevant sector managers, the Mayor, the Municipal Councilors and a majority Councilor and a minority Director, indicated by the respective Group Heads. 
Methods and Tools Used
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a method of participation born in Porto Alegre in Brazil in the eighties, which provides for the making available of a percentage of the municipal budget for the public to decide on. The opening phases are generally organized with public assemblies open to all in the various areas of the city/territory where the problems and needs of the inhabitants arise. Public assemblies usually include an introduction or a political greeting and are then facilitated. In some cases, in these assemblies the representatives are elected or—as in the case in question—they are drawn by lot on the basis of the candidacies, those who will discuss in the next phase which projects and interventions to propose and plan. These proposals are examined by the municipal technical officials who evaluate their feasibility, making them continue to the next stage of selection. In the final assemblies, again open to all, the proposals to be implemented are voted. In recent years, online voting has been increasingly used. In the case in question, the BP was formally organized as a sequence of appointments—proposal, verification, and vote—without particular emphasis on community interaction and cohesion.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
For the 2019 participatory budget, 2% of the regional transfers (calculated by the year 2018's transfer) were to be allocated to forms of participatory democracy with a minimum amount of 7,000 Euros and the thematic areas on which the projects can be presented were established as sport and public education .
The regulations, the project presentation scheme, a handbook on the PB, the Council Resolution n.105, and the public notice have been made available on the dedicated page on the Municipality website.
Proposals were received by October 18, 2019. Four were received:
- Stop Bullying (proposed by a citizen): A project aimed at lower and upper secondary schools in the area, concerning the prevention of bullying and cyber bullying. The planned activities are aimed at increasing the knowledge of the phenomenon among children and at setting up a system that allows them to report it, as well as parents and teachers to intervene.
- Smash Tennis (proposed by a citizen): for the development of motor/sports activities through tennis
- Municipal Stadium Video Surveillance is the proposal sent by the Polisportiva Dilettantistica of the City of Canicattini. It is a video surveillance system, with an attached cost estimate.
- The theatre at school. European citizens: our common roots through the theater was presented by the State Comprehensive Institute "Giovanni Verga"
The voting assembly, in which it is necessary to participate in order to vote on the proposals, was held on November 29, 2019 (h. 16:30), where the projects will be presented by the respective proponents. 
The third phase was the monitoring and documentation of participation which had the aim of ensuring dialogue and guaranteeing maximum transparency of the procedure. It involved making public the whole process followed and the evaluation results of the proposals through a special publication on the official website of the Municipality of Canicattini Bagni, as well as in the forms that will be considered suitable for an extensive city diffusion. The Participation Document, prepared after the conclusion of the process, was to be approved by the Municipal Council with a specific resolution. 
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
At the time of writing, the process had not completely finished so it is not possible to detect any effect. Of the 2018 process, however, despite the admission and approval of the final document, there appears to be no monitoring of the implementation of the proposal, nor is it possible to report the previous vote because only two projects were candidates and one was not admitted to the preliminary examination. 
Analysis and Lessons Learned
The process appears to be a transparent but not much sought-after and certainly low-cost opportunity for administration. There are no accompanying messages or social campaigns, but only official public notices. From the first to the second year, however, there was a doubling of the proposals (from 2 to 4) and all the documentation is available and complete. With regard to inclusiveness, all adults and organizations could participate. The last vote is needed to understand the consistency of representativeness. There have been no particular efforts to aggregate the community and bring out common needs.
 Municipality of Canicattini Bagni, Public notice for the Participatory budget 2019, 7/10/2019, http://materiale.comunedicanicattinibagni.it/bilanciopa/AVVISO_BILANCIO_PARTECIPATIVO_2019.pdf (Accessed 13/11/19).
[2 ] Municipality of Canicattini Bagni, Del. Giunta, n. 105 of 4/10/19, http://materiale.comunedicanicattinibagni.it/bilanciopa/Delibera_Bilancio_Partecipativo_19.pdf (Accessed 13/11/19).
 Municipality of Canicattini Bagni, Regulations of the Participatory Budget, approv. with del. Council C. n. 11 of 13/7/2018, http://materiale.comunedicanicattinibagni.it/bilanciopa/regolamento_bilancio_partecipativo_2018.pdf (Accessed 13/11/19).
Municipality of Canicattini Bagni - Bilancio Partecipativo 2019 (Accessed 11/13/19).