As part of the study visit, 15 representatives of eight Georgian municipalities and civil society organisations took part in an exchange trip to Austria at the end of May 2023. The four-day visit gave the Georgian delegation the opportunity to see examples of successful implementation of citizen participation mechanisms such as citizens' assemblies, children's conferences or citizen participation in public spaces in Bregenz, Rankweil, Salzburg and Vienna. Participants were offered the opportunity to exchange with representatives of Austrian municipalities, civil society organisations, parliament and citizens to learn more about good practices of participatory democracy in Austria. They were also informed about the legal framework regarding citizen participation and discussed with Austrian colleagues which instruments and mechanisms of citizen participation they can also implement in their respective municipalities in Georgia.
Austrian municipalities have many years of experience in developing and implementing citizen participation, which makes them an obvious choice for the study visit. The 15 participants - mayors, NGO representatives, and administrators - come from 8 of the Georgian municipalities selected to test innovative instruments and mechanisms of civic participation in the framework of the Council of Europe project.
The study visit was organised jointly with the KDZ - Centre for Public Administration Research.