Arriola stresses that the UN Award recognises the transparency and search for consensus of the Basque Government
Institutional representatives from around the world were at the ceremony
The Basque Government's Minister for Housing, Public Works and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, collected the UNPSA first place Public Service award at the ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this afternoon. The award recognised the "In Housing - All Opinions Matter" participative project driven by the Basque Government's Department of Housing throughout this term in office.
"It is a source of great price and a great honour to receive this award from the United Nations as it is global recognition of the innovative and daring way that this Government approaches politics, where transparency and social and citizen participation are fundamental elements of both the design and assessment of the different initiative and projects driven by the government team. It is, in short, recognition of transparency and the search for consensus that has never been approached before with such determination," said Arriola.
The Basque Government Minister for Housing explained that the Department has encouraged citizen participation to search for consensus and to encourage society to be co-responsible with the policies of the Basque Government, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the different measures.
"Right from the start, our goal has been to let citizens be heard with total freedom in one of the areas that most concerns them in order to identify new solutions that respond to real needs, to reach a consensus regarding the policies to improve access to housing and to ensure that the measures had widespread citizen support," he stressed.
The Minister said that he was very satisfied with the result of this process. He pointed out that 79 social and institutional stakeholders with very different interests and ideologies have worked together in a coordinated way and that over 30,000 citizens who took part have contributed over 300 proposals, over half of which have been incorporated. The response to the initiative has been increasingly more positive with greater support and the outcome has been an integral housing policy with widespread consensus.
Arriola confessed that the Department has learnt a great deal along this journey, including that participative processes need to be different and personalised, that maximum transparency is needed and that citizens have to be part of their proposals and contributions included in the final result.
The Housing Minister, Iñaki Arriola, thanked everyone who had made this prize possible for their hard work and commitment, both those who worked on the project and those who had contributed with their participation and contributions.
"This award is a stimulus for the whole housing team to continue along this path of commitment to social participation and to continue to take into consideration the contributions and suggestions of the citizens," he concluded.