Abstract: In the new EU member states, there are very few studies analyzing the role of central and local self-governments in co-design processes. Nevertheless, such studies are particularly important as co-creation takes place in the context of former post-communist countries where central power reigned supreme and cooperation with the civil sector was very limited. This article aims to enrich the existing debate on the role of central and local self-government in the context of co-creation at the local level—specifically to map the extent to which local and central governments in the Visegrad Four region (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) support local participatory budgeting initiatives as one of the most important forms of co-creation. The findings are very interesting, as each country has its situation and specificities. The (positive but also negative) role of the central state is limited but not invisible, except in the Czech Republic. The relations between civil society (and formal NGOs) and local self-governments are somewhat more similar within the countries studied. At the beginning of participatory budgeting, the civil sector and NGOs served as initiators and local self-governments as followers. However, this position has been steadily shifting towards the dominance of local self-governments and the marginalization of the civil society’s role.
Keywords: co‐creation; local level; participatory budgeting; V4 countries