Barcelona hosts the ECoD Cities Network meeting
October 24, 2023
Twenty European cities collaborate to promote municipal democracy
From October 17 to 19, Barcelona was the scene of an outstanding event: the meeting of the ECoD City Network, a unique collaboration between 21 cities from 13 European countries. This network, which includes the cities of Barcelona, Burgos, Braga, Valongo, Cascais, Bologna, Sarajevo, Durrës, Tirana, Izmir, Bratislava, Vienna, Linz, Metz, Brussels, Antwerp, Leipzig, Kiev, Gdansk, Opole and Rzeszow, meets regularly to exchange knowledge, experiences and practices related to the promotion of democracy at the municipal level.
These gatherings are a learning and collaboration platform that gives local experts the opportunity to access new ideas and training opportunities. In Barcelona, the representatives of the network explored the digital transition and visited innovation points such as Media ICT, the Cibernàrium project and the Canòdrom - University of Digital and Democratic Innovation. In addition, they learned about some of the reference projects of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. The event culminated with the Festival of Democracy, Technology and Collective Intelligence, known as Dedicim Fest.
Now, the future of European democracy is in the hands of a jury of ECoD experts who will meet in Barcelona on November 2. This will determine which cities will be the finalists, and the final decision will rest with a European citizen jury. The next European Capital of Democracy will be announced towards the middle of December this year, thus consolidating the continuous commitment of these cities in the promotion of democracy in Europe.
What is the ECoD City Network?
The European Capital of Democracy (ECoD) cities network is a strong group of cities promoting participation and defending democracy across Europe. This network provides a platform to show how they are changing our world for the better. Member cities host regular in-person network meetings, as well as online workshops, where representatives come together to share their experience and best practices in promoting democracy at the municipal level.
How can I be the new European Capital of Democracy?
The call for the designation of the next European capital of democracy opens its doors to cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants of the members of the Council of Europe. In special cases, cities with a slightly lower population could be admitted.
Those that are interested must meet some prerequisites, such as having a non-partisan approach and broad political support. The application consists of several phases, including the submission of specific documents through the participant portal. This includes the submission of the Declaration of Intent, the democracy self-assessment and the technical and organizational prerequisites.
To compete for the title of European Capital of Democracy, cities must submit a concise mission statement that explains the goals of their democracy initiatives. In addition, they must highlight five proven and innovative democracy projects, as well as two submissions for new ongoing projects.
The application will be evaluated by a jury of experts, who will assess the ambition and innovation of the projects, and a citizen jury who will make the final decision.
All information must be provided in English, and it is crucial to be clear and concise in the description of the projects so that juries from all over Europe can easily understand them. For details on all the steps in the application process, please refer to the ECoD application page.
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