Time to change politics – cities can involve, inspire, impact

forums
  • cooperation
  • culture
  • economy
  • environment
  • knowledge society
  • mobility
publication date
08-05-2018
document type

More than 80 of Europe’s major cities have come together today to launch a campaign that explores and promotes new forms of democracy.

‘Cities4Europe – Europe for citizens’ will:

  • involve citizens in a dialogue about our common future
  • inspire all levels of government to put people first
  • impact the way decisions are taken in Europe

Daniël Termont, president of EUROCITIES and mayor of Ghent, said: 

“It’s time to change the way we do politics in Europe. The EU needs to listen more and engage more with its citizens. As local leaders and members of EUROCITIES we are committed to include our citizens in a dialogue about our future.”

This month Cities4Europe is showcasing successful local initiatives that engage citizens. Further events in different cities around our continent will help to generate new ideas by encouraging input from people from all walks of life.

Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona, said:

“Today citizens are increasingly taking collective action locally to address challenges they experience. As local authorities we work closely to include citizens in our decision making, and we can share this experience with other levels of government.”

At a time when Europe is striving to retain its legitimacy and relevance in the face of growing disillusionment and Euroscepticism, cities can provide a critical link with citizens. 

Philippe Close, mayor of Brussels, said:

“Cities have experience in doing things differently. By creating public policies together with our citizens, we tap into an innovative potential that often matches urban and European needs.”

Cities4Europe will bring these ideas together in Edinburgh this November at the EUROCITIES annual conference. Ahead of the European elections next year, a mayors’ summit in March 2019 will be an opportunity for mayors to share the top recommendations collected from citizens with national and European leaders.

Philippe Van Parijs, the philosopher and economist, who spoke at the Cities4Europe launch event, said:

“Our cities need enjoyable immobility no less than sustainable mobility. Public spaces must be reconquered and become again places to stroll and meet. Courage is needed to get there. All over Europe, citizens can and must help authorities to find it.”

‘Cities4Europe – Europe for citizens’ launched today, Monday 7 May 2018, and will run for one year. 

 [ENDS]

 

Notes to the editor

  1. ‘Cities4Europe – Europe for citizens’ is the 2018 EUROCITIES campaign that seeks to explore and promote new forms of democracy across Europe. http://cities4europe.eurocities.eu
  2. Participating cities are: Amiens Metropole, Amsterdam, Angers Loire Metropole, Antwerp, Arezzo, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Besiktas, Birmingham, Bologna, Bonn, Bordeaux, Braga, Brest metropole, Bristol, Brussels city, Bydgoszcz, Chemnitz, Cluj-Napoca, Cologne, Dortmund, Dresden, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Espoo, Essen, EUROCITIES Brussels Office, Florence, Genoa, Ghent, Gijon, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Guimaraes, Hagen, Hamburg, Helsinki, Heraklion, Istanbul, Kharkiv, Leeuwarden, Leipzig, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Lodz, Madrid, Mannheim, Metropole Europeenne de Lille, Milan, Munich, Munster, Murcia, Nantes, Nice Cote d Azur, Nuremberg, Ostend, Oulu, Paris, Poznan, Prague, Rennes Metropole, Riga, Rotterdam, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stavanger, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Tallinn, Tbilisi, Terrassa Metropolitan Area, Timisoara, Tirana, Toulouse, Turin, Utrecht, Valladolid, Vantaa, Vienna, Warsaw, Zagreb, Zaragoza
  3. The launch event was organised with the help of the BOZAR and Brussels city in Brussels on Monday 7 May.
  4. Cities4Europe campaign partners are: Actors of Urban Change, BOZAR, CODEMOS, European Cultural Foundation, European Festivals Association, European Youth Capital, Eurotowns, Pakhuis de Zwijger, UNRIC, URBACT, Young European Federalists
  5. How can you participate? Anyone who wants to is encouraged to take part in the campaign and share their ideas by filling in a postcard to EUROCITIES.
  6. EUROCITIES is the political platform for major European cities. We network the local governments of over 140 of Europe’s largest cities and more than 40 partner cities that between them govern some 130 million citizens across 39 countries. www.eurocities.eu  

 

Media enquiries

Alex Godson: +32 495 298 594 // alex.godson@eurocities.eu