Barcelona, ​​European Capital of Democracy for projects such as Decidim and the Canòdrom

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  • The act of the European Capital of Democracy at Barcelona City Hall.
    The act of the European Capital of Democracy at Barcelona City Hall. . Source: Barcelona City Council.

The city has been selected by a jury of more than 2,500 European citizens and a jury of experts among the finalists, out of thirteen candidates presented.

Barcelona has become the first city chosen as European Capital of Democracy and two of the projects that have made the jury decide are led by entities. They are the Canòdrom - Ateneu d'Innovación Digital i Democràtica and the participatory democracy platform Decidim , in addition to the urban planning project for the super islands , the Youth Forum and participatory budgets , from which projects such as the Criquet cricket field have emerged Young BCN .

The city has been selected from among the finalists, together with Braga and Brussels, by a jury of more than 2,500 European citizens and by a jury of experts. Thirteen applicants have presented themselves .

This was announced by Helfried Carl , co-founder of the European Capital of Democracy and partner of The Innovation and Politics Institute , the driving organization, in an event at Barcelona City Hall , where they were received by the Deputy Mayor of Culture , Jordi Martí , and the councilor for Citizenship and Participation Rights, Marc Serra . The initiative also has the support of the Council of Europe and the European Commission , and others such as the Democratic Society , RSA and the German Marshall Foundation .

This position implies that Barcelona will host activities and events aimed at strengthening democracy in Europe and organized by European citizens' initiatives from September to August 2024.

The representative of the jury of experts, Antonella Vallmorbida , has valued the leap of scale that Barcelona has made in citizen participation and the democratization of decisions, "implementing a high degree of professionalism and ambition in the voting systems, which allow don't leave anyone out in the co-creation and co-production of city policies".

Democracy in crisis

Dubravka Suica , vice-president of the European Commission, has underlined the urgency of these initiatives in uncertain times for democracy. "After a decade of various crises and attacks against European values, it is time to join forces, fight and connect innovative ideas for democracy and be part of the changes of our time," he said.

In this regard, Mayor Ada Colau added that "in a global context where hate speech and authoritarianism are growing, cities must be the place to work together with citizens to strengthen democracy". "We see this challenge as an opportunity to progress in democratic innovation, to cooperate with other cities and to make sure that the neighbors have an active role in public policies", he said.

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