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

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.

 

Further information:

Anne Rännäli-Kontturi, City of Oulu, tel. 044 703 1316

 


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