The Mayor of the City of Vienna, Michael Ludwig and The Innovation in Politics Institute present:
From 2021, each year, one city in Europe becomes the European Capital of Democracy, a stage and inspiration for the future of democracy. Citizens from all over Europe will be invited to join.
It all starts in Vienna. On 18 September 2020, mayors and other politicians, artists and engaged citizens will be joining us as co-founders of the European Capital of Democracy initiative.
With the European Capital of Democracy we are creating a highly visible space for cities to highlight their democratic practices so citizens can experience real democracy in action and regain their trust in this best form of government.
If you would like to keep informed on the development of the European Capital of Democracy, please join us.
Your hosts for the evening will be Proschat Madani and Dirk Stermann.
Under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ms Marija Pejčinović Burić, and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Dubravka Šuica.
"Democracy starts at home."
© Anne Brasseur
"In our Europe, democracy is not a concept, but the participation of people and policies that improve the quality of life. The key is to highlight best practices and efforts in the fields of policy, education, culture, social inclusion, and innovation."
© Yordanka Fandakova
"I support the European Capital of Democracy initiative because it is time to protect our democracies in Europe by making them more resilient."
© Federal Ministry of Defence
"Cities can play a major role as incubators and innovators of democracy, being flexible, down to earth, and courageous."
"Participation and new, tangible forms of democracy are important in eroding societies. This is the strength of the planned Democracy Prize for European Cities. The goal of democracy is the preservation of the common good. A mechanism is needed to create it."
"European cities are the cornerstones of democracy, both historically and at present. Their provision of basic public services to citizens is an important element of municipal self-government and thus an important element of democracy itself."
© Stadt Wien/PID, Ian Ehm
"Extreme polarisation is slowly killing democracies. Corrupt leaders subvert institutions. We should learn from each other. Be aware. Listen. Discuss. Draw lessons from history. Let‘s be the change we want to see in the world! "
© Nora a Jakub
"Democracy originates in urban society. And it is here that its revival has to begin. Nowhere can good governance be more participative than in cities, nowhere can people create so much positive change within a short time."
© European Council on Foreign Relations
"Cherishing our European core values – human rights, democracy, social balance, and prosperity – should not be tied to party affiliation. We all live and die by politics."
© Patricia Kahane
"We need to manage change in democracy if we do not want the enemies of democracy to do it for us."
© Ivan Krastev
"Improving politics is essential for democracy in a changed environment. We need to provide encouragement and rewards – like the European Capital of Democracy initiative does – for those striving for a new kind of democracy for all."
© Géraldine Aresteanu
"Cities, being closer than central governments to citizens and their daily concerns, are often better placed to push back against detrimental tendencies and help safeguard democracy, the rule of law and human rights."
© Sir Michael Leigh
"I support the European Capital of Democracy initiative because democracy guarantees justice, freedom and peace in Europe. In times of terror and populism, the joint endorsement of these values is more important than ever. "
© City of Münster
"Democratic societies are under assault. To win this fight we need efficient dialogue, cooperation and communication, space and structure, across borders and party lines. The European Capital of Democracy initiative will provide all that, through – and for – all of us."
© Andrei Pungovschi
"Only a joint effort of all democrats in Europe will succeed against anti-democratic and anti-European movements."
© Lefteris Papaganniakis
"As a citizen I have always been a staunch believer in democratic practice. As a diplomat I know from empirical evidence that war between democracies is extremely unlikely. "
© Michael Mazohl
"If we want our children to inherit a world of lasting peace and human dignity, the time has come for all of us to defend, strengthen and build up democracy and European values."
© cc by 2.5
"We have democratized education, we have democratized information and communication. Now, let us democratize democracy itself. Let’s make citizens part of the decision-making process. Refusing to do so is refusing to bring democracy into the 21st century."
© Lenny Oosterwijk
"Values like truth, democracy and independent thinking are heavily under attack. And all of them are important pillars of prosperity – let us protect them!"
© Jakob Polacsek
"I am a big believer in engaging people in the development of the cities and places where they live. Authentic and transparent local politics may help to fix their trust in democracy."
© Matúš Bence
"As a true advocate of cities becoming more inclusive and responsive to people’s needs, more open and transparent, I welcome and support the European Capital of Democracy initiative, a much-needed initiative for young democracies like Albania’s, but not just Albania's."
© Municipality of Tirana
"Europe can only stay strong if it provides the will, wisdom and expertise of all her citizens with a strong voice when it comes to decision-making. Therefore, I support this initiative."
© Rogier Veldmann
"Cities are the cradle of democracy. Therefore, they are the best place to start improving it."
"To defend a free and open world we need to firmly stand up to opposers that see our values and way of life as a threat. We need to make people feel once again that institutions represent them and are accountable to their voices."
© UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras