A pan-European Citizen Jury selected Barcelona to be the first ever European Capital of Democracy. From October 2023 to October 2024, it is the European stage for strengthening and innovating democracy.
An inclusive democratic experience
The Programme Year features a variety of projects and initiatives to celebrate democracy, showcase best practices and to address the central debates of our political present and future. Together with citizens, institutions, civil society and businesses, we co-create an engaging, diverse and inclusive programme for an Europe-wide audience.
Barcelona’s Democratic Ambitions
Between 2 and 15 January 2023, several thousand citizen jurors from 46 Council of Europe member states assessed a range of projects by three finalist cities, Barcelona, Braga, and Brussels. Barcelona convinced the jury with its wide range of innovative projects, including Decidim, a digital citizen participation platform the city developed in 2016 and now in use by hundreds of cities around the world; and Superblock, an initiative to reclaim the city’s streets from cars. Discover Barcelona’s application and learn more about its democratic ambitions.
Video message by Marija Pejčinović Burić,
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
“Local government has always been the level of public authority closest to the people it serves. It is here that new ideas and democratic participation are best placed to flourish. The European Capital of Democracy not only recognises excellence but holds it up as an inspiration to others.”
Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council
Video message by Dubravka Šuica,
Vice-President of the European Commission
“After a decade of multiple crises and attacks on our European values, it is time to join forces, fight back and connect the democratic innovators and change-makers of our time. The European Capital of Democracy will create a vibrant stage for democratic best practice exchange and for experiencing new forms of democratic innovation in action.”
Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission
Watch the Announcement of Barcelona becoming European Capital of Democracy 2023/24 here:
More details on the designation of Barcelona as European Capital of Democracy 2023/24 can be found in the official press release.