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How to apply to become the European Capital of Democracy

How to apply

Becoming a European Capital of Democracy is a unique opportunity for cities within the Council of Europe member states enjoying full rights of representation.

A city holding this title will enjoy a wide range of benefits, such as an enhanced international reputation as a centre of education and innovation, the chance to host international events and meetings of leading European politicians, and of course a boost to civic pride.

Based on transparent criteria, an Experts’ Jury will draw up a Shortlist of up to five outstanding contenders (the Nominee Cities). The 10,000-strong Citizens’ Jury will then select the European Capital of Democracy.

The Call for Applications is open from March to June of each year.

Application Process

How to apply

Cities across the member states of the Council of Europe enjoying full rights of representation are invited to take part in a competitive five-stage selection process. In March 2022, the ECoD Call for Proposals will open, kicking off a unique designation process for the very first European Capital of Democracy.

Stage 1

With their binding Declaration of Intent to participate in the Call, Cities provide a technical, organisational and Democracy self-evaluation.
Stage 2

ECoD NPO screens Declarations of Intent for admissibility and completeness, including a check of the prerequisites, and informs the Interested Cities about the decision.
Stage 3

Admitted Cities work on their Call submissions, including a mission statement and project descriptions. Upon completion, they become Member Cities of the ECoD Network.
Stage 4

The Experts’ Jury evaluates all Call submissions, visits the most promising contenders and draws up a Shortlist of max. 5 Nominee Cities.
Stage 5

The Citizens’ Jury gets the final word on the selection of the Nominee Cities and chooses the City-Designate as the first European Capital of Democracy.

Call and Jury

How the Jury will be selected

The Citizens’ Jury consists of a cross-section of society and it is selected by ECoD NPO to be as representative as possible so that the decision of the Citizens’ Jury is transparent, objective, and fair.

How you can benefit

Your benefits as European Capital of Democracy

A city holding this title will enjoy a wide range of benefits, such as an enhanced international reputation as a centre of education and innovation, the chance to host international events and meetings of leading European politicians, and of course a boost to civic pride. The media coverage will focus on democratic best practice. All cities joining the European Capital of Democracy network will profit from mutual exchange of knowledge and experience, access to international expertise and cooperation.

International reputation

The city will gain an enhanced international reputation as a centre of education and innovation.

Host impactful events

The city will get the chance to host international events and meetings of leading European politicians.

Civic pride

The city will enjoy heightened civic pride.