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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.

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.

We proudly present

The Experts’ Jury

The Experts’ Jury is made up of highly respected experts and practitioners in the field of academia, civil society, arts, and business. Its members will assess the level of ambition, innovation and creativity of each Member City’s democracy projects based on the fair and transparent selection process, taking particular account of the respective local objectives, circumstances, and priorities of the specific City.

Jaimie Just

Citizenship Team Coordinator and Policy Adviser on gender equality & diversity,
Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) in Brussels, Belgium
.

Jaimie is an expert on gender equality and local governance. In addition to managing CEMR’s advocacy and knowledge-sharing activities in the area of gender equality, she coordinates the Citizenship Team activities to promote fair, equitable and democratic territories in Europe.

Bruno Kaufmann

Political scientist and author based in Falun, Sweden. Founder of Democracy International, President of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe (IRI Europe).

Bruno is a renowned expert on direct democracy at the local and transnational level. He has been very active as a co-founder and co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy and chairs the IRI Europe, directing the organisation as it works to support the development of the European Citizens’ Initiative since 2001.

Robert Krimmer

Holds the ERA-Chair Full Professorship of e-Governance within Skytte Institute at University of Tartu in Estonia.

Robert’s research is focused on digital transformation, cross-border e-services, electronic participation and democracy, as well as e-voting. He is the program manager of the „Politics and Governance in the Digital Age“ Master Program at University of Tartu. In 2019, he has been mentioned as one of the top 16 academics within the list of 100 most influential people in digital government by Apolitical.

Amina Krvavac

Executive Director, Child Warhood Museum, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Amina was engaged in a two-year grassroots campaign which culminated in the Child Warhood Museum’s opening in 2017. Interested in museums as spaces for social action and drivers of change, Amina is committed to creating exhibitions and workshops that support open, yet conscious dialogue. She holds Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the International University of Sarajevo and Master’s degree in Children’s Rights from the University of Geneva.

Antonella Valmorbida

Secretary General of ALDA since 1999, promoting local democracy, empowerment and participation of civil society, and good governance in Europe, in the Balkans, in Eastern Europe, and in the Mediterranean area.

Antonella is a European senior consultant on local development with a focus on participatory processes for urban regeneration. She manages a network of 350 members mainly composed of local authorities and civil society groups, in over 40 countries in Europe and beyond. She is President of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD).