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Making a difference for democracy

2022 was the year that brought European Capital of Democracy to life, building an international network of political innovators and democracy defenders across all Council of Europe member states. Find out who made this possible.

We are all excited and eager to welcome this next year with bright eyes focused on the future of ECoD. We, however, would love to encourage some moments of reflection — to look back on what the European Capital of Democracy has done as an organisation and as a community dedicated to supporting and defending democracy.

This year, we truly have been asking a lot from existing and potential partners. We joined forces with dozens of organisations to invite cities to compete for the title of European Capital of Democracy. 13 cities from seven countries joined our City Network in our first year, sharing inspiring projects and actively exchanging on future possibilities.

With Civocracy’s support, we started reaching out to our friends and professional network to announce and prepare our Citizens’ Jury, a network of up to 10,000 Europeans from all Council of Europe member states, destined to select the first European Capital of Democracy from a shortlist of three outstanding contenders: Barcelona, Braga and Brussels.

Together with our partner Alliance4Europe, we launched a fully-fledged recruiting campaign to find and select the first several thousand members of the Citizens’ Jury. We reached out to hundreds of organisations, building partnerships and forging alliances across many of the 46 countries.

Rechnerherz has developed the Citizens’ Jury selection tool with us, while Participation Factory helps us to choose and setup the right platform(s) and tools for future collaboration and exchange.

Finally, we have invited many of those friends and partners to start collecting ideas and contributing possible formats for the Programme Year of the first European Capital of Democracy, opening its doors on 15 September 2023 in the designated city.

Now is the time to say: Thank you! Without your help and support, nothing of this would have been possible. To us, it showed that the idea of creating a roof for the great many people and projects out there is a strong and convincing one.

By supporting ECoD, you are empowering a new era of democracy defenders who want to come together and join forces to pave the way for a brighter, safer, and more sustainable future for Europe. And there is more to come next year.

2023, we will have our first ever European Capital of Democracy!

Your continued belief in our work means even more people will have the opportunity to connect with our initiative of strengthening European democracy and become agents for change in their communities. So whether you’ve just joined or been with us from the start, we are ever grateful for your role in our initiative.

We will also join forces with JEF Europe – Young European Federalists “Democracy under pressure” campaign in March – watch out for an update on this topic late January!

On behalf of the entire team, thank you for your ongoing support, and let’s make 2023 a great and remarkable year for European Democracy!

Best wishes,
Stefan, CEO ECoD NPO

Sending a big THANK YOU
for supporting democracy to:


All Channels Communication Group


Arena Idé

Are We Europe

Arty Farty

Association Civic Tech Europe

Association of Civil Society Development Center

Association of German Cities

Brand New Bundestag


Center for the Study of Democracy

Centre for Democracy

Centre for International Relations

Centrum Národov Slovensko

Citizens for Europe

Civil Liberties Union for Europe

Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Society Europe


Council for Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency

Council of Europe

Council of European Municipalities and Regions

Datenwerk Bulgaria

Debating Europe


Democracy International

Democracy Matters

Democratie Ouverte

De Kiesmannen

Diskutier Mit Mir e. V.


E-governance and digital public services in Centre of IT Impact Studies




European Association for Local Democracy

European Campaign Playbook

European Civic Forum

European Commission

European Committee of the Regions

European Cultural Foundation

European Democracy Youth Network

European Endowment for Democracy

European Environmental Bureau

European Forum Alpbach

European Horizons

European Network Against Racism

European Student Think Tank

European Youth Card Association

European Youth Forum

EUSALP Youth Council


Fondation Hippocrène

Fundacja Geremka

Generation Europa

GMF – Cities Fortifying Democracy

Human Power Hub

Human Rights Cities


Institute for a Greater Europe

International Observatory on Participatory Democracy

International Youth Think Tank



Local Governments for Sustainability

Mehr Demokratie e.V.

Members of the European Parliament


National Endowment for Democracy


New Europeans

Noesis Group

Open Bulgaria

Out of the box

ParliamentWatch Italia

Participation Factory

People Powered

Politics UK

Pulse of Europe


Science for Democracy

SDSN Youth

See Her Elected




Tactical Tech

The Creative Bureaucracy Festival

The Democratic Society

The European Leadership Programme

The Royal Society of Arts


Trans European Policy Studies Association

University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

Volt Europa

We are Europe

WeMove Europe


Young European Federalists


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