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Vienna will be the second European Capital of Democracy

German Landingpage

A Citizen Jury of several thousand Europeans selected Vienna to be the second European Capital of Democracy. The Austrian metropole will be the central stage for strengthening and innovating democracy for one year.

“As European Capital of Democracy, Vienna will demonstrate how social cohesion can be further strengthened through the participation of citizens.”

Michael Ludwig, Mayor of the City of Vienna

“Together with civil society, we will set new impulses so that more people can actively shape their living environment.”

Jürgen Czernohorszky, City Councillor for Democracy

“Vienna has convinced an international audience twice: first, the expert jury, and second, the citizens’ jury, consisting of 4,000 Europeans.”

Helfried Carl, Founder of the ECoD Initiativ

Vienna’s Democratic Ambitions

In late autumn 2023 more than 4000 European citizen jurors from 46 Council of Europe member states assessed a range of projects by the shortlisted cities to become ECoD 2024/25. Vienna’s application convinced the jury with its comprehensive democratization strategy, aiming to “make the most livable city in the world also the most democratic.” This is to be achieved through the opening of administrative processes and their enrichment with democratic innovations based on the needs and ideas of citizens. Discover Vienna’s application and learn more about its democratic ambitions.

As the European Capital of Democracy, Vienna will host a diverse programme of events, projects and initiatives for one year, starting in October 2024. The aim is to make democracy tangible in its various facets for all levels of society and to bring together people from all over Europe who share an interest in dialogue about the democratic future of Europe. Some of the focal points have already been finalized:

Further expansion of participation opportunities for Viennese citizens
One focus of the Democracy Year is the further expansion of participation and co-determination opportunities for the Viennese. With a Hub for Participation and the “Democracy Lab”, the city will launch new initiatives to enable even more people to participate in their immediate living environment. The aim is to break down barriers and develop participation formats that reflect the diversity of a major city like Vienna.

International presentation of Viennese pioneering projects
In addition, existing Viennese democracy projects that have convinced the jury of experts and citizens are to be positioned internationally as showcase examples: the Vienna Climate Team, the Cultural Laboratory in Municipal Buildings, the Participatory Children and Youth Million and the Vienna Social Fund’s Customer Council. The international focus on Vienna as a democracy capital should also help to make the Viennese more aware of the diversity of participation opportunities.

Democracy Year

Starting in autumn 2024 Vienna will host a variety of projects and initiatives to celebrate democracy and to address the central debates of our political present and future. Festivals, conferences, workshops, artistic interventions, participatory and deliberative processes – the city will be a buzzing and engaging space, essential for our democratic future.

An inclusive democratic experience

The Democracy 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.

An attractive stage for democratic innovators

We invite everyone who has a stake in democracy to become part of the Democracy Year: Institutions, networks, civil society organisations, businesses, associations, youth groups can co-create to enrich this broad European dialogue. Bring your format to Vienna and benefit from its visibility as European Capital of Democracy.

Programme Highlights

The Innovation in Politics Awards

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Every year, the most innovative political projects in Europe are identified and awarded by a citizens’ jury. In spring 2025, the finalists will come to Vienna to present their projects and attend the award ceremony.

Find out more.

Art of Democracy

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Art creates awareness for an open, just, and free society and can move and unite people. Under the slogan of “Art of Democracy,” the Viennese Democracy Year aims to foster a participatory and artistic approach, encouraging lively engagement and creative expression across the city.

Find out more.

ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference

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This conference gathers mayors, practitioners, scientists, and young people to discuss local solutions to global crises. The innovative conference design ensures stimulating exchange, action-oriented insights, and an empowering sense of community.

Find out more.

Truth, Lies & Democracy

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Truth, Lies and Democracy is a project that calls on the gaming community in Europe to engage against fake news. Teams develop video games and propose interactive methods to advance the fight against misinformation.

Find out more.

Special Partnership with Kyiv

While it is not possible for cities in Ukraine to compete for the title of European Capital of Democracy as long as the war is ongoing, Kyiv has entered a special partnership with the European Capital of Democracy initiative to showcase its outstanding achievements in the field of democracy and participation. This underscores the diverse avenues through which cities are embracing democratic ideals. It was agreed that Kyiv will play a prominent role in the Year of Democracy 2024/25 due to its situation.

Become a partner for democracy!

If you want to become part of the Democracy Year and join the development and realisation of lighthouse projects and initiatives that strengthen democracy we would be delighted to discuss collaboration possibilities and potential partnerships with you personally. Don’t hesitate to contact our team members or the City of Vienna directly at demokratiehauptstadt@post.wien.gv.at! Feel free to also subscribe to the new Democracy Newsletter from the City of Vienna to stay updated not only on the European Capital of Democracy but also beyond: Subscribe here!

Mathis Dippon
Programme Manager

Anaïs Weinberger (Head of Fundraising & Stakeholder Management)

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