In an interview following the first meeting of Reflection Group of the Congress on the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) held on 27 March 2018, Thematic Spokesperson on ELDW Gaye Doganoglu (Turkey, EPP/CCE), reaffirmed the commitment to give this pan-European initiative a new momentum.
The various points debated during this meeting aimed to establish a new strategy to give this initiative new dynamism, namely the concept and the format of the Week, how to involve new partners and sustain their commitment, and finally how to share and promote good practices and experiences.
Recalling that 2017 edition, which marked the 10th anniversary of ELDW, brought together 74 partners from 20 Member States, Gaye Doganoglu emphasized that ELDW had become a pan-European event giving the opportunity to promote participatory democracy at the level closest to the citizens. "The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is the place where we can debate about local democracy. The Council of Europe is like a school of democracy," she pointed out.
The 2018 edition of the ELDW will take place from 15 to 21 October. Local authorities of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, as well as their national associations are invited to organize events on the theme of "Participation, consultation and citizen engagement: for long-lasting local democracy", biennial theme for 2017-2018 with a particular emphasis this year on the participation of young people and children at the local level.
The purpose of this new orientation is to encourage more partners to carry out activities increasing young citizen participation in decision-making at the local level and introduce participatory mechanisms in their communities.