"Citizen participation is the bedrock of democracy and good governance, beause the citizen must be in the center of any public action and policy" stressed Congress Seretary General Andreas Kiefer on a conference held in Reykjavik on 5 September 2017. Administration staff from various Icelandic municipalities attended this conference on citizen consultation in order to exchange their experiences involving effective participatory mechanisms.
In a video message, the Secretary General presented the European Local Democracy Week and encouraged municipalities to participate, recalling that this pan-European initiative, created 10 years ago, is a great means to bring together citizens and authorities sharing the Congress' conviction that "local self-governance is a landmark of modern European democratic societies and is, therefore, something that is worth promoting, defending and celebrating."
The conference, organised by the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland, included seminars, best practice presentations and discussions focusing on three main questions: how to harness the citizens' interest in participating in decision-making? How to motivate citizens to participate for the sake of the community? How to design mechanisms that include all groups of society?