What is the European Local Democracy Week?
The European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) is an annual European event in the framework of which local authorities and associations from the 46 Council of Europe member States organise public initiatives to meet and engage with their citizens on issues of local interest. Local authorities from other countries are also welcome to report local democracy week activities organised with citizens in their communities.
The aim is to promote and foster democratic participation at local level.
The participants are encouraged to organise events, in accordance with the theme of the ELDW, during the whole year, culminating in a flagship event in the week of 15 October. The week around 15 October has been chosen for holding this event as a tribute to the European Charter of Local Self-Government, opened for signature on that date in 1985.
Local authorities are invited to nominate a locally influential personality as “Voice of the European Local Democracy Week”, whose role will be to promote an initiative as its goodwill ambassador, to allow for a wider outreach. The ELDW participants are also encouraged to actively promote mutual exchange of information and good practice, especially by using the online platform on the ELDW website.
Become Partner of the European Local Democracy Week
To highlight the commitment to raising the citizens’ awareness of local democracy, the most active participants of the ELDW can request the title of “Partner of the European Local Democracy Week”.
This title is granted a posteriori, upon the actual participation and activity report, in order to guarantee that the participants respected the criteria regarding the nature, scale, and possible impact of events.
In order to receive this title, municipalities and other local authorities have to fulfil the following criteria:
1. Allocate a specific budget for citizens' participation;
2. Run an ELDW promotion campaign using the ELDW visual identity decided upon and provided by the Congress;
3. Carry out a number of specific activities linked to the leading theme of the year;
4. Organise an event with a European or pan-European dimension to raise awareness about the Council of Europe and its Congress and the role of local authorities in construction of a democratic Europe. A Congress representative may be invited to this main event;
5. Inclusiveness: extend the social scope of the initiative by reaching out to different groups of citizens, especially those who might feel excluded (children, women, Roma and Travellers, people with a disability, etc.);
6. Promote the engagement of young people and youth organisations, including by involving or creating youth councils;
7. Implement sustainable initiatives thereby creating an environment in which citizens local authorities share the same long-term goals, namely, to reinforce citizens' awareness and participation in decision making;
8. Implement innovative activities and projects.