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 from all the 47 member states of the Council of Europe (and beyond) organise public events to meet and engage with their citizens on issues of current interest. The aim is to promote and foster democratic participation at grassroots level in particular, to raise citizens’ awareness of how local authorities operate as well as to inform them of the opportunities for taking part in local decision-making processes.
The activities can be organised throughout the year, culminating in a flagship event around the 15 October as a tribute to the European Charter of Local Self-Government, opened for signature on that date in 1985.
Through its online platform, updated by the partaking authorities, the ELDW also functions as a network of local and regional authorities and their associations to share their events and activities organised to boost citizen participation, and to get ideas and inspiration from each other’s experiences.
The sample of activities organised in the framework of the ELDW includes a large variety of approaches to develop the different dimensions and themes of citizen participation. Examples on the types of events that are being organised in the framework of the ELDW can be found in the thematic ideas section or by searching for events by country on the dedicated online platform.
Who can take part in ELDW?
The ELDW is intended for local and regional authorities (local communities, cities, municipalities, provinces, regions and associations of local and regional authorities). Citizens and NGOs are both the principal beneficiaries of the ELDW’s activities, and its main actors. Young people can also play an essential role in making the Week’s messages widely known, and the Youth and Children Councils are strongly encouraged to participate in the Week.
The municipalities can take part in the ELDW by different ways:
- By registering their participation as a Partner in the current edition, organising their own initiatives involving citizens and other local partners, focusing on activities related to their competencies (cultural, education, social and health services, etc.).
- By co-operating with other participating local authorities by supporting their initiatives with their institutional logo and by financial or ‘in-kind’ support (printing leaflets and ELDW posters, providing equipment).
- Disseminating information to local authorities in the region/county to raise awareness of the ELDW and the role of the Congress in promoting local democracy.
For more information: How to take part in the ELDW?
Who is responsible for this event?
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, as a political assembly composed of 648 elected officials from local and regional authorities of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, is responsible for the co-ordination of the ELDW across Europe.
The European dimension of local democracy
Several organisations work towards promoting local democracy in Europe. The Council of Europe is committed to promoting a style of local self-government that meets the needs of citizens wherever they may be. The Council of Europe also initiated the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is the body in charge of monitoring its implementation in each country.