To promote the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) among local authorities and associations of local authorities, an online meeting was held on 3 October 2023, moderated by Bryony Rudkin (UK, SOC/G/PD), Congress Thematic Spokesperson on the ELDW. The meeting brought together representatives from municipalities and associations that have been actively involved in the 2023 edition of the ELDW.
Byrony Rudkin mentioned that this year, the criteria for the “Partner of the ELDW” title have been updated to take into account the "Council of Europe Visibility Days" initiative launched in February. Rudkin also reminded that all citizens, without any discrimination, need to be involved in decision-making processes, at all stages, and that this was one of the main purposes of the ELDW.
A representative of the World Forum for Democracy Secretariat gave information on the aims and programme of this year’s edition of the WFD, which will take place from 6 to 8 November in Strasbourg, under the theme “Democracy=Peace?”. Participants were also inspired by a video message on youth engagement from Congress Youth Delegate from the Slovak Republic, Frantisek Brezo.
ELDW active participants presented their initiatives aimed at providing local responses to current crises, in line with this year's ELDW theme, "Local communities: putting democratic resilience at the forefront". The municipality of Valongo, the Municipality of Edremit, the Association Ville et Communes de Bruxelles (Brulocalis), and the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) delivered presentations on their activities implemented this year to build more resilient cities and communities, and increase citizen engagement at local level.
The activities have been wide-ranging and have allowed the municipalities and associations to address a variety of issues: sustainable resilient cities, collaboration between local authorities, local CSOs and policy makers, participation of citizens in the decision-making process, access to knowledge and resources, improving the functioning of local government as well as increasing the transparency and accountability of the decision-making process.
ELDW flagship events will be held during the week of 15 October – a date chosen as a tribute to the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which opened for signature on this date in 1985.