Fostering cooperation between local authorities and civil society has been proven to be an efficient tool to create the necessary conditions for political and social development of communities all across the European Union and its Neighbourhood. An efficient cooperation brings better results in terms of equality, welfare, security and sustainability. Engaging citizens in all aspects of the life of their community and making their voices heard through peaceful and legal forms of participation is also an antidote to populism and anti-democratic movements that are nowadays raising up across Europe.
Local authorities are called to increase their transparency and accountability as well as to develop mechanisms effectively involving citizens in the decision making process. Civil society organisations also play a key role, they being a unique link between citizens and their local and regional governments. Together they can provide the needed mechanisms towards participatory democracy, and strengthen democratic institutions at the local level.
This toolkit aims at providing local authorities and civil society associations with a set of tested practices promoting the participation of citizens in the public and political life of their community. The collection of good practices is an ongoing process kicked-off within the framework of the two year EU funded project DECIDE – DEmocratic Compact: Improving Democracy in Europe! Through the establishment of a thematic network of towns and a bottom-up approach, more than 30 measures were identified, exchanged, further elaborated and tested by all 26 project partners. The Democratic Compact will be a permanent tool opened to contributions from all members of the network.
Make your participatory practices known all around Europe!