Signing ceremony of the Magna Charta for an International League of Democracy Cities
On September the 24th 2022, ALDA Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida, took part in the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland. Being the largest gathering devoted to direct democracy worldwide, the forum welcomed participants from academic, political and civil society perspectives.
From a general standpoint, the goal of the initiative is to bring together people with different experiences and backgrounds, so as to give activists and organisations the opportunity to share their insights and connect with others working on the same issues. Thus, this forum stems from the fact that democracy is challenged on all political levels today, in the world as much as in the host country of this year’s Global Forum, Switzerland.
The Forum was coordinated by an international consortium under the leadership of the Swiss Democracy Foundation, chaired by Adrian Schmid, and Democracy International, where Global Manager for PR & Community Building Caroline Vernaillen brings together the threads from all over the world.
Within this context, ALDA Secretary General took the floor during the Concluding Plenary Panel on how to save Democracy, presented by SwissInfo Channel. The focus of this panel was on the big challenges and crises that democracy is facing in this era, such as authoritarianism, fake news, pandemics and war; particular relevance has been put on the need for deep inclusion, resilience and a just democracy.
As each year’s forum, also the GFMDD 22 ended with a final declaration drawn up and adopted by the participants, summarising the content of the conference and defining proposals for further cooperation.
Ms. Valmorbida signed the Magna Charta of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy on behalf of ALDA, with the mandate from the Governing Board
The first draft of the document was developed and agreed upon at the 2018 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in Rome, with the strong support of that city’s parliament and of representatives of cities across the globe. Since then, it has been the subject of extensive global discussion. In its current version, the Magna Charta identifies 20 different democracy dimensions at the local level — so that citizens and urban institutions can formulate an idea of where their own cities rank in terms of democracy development.
During the last day of the Forum, the signing ceremony of the Magna Charta for an International League of Democracy Cities took place. The Charter commits the signatories to implement policies on citizens engagement at the local level.
Apart from ALDA signing the Magna Charta, also representatives from 6 cities joined, namely Valongo (PT), Nancy (F), Lausanne (CH), León (ES), Amsterdam (NL), Bucharest (RO) and as well as from network organisations and projects like the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and the European Capital of Democracy (ECoD), where Ms. Valmorbida is Chairwoman of the Experts’ Jury.