On September 14, the technical office of the European Capital of Democracy –formed by Barcelona City Council and the Barcelona Metropolitan Strategic Plan (PEMB) and promoted by The Innovation in Politics Institut– launched the program of the European Capital of Democracy in an event that included the participation of Mayor Jaume Collboni, the Vice President of the European Commission, Dubravka Šuica, the founder of the European Capital of Democracy, Helfried Carl, the Deputy Mayor Maria Eugenia Gay and the general coordinator of PEMB, Oriol Estela.
In January 2023 it was made public that Barcelona was elected the first European Capital of Democracy thanks to projects such as Decidim, the participatory process of the Superblocks, participatory budgets and deliberative citizen assemblies. The recognition will mean that between the months of October 2023 and 2024 the city will host a series of local, metropolitan, European and international events, conferences and activities linked to democratic innovation and citizen participation, as well as culture, education and public space.
Among the main activities of the programme are:
- Inaugural conference “The challenges of Democracy in Europe” by Daniel Innerarity at the CCCB on October 5, 2023.
- Conferences on Democracy and participation organized jointly with the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Diputació de Barcelona on March 12 and 13, 2024.
- The European awards ceremony for political innovation “The annual innovation in Politics Awards” to be held at the Paranimf de l’Escola Industrial on April 18, 2024.
- GameJam or 48 hours of video game creation around how to combat Fake News under the title “Truth, Lies & Democracy” which will be held at the Canòdrom at the beginning of June 2024.
- International meeting of mayors around climate policies “ActNOW International Mayors’ Conference” that will take place in Barcelona in September 2024.
- Festival on “Democracy and the city” and closing ceremony as part of the Biennial of Thought that will take place in Barcelona at the beginning of October 2024.
The European Capital of Democracy (ECoD) is an initiative whose main objective is to promote democratic innovation and democratic strengthening in Europe and internationally. It is promoted by The Innovation in Politics Institute with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and other organizations that seek to deepen democracy also collaborate, such as the Democratic Society, RSA, German Marshall Foundation and twenty more relevant actors in this ambit.