Put people first: cities message to Europe

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Mayors of major European cities have demonstrated their commitment to create a more citizen focussed Europe with more active youth participation in decision making.

Europe must work with cities to reconnect with its citizens

Mayors of major European cities have demonstrated their commitment to create a more citizen focussed Europe with more active youth participation in decision making.

At the EUROCITIES conference, attended by more than 500 participants, the mayors of Edinburgh, Ghent and Stockholm were the first to sign EUROCITIES Declaration on Citizens’ Engagement, pledging to:

involve citizens in a dialogue about our common future

inspire all levels of government to create societies where people come first

impact the way decisions are taken in Europe

As the closest level of government to citizens, cities are crucial in shaping the future of Europe. More than 90 cities have taken part in EUROCITIES ‘Cities4Europe – Europe for citizens’ campaign this year, which has highlighted positive examples of citizen engagement around Europe, and set examples for other cities and levels of government. 10 top citizens’ messages, collected from hundreds, were also shared with delegates.

Throughout the EUROCITIES conference, a delegation of more than 60 youth ambassadors from over 50 European cities were on hand to give their thoughts on the future of Europe. This included a conversation on stage with Nicola sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister.

Daniël Termont, president of EUROCITIES and mayor of Ghent, said:

“A more positive future for Europe starts with its citizens. At a time when politics, both at national and European level, is searching for solutions to meet people’s expectations, cities are breaking new ground and finding innovative ways to work with people. European leaders would do well to learn from local approaches. Cities4Europe wants to inspire this change and impact the way we do politics in Europe by initiating direct dialogue between (young) citizens and elected politicians at any level.”

Frank Ross, lord provost, Edinburgh, said:

“Today’s young people will shape our cities of the future, and by working with them and all other citizens, we can help tackle European challenges both now and in years to come. Throughout Scotland we have celebrated our Year of Young People, which is closely connected to EUROCITIES Cities4Europe campaign. Both aim to work with people to get a better understanding of the daily struggles we face within our societies, and to come up with workable solutions.”



Notes to Editors

  1. EUROCITIES is the political platform for major European cities. We network the local governments of over 140 of Europe’s largest cities and more than 40 partner cities that between them govern some 130 million citizens across 39 countries. www.eurocities.eu
  2. The EUROCITIES Declaration on citizens’ engagement has already been signed by dozens of mayors. You can read it in full here: https://bit.ly/2AxUxsp
  3. The EUROCITIES conference focuses on a different theme each year. More information on EUROCITIES 2018 is available here: http://eurocities2018.eu/
  4. The EUROCITIES Awards, which showcase outstanding achievements by our member cities in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve the quality of life for citizens, will be presented tonight at the national museum of Scotland. Take a look at the 2018 finalists here: http://eurocities2018.eu/shortlist/
  5. Follow us on Twitter via @EUROCITIEStweet. The hashtag for this event is #EUROCITIES2018

Media contact: 

Alex Godson: +32 495 298 594 // alex.godson@eurocities.eu