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​13 cities are in the race to become the first “European Capital of Democracy”

13 cities from 8 countries have been preselected to become the first ever “European Capital of Democracy”.

Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain), Bologna (Italy), Braga (Portugal), Brussels (Belgium), Burgos (Spain), Cascais (Portugal), Linz (Austria), Metz (France), Opole (Poland), Rzeszow (Poland), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Valongo (Portugal) have joined the ECoD City Network to compete for the title European Capital of Democracy.

Based on transparent criteria, an Experts’ Jury of five pre-eminent professionals in the field of democracy will now review all of the cities’ applications and draw up a shortlist of outstanding contenders.

The Experts’ Jury Members are: Jaimie Just – Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Bruno Kaufmann – Democracy International, Robert Krimmer – Skytte Institute at University of Tartu, Amina Krvavac – Child Warhood Museum, Antonella Valmorbida – ALDA Europe / European Partnership for Democracy.

Up to five nominee cities will be forwarded to a jury of 10,000 European citizens, which will get the final word on the selection of the City to carry the title. Applications are still currently open for citizens to have their say and join the Citizens’ Jury. 

The first city to carry the title of European Capital of Democracy will be designated in January 2023. It will enjoy a wide range of benefits, such as an enhanced international reputation as a centre of education and innovation, and the chance to host international events and meetings of leading European politicians.