Opening adress by Johanna Rolland, President of Nantes Metropole and Mayor of Nantes and
Dubravka Suica, Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography
Faced with the growing number of crises that are weakening Western democracies (rise of populism and abstention, contestation and questioning of institutions, health crisis ect.); institutions, civil society and citizens are looking for new answers. They are experimenting with new ways of strengthening democracy in the local community. The COVID-19 health crisis has accelerated these phenomena and demonstrated the capacity of each and every citizen to seize on such an unprecedented situation to develop initiatives at the local level. All those democratic innovations raise questions about the methods used to govern and manage local public action. In order to find their bearings and ensure that they contribute to strengthen democracy, cities are developing reference frameworks and principles to support these new forms of democratic participation and practices. They are seeking to collectively analyse the opportunities and risks in order to contribute to shape the future of local democracy in Europe. Will salvation come from an unprecedented alliance of representative, deliberative, participative and contributory democracy? This round table looks at different views and testimonies.