Barcelona to become the first European Capital for Democracy

The Superblock model and the Decidim platform are two of the participation and democratic innovation projects which convinced a jury of over 2,500 citizens and experts from different fields to choose Barcelona as the first European Capital for Democracy. The annual role will run from September 2023 to August 2024, with the city offering a programme of events and activities to strengthen democracy in Europe.

18/01/2023 14:37 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Backed by the The Innovation in Politics Institute and supported by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, the main aim of the initiative is to promote democratic innovation and stronger democracy in Europe and the world. Other pro-democracy organisations collaborating in the project include the Democratic Society, RSA, the German Marshall Foundation and some twenty other significant bodies.

Barcelona has been chosen from thirteen candidates as the first European Capital for Democracy, thanks to different projects which have made the city a leader in participation and democratic innovation:

  • Decidim platform for citizen participation by internet, a tool which local people in the city can use to debate and put forward municipal policy proposals and give their input. Developed in 2016, the platform has been implemented in hundreds of cities in the world.
  • Participatory process linked to the superblocks: the urban transformation project has got city residents involved in consultation, deliberation and the design process for these spaces.
  • Participatory budgets, the most participatory process in the city: 70,000 people signed up to decide how to invest 30 million euros around the districts.
  • Citizen assemblies: an innovative format enabling participants in the Fòrum Jove BCN and the Assemblea Ciutadana pel Clima to propose ways of improving the lives of young people and tackling climate change.
  • Canòdrom, the Barcelona Digital Innovation Centre is a citizen laboratory based around digital rights, feminist hacks, digital education, open-source technology and the ecological impact these have.


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