On 1 July, the Chief Representative of our office attended the conference “Universities and the City” organized by the City of Frankfurt and the Goethe University, where he participated in a discussion and a joint declaration was formulated during the political panel.
“Under the theme of “Democratic Innovation and Citizen Participation”, the Chief Representative of our Yokohama City Office gave a speech and held a discussion on Yokohama’s regional urban planning. Resulting from the discussion, the “Frankfurt Declaration on the Future of Democracy” was compiled.
Overview of the Political Panel
Representatives from five sister cities attended the political panel discussion in the Emperors’ Hall of Frankfurt’s city hall. Moderated by Brigitte Geißel from Goethe University, the panelists City Councilor Ina Hartwig for Frankfurt, Lyon City Councilor Sonia Zdorovtzoff, City Councilor Chen Arieli from Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the Krakow City President’s Representative for Equality, Nina Gabryś and Takehiro Kuribayashi representing the City of Yokohama discussed their cities’ measures regarding democratic innovations and citizen participation.
The panelists gave an overview on how local democracy works in the sister cities, described successful models for involving citizens in the political decision-making process in the face of serious challenges to representative democracy, such as declining party loyalty and increasing demands for direct participation, and how this topic shall be fostered in the future.
Photos © City of Frankfurt, Maik Reuss
Frankfurt Declaration on the Future of Democracy
Gathered in the heart of Europe in Frankfurt am Main – the cradle of German democracy which began in 1848/1849 with the convening of the Frankfurt National Assembly in the Paulskirche, and a city firmly committed to the values of the European Union –
united in the spirit of “government of the people, by the people, for the people,”
resolute in our desire to develop the democratic idea in innovative ways,
and mindful of the deep scars left by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
we, the representatives of global cities and metropolises as present in Frankfurt am Main on this day 1 July 2021, issue the following declaration on the future of democracy and the importance of citizen participation:
As elected representatives of our cities, we stand for
- ongoing dialogue with our citizens about the shared future in our cities and in a democratic world;
- a society in which the democratic participation of citizens is accorded paramount importance;
- intensification of the international exchange of experience at the political, social, cultural, and academic levels;
- the core democratic values of our citizens;
- the safeguarding of universal and inalienable human rights in every country of the world;
- finding new, active ways to open up politics and the political decision-making processes to all citizens;
- innovative and modern forms of citizen participation aimed at realizing the democratic ideals of governance.