Participation of the Congress to the World Forum for Democracy -
26 to 29 November 2013

Local democracy online: prospects and limitations of the “virtual agora” [29/11/2013]
Many European towns are establishing websites to reach the citizens, hold dialogue with them, and elicit their opinions. A theme of one of the “Labs” of the World Forum for Democracy, the ” virtual agora” concept is a new tool for local democracy but also carries rules and constraints for municipalities and citizens alike.  
World Forum for Democracy: Connecting institutions and citizens in the digital age [25/11/2013]
The Congress participated in several thematic workshops (LAB) as part of the World Forum for Democracy to be held from 27 to 29 November 2013 in the Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg (France). The Congress contributions hinged on the following themes: Alternatives to representative democracy – Towards democracy 2.0 – Governing with the citizens. On 28 November Tracey Simpson-Laing (United Kingdom, SOC), Councillor of the City of York and member of the Congress, spoke in LAB 2 “Online petitions and campaigning” and Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, moderated LAB 8 “Virtual Agora”. On 29 November Andris Jaunsleinis (Latvia, ILDG), municipal councillor of Ventspils and head of the Latvian delegation to the Congress spoke in LAB 14 “Participatory budgeting”, aimed at examining how successful participatory budgeting is in fostering dialogue and trust between citizens and authorities. In addition, the rapporteurs of LAB 12 “Put your money where your heart is” and LAB 15 “Digital local democracy” were, respectively, Andrée Buchmann (France, SOC), Regional Councillor of Alsace and member of the Congress and Clemens Lammerskitten (Germany, EPP/CCE), Member of the Niedersachsen Parliament and Vice-President of the Congress. They presented the plenary session with the conclusions of these two labs whose discussions will concern the tools and the methods for enhancing citizen participation. 
Conference on ''1953–1988–2013: Decentralisation at a crossroads'' [17/07/2013]
The Congress and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) co-organised a conference entitled '1953–1988–2013: Decentralisation at a crossroads' in Strasbourg, France, held on the eve of the World Forum for Democracy 2013, on 26 November 2013. To mark the 60th anniversary of the adoption by the CEMR of the European Charter of Municipal Liberties (1953) and the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the European Charter of Local Self-Government of the Council of Europe (1988), the conference aimed to review the progress achieved over the last 60 years with respect to local democracy and self-government, notably through the implementation of the two Charters. It also focused on recent administrative and territorial reforms in Europe, examine the concerns of local governments on recentralisation trends and looked at the future prospects for strengthening local democracy in Europe. 
[07/11/2013]  Conference on ''Residence-based participation: a new reality of modern democracy''
[03/12/2013]  Promoting citizen participation at grassroots level through the internet