A participatory democracy approach means looking at individuals as social beings and involves everyone being given the opportunity to take part in developing policies. It is worth ensuring that citizen engagement and participation are present early on in the decision-making process. Gradually, as the process approaches a decision, opportunities to have an influence decline. One challenge in this context is to gather views from groups that do not express their opinions in the public debate during the period between elections and to also take minorities into consideration. Different forms of expression for the approach of a participatory democracy, e.g. user councils and citizens’ panels, are of great value both for the development of local democracy and for the individual.
Malmö Municipality, with its special ethnic profile, has joined with the international programme the European coalition of cities against racism and the European Declaration on Equality. Both of these decisions express the municipal authority’s democratic approach.
In order to strengthen representative democracy through civil participation, the City of Malmö is working to ensure that its people gain greater confidence and engagement:
The measures required to achieve these goals are comprehensive and are being enacted at many levels - including at politician and council official level. Recently those strategic goals were formulated into various political documents.
In Malmö, there are several initiatives in democracy conforming to Arnstein’s ladder of participation, from the lowest level of information to the highest level of participation in decision-making. The latter is mainly present in the city districts’ project work.
The strongest expression of a decentralised political approach in Malmö was the establishment of a politically decentralised organisational structure. A considerable level of political responsibility has been delegated from the City Council to local or district-based committees. The delegation includes a clear responsibility to develop local democracy. To mark the significance of a democratic approach, during its current period in office the political management of the City of Malmö also appointed a Local Government Commissioner who has specific responsibility for further development of local democracy. A Steering Group for the Development of Democracy was also appointed as the drafting body for the City Executive Board, tasked with developing citizen dialogue and following up democracy initiatives in the municipality.
|Award category:||citizen involvement|
|Sector:||Regional policy and development, decentralisation|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Action programme, citizen information, active citizenship, decentralisation, local democracy|
|Short English description:||Malmö Municipality, with its special ethnic profile, has joined with the international programme the European coalition of cities against racism and the European Declaration on Equality.|
|Organisation:||Malmö stad City of Malmö|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|