Democracy matters – for each and every one of us, and in particular in the important election year 2019. Democracy and participation start where we live, in our town, city or region – and through democracy we are all connected, from the local level via the national level up to the European Union.
That is why the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions is organising on 21 March a workshop called "Learning Democracy Locally" in the context of the 5th edition of the School of Democracy, an initiative of the S&D Group in the European Parliament.
The workshop will highlight the particular challenges and opportunities of reviving participation in democracy, with a specific focus on involving younger citizens at local or regional level. The event brings together young people from across the EU and four speakers with very distinct experiences and backgrounds, in an open and interactive debate.
Participants should leave from the workshop with new ideas on why engaging in politics at a local level is important and on how to motivate other people to join them. They will discuss tools and formats for organising participation and for making the link between political decisions at different levels in order to address the various challenges which our democratic systems face at local, regional, national and the European level.
The key findings of the workshop will feed into the School of Democracy's plenary debate, moderated by Kathleen Van Brempt, Vice-President of the S&D Group, and following the Millennials Dialogue with Frans Timmermans, PES Common Candidate for the next Presidency of the European Commission.
Kata Tüttő is an economist and a local councillor at Budapest district XII. For 12 years elected member of the City Assembly of Budapest, former chair of the Financial and Public Procurement Commission. Board member of Budapest Transport Company ( BKV). Alternate member of the European Committe of the Regions, working in the Commission for the Environment, Climate change and Energy. Rapporteur of the Opinion on the Future of the Covenant of Mayors and Waste to Energy in the circular Economy.
Kata Tüttő is member of the National Presidium of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)
Emanuele Feduzi has been mayor of Fermignano, Italy since June 2016. He has been also elected as councilor of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino in February 2019. He holds a degree in chemistry and pharmaceutical technologies and he is a pharmacist. During his electoral mandate, he has put in place the initiative "Mayor for One Day" giving the possibility to citizens to better understand the "life" of a Mayor and the nature of a Mayor's duties. During his mandate, he has increased the cooperation with neighboring communities to run local projects in partnership. He is a rescue volunteer of the Italian Red Cross and has received several awards for his engagement. His passions are politics and cycling!
Amy is the Chief Operating Officer of the charity My Life My Say, and has worked for My Life My Say (MLMS) since November 2016. With previous campaigning experience in the 2016 referendum through the creation and leadership of a hugely successful student campaign group centred on encouraging voter registration and information for students, she now oversees the entire operations of MLMS. MLMS is an international, youth-led, non-partisan charity on a mission to empower young people to participate in democracy and to ensure that youth voice is at the heart of Brexit negotiations. MLMS is part of the UK Government's National Democracy Council, which awarded MLMS with the Change Maker of the Year award in 2018, which recognises an organisation that has put a new idea forward to increase access to democracy, convinced others of the merit of their idea and affected a real change that benefits the greater good. Aside from her work at MLMS she is an experienced public speaker, blogger and campaigner around youth engagement, women’s rights and Brexit.
Arnold de Boer has been Policy Officer at the European Commission since November 2018. Previously, he has been working as policy adviser at a European employers’ organisation representing small and medium-sized enterprises in the European Social Dialogue. He has also worked as parliamentary assistant in the European Parliament for a Maltese Labour MEP. Graduated as a historian at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, he started his Brussels life as a trainee in the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions. In the last local elections in Belgium in 2018, he ran as a non-Belgian candidate in the commune of Etterbeek. He is active in politics, not only in his country of origin (heading the Belgian branch of the Dutch PvdA), but also in the city where he lives. He considers that it is important that non-Belgian residents of Brussels are more involved with their local community and its political life. For this reason, he got engaged in the I Vote Where I Live campaign, to raise the awareness of European residents to the political and institutional life of the territory and facilitate their integration and active participation in the Brussels communes, in line with the rights provided by European citizenship.
Kata Tüttő, Local Councillor in Budapest, Hungary
With contributions by
Emanuele Feduzi, Mayor of Fermignano, Italy:
How to run a European agenda at local level
Amy Longland, chief operating officer of the international, youth led, non-partisan charity My Life, My Say:
The importance of engaging young people in politics
Arnold De Boer, non-Belgian candidate at the last local elections in Brussels
The "I vote where I live" campaign