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Magna Charta

Saving Democracy Globally at the Local Level

Citizens confront a paradox. The challenges of the world are big, complicated and global. But citizens don’t live in the world; they lives in cities and towns. It is at this local level that we can make the greatest impact on democracy.

How to bridge the gap between global challenges and local democratic power? By linking cities all over the world to address global challenges through local democracy. And to work together democratically, cities themselves must be more democratic and more participatory, so their people have more power.

The good news: we are already seeking many efforts to democratize local democracies. All over the world, local communities and their governments have taken the lead in protecting and expanding democratic practice and culture so that their citizens are involved at every step of the decision-making process.

Such local governments are democracy cities, because they are committed to ever greater democracy.

We want to expand and formalize democratic links between democracy cities by launching the International League of Democratic Cities.

The driving forces behind this league are the cities of Rome, Seoul and Taichung. This network will create an infrastructure for comparing and identifying the most fruitful approaches to enhancing participation and democracy in civic life.

A first step to building the league was taken in Rome at the 2018 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, where cities and citizens discussed and drafted a Magna Charta for democratic cities, a historic document detailing best practices and commitments for more local, direct and participatory democracy.

But the process has only just begun. We want cities and towns all over the world to join this process of drafting and creating the International League. Joining the network will be a powerful signal of a city’s commitment to democratic participation.

The Process

The City of Rome officially launched the call for a Magna Charta and for an International League of Democratic Cities on September 29 2018.

At the 2018 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in Rome, Italy September 26-29, more than 800 democracy experts, public officials, and citizens from more than 200 cities and 80 countries discussed and drafted a provisional Magna Charta

This draft is now traveling the world and is open to amendments until March 31, 2019. Amendments can be submitted via email on The final Magna Charta will be presented at the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy pre-event along with an open invitation to the cities of the world to join.

The below citizens and cities support this charter and the efforts to establish an International League of Democracy Cities:

  • Bern, Switzerland
  • Brno, Czech Republic
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Rome, Italy
  • Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Vienna, Austria