"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Location: European Union

Website: www.eurocities.eu

Created in 1986, EUROCITIES brings together the democratically elected local governments of 134 cities including cities in the European Union (Full Members) and cities in other European countries (Associate Members). Membership is open to the municipal governments of cities which are recognised as important regional centres with an international dimension, and normally having at least 250 000 inhabitants.

EUROCITIES works along 3 complementary strands of activities:
The city of Warsaw is currently the president of EUROCITIES.

EUROCITIES members benefit from taking part in trans-national projects, research activities, policy seminars and workshops with regard to a wide range of urban issues and challenges.

Through networking cities can learn from each other by sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, comparing different approaches, testing innovative solutions and analysing best practices. Alongside the advantages for the participating cities, these thematic activities also provide a sound and solid basis for the development of EUROCITIES policy positions and proposals.

EUROCITIES is committed to working towards a common vision of a sustainable future in which all citizens can enjoy a good quality of life.

EUROCITIES aims at achieving a European context where cities can be inclusive, prosperous, creative, and sustainable, with democratic and effective governance, and where all citizens can be provided with opportunities for participation in all aspects of urban life - including political, cultural, social and economic aspects.

EUROCITIES provides a strong voice for cities in the European Union, and actively contributes to the development and implementation of European policies, legislation and programmes which are relevant for cities.

EUROCITIES is an important partner for dialogue with the European Commission, both on the political level and on the technical level. EUROCITIES also maintains close contacts with the Committee of the Regions, the European Parliament and the Member States.

The Brussels office carries out policy, project, human resources, finance, administration and communications work.

An executive committee, made up of twelve elected representatives, manages the business of the organisation. This is currently led by Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, mayor of Warsaw and president of EUROCITIES.

The executive committee meets at least three times a year and oversees our annual work programme, internal rules and budget, as approved by the annual general meeting (AGM).

Important decisions relating to the network are made at the annual general meeting (AGM), which is held during our annual conference. Each member city is represented at the meeting.

The 2012 annual conference took place in Nantes on 7-10 November 2012 (www.eurocities2012.eu) and the 2013 conference takes place in Ghent on 27-29 November 2013.

Our day-to-day work is conducted through six thematic forums and a number of related working groups in which our members can participate. Forums monitor developments in specific policy areas, addressing issues and coordinating activities. They also set up and monitor working groups, and draft EUROCITIES position papers. Each forum meets two to three times each year and elects its own chair and vice-chair.

The executive committee also has working groups on cross-cutting themes such as governance, neighbourhood policy and climate change.

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