Budapest Mayor is tackling urban issues with democratic principles

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The closest democratic institutions to our population are cities and municipalities. The transition to sustainability involves democratic mechanisms since sustainability and democracy are interwoven.

A democratic leadership approach allows for open conversation, the free flow of ideas, and participation from all parties. That is why it should also be the task of mayors and other local authorities to actively promote and protect democracy.

The German Marshall Fund recently said that more than 50 mayors from five different continents, including Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony, signed a Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy to acknowledge the crucial role that cities play in advancing democracy, Budapest Business Journal reported.

In the declaration, pledges are made to ensure free and fair elections both locally and internationally, upholding the rule of law at all levels of government, preventing violations of human rights, and tackling urban difficulties using democratic principles.

Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony stated: ‘’In the age of rising authoritarianism, cities stand as a bulwark against the erosion of freedom and the rule of law.’’

The action follows a prior initiative taken by the mayors of Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw, who previously formed the Pact of Free Cities, an open and progressive city alliance.

Since its founding, the mayors of the Pact of Free Cities have started an all-European lobbying campaign for directly accessible EU financing. They have also made contact with other mayors who share their views in order to strengthen their cooperation and eventually grow the network. (photo credit: Ljubomir Žarković/Unsplash)