The Council of Europe, Arguden Governance Academy, and Istanbul Citizens Assembly held the School on Participatory Democracy for the first time in Turkey.
Local governments and civil society organizations representatives from different cities, including Istanbul, Adana, and Balikesir, attended the school, whose curriculum covers the participatory democracy approach and standards of the Council of Europe.
Council of Europe Elections and Participatory Democracy Division Representative Cornelia Perle stated that former school participants continue to collaborate as a network, and the five-day exchange of knowledge and experiences will affect the future.
The discussions focused on the principles and tools for enhancing civil participation at the local level. Participants explored various civil participation tools, best practices, and experiences from different European countries.
“The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality emphasizes participatory democracy and civil engagement in its work,” said Ali Galip Yukseltmek, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Strategy Development Department Head.
Public space design, participatory budgeting, youth engagement, and citizen panels were among the special topics discussed. The School on Participatory Democracy aims to strengthen civil participation at the local level.
Tulin Hadi, President of the Istanbul Citizens Assembly, and Dr. Yilmaz Arguden, Chair of Trustees of Arguden Governance Academy, also delivered opening speeches at the event.