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The EDLS Charter

European cities and regions are ready to show the world that global changes come from local actions and they want to take their citizens on board!

Preamble

In 2016, a group of European cities and regions and their national associations decided to jointly launch a 2-week yearly campaign to promote their commitment to global solidarity and sustainable development, as well as their support to the European values of democracy, diversity and solidarity: the European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS) were born!

Globalisation has diluted the once-solid barriers distinguishing the North and the South, and has put sustainable development at the centre of a global strategy to eradicate all forms of inequality and poverty, and to promote a sustainable wellbeing for all.

Towns, cities and regions in Europe have a long experience as actors of global development both at home and abroad. In fact, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development directly concern the policy fields of local and regional governments.

Moreover, cities and regions are close to citizens and are key to inform and mobilise them in favour of a more active and responsible citizenship, understanding that global development starts by each of our daily actions.

3 goals

1. The EDLS support European cities and regions as local drivers of an active citizenship, engaged and committed in favour of a global solidarity based on co-responsibility and ownership.

2. The EDLS champion the key and long-standing contribution of local and regional governments to global solidarity through decentralised cooperation, the cooperation and knowledge sharing between cities and regions in the world

3. The EDLS encourage all sorts of collaboration and synergies between European cities and regions based on the exchange of best practices and experiences for better local actions in awareness raising and global solidarity.

Our values & principles

We, the European cities and regions participating at the EDLS, fully embrace:

- The European values of democracy, freedom, solidarity, human rights and equal opportunities;

- The principle of partnership, of joining efforts between a very wide range of actors at the local level such as public authorities, academia, private sector, civil society organizations, cultural communities, etc. aimed to develop common understanding and joint actions;

- The principle of local self-governance from a democratic, fair and effective approach, supported by the direct legitimacy of local and regional governments;

- The principle of diversity and inclusiveness, giving voice to all existing perspectives and views on development and solidarity from all towns, cities and regions in Europe, as well as all kinds of actions, expressions and manifestations in support of global solidarity.

- A positive and optimistic discourse on global solidarity, avoiding miserable and pitiful images and focusing on successful and constructive long-lasting solutions.

Our vision

We, the European cities and regions participating at the EDLS, believe in a stronger and local Europe engaged in global solidarity!

We advocate for a more democratic, inclusive and stronger Europe that is closer to its citizens and firmly committed to global solidarity. In order to counterbalance the current political disaffection and disillusionment of many European citizens, we embrace Europe’s fundamental values of diversity, equal opportunities, openness and partnership, defending its nature as a space for dialogue and as a key actor of global solidarity. We call Europe to listen and work with cities and regions as a way to get closer to its citizens.

We strongly support global solidarity between cities and regions as an opportunity for exchange and collaboration driven by co-responsibility, mutual respect, reciprocity and, as opposed to charity, shared ownership between partners. Globalization and the increasing interdependence between territories makes it more evident than ever that there is a need to collaborate globally against challenges that are common to different local communities. On this, European cities and regions have a long-standing experience cooperating to exchange experiences and build capacities with their international partners in support to democracy, local development and equal opportunities.

We are committed to inform and engage our citizens in an open dialogue on global solidarity. Local and regional governments are in direct contact with citizens and can easily capture their interests and concerns, as well as set an open dialogue with a wide range of local actors, including civil society organisations, private sector, universities and schools, etc. This makes us key drivers of a critical understanding on and active citizenship for sustainable development and global solidarity.

From words to action!

We, the European cities and regions participating at the EDLS We inform and mobilize our citizens and all local partners to jointly celebrate our commitment to global solidarity. We engage in better informing citizens on global development issues, especially on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, with the aim of increasing their interest and promoting their active engagement.

We promote our engagement in support of global sustainable development for all and to foster an open dialogue with citizens and actors of our territories. We broadcast what European cities and regions do both at the local and international scale as actors of international cooperation and raise the profile of decentralised cooperation

We strengthen our links with other cities and regions in Europe to learn, share and join efforts for a more powerful local action. Knowledge sharing and exchange of experiences is key to a better and stronger local action in support of global solidarity.

Who should join the EDLS

- The EDLS engages European local and regional governments to jointly promote their commitment to global solidarity, based on the principles and values expressed by the Charter, by informing and mobilising their citizens.

- All cities and regions committed to global solidarity are welcome to join this plural and inclusive movement: big, small, medium, rural, urban, old and new ones. The EDLS is equally open to cities and regions willing to engage in global solidarity and to exchange with their counterparts in Europe.

- The EDLS calls all European citizens and local actors such as Civil Society Organisations, Universities or private sector representatives, among others, that are committed to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development to engage together with their city or region council to join efforts!

Join us!

1. Read and adhere to the charter

2. Organize your EDLS activity between the 10 – 24 November 2017!

3. Use the hashtag #localsolidaritydays before and during your activity