It is widely recognised, and set out by European standards,
that good urban governance should involve strong mechanisms of citizen
participation. In this respect, large metropolises are “lighthouses”
of local democracy where both innovative approaches and challenges
become more visible than elsewhere, not least because of the particularly
complex urban and social situations they face.
In particular, in view of the current financial crisis and
its impact on local authorities of all sizes, the Parliamentary
Assembly should invite member States to provide a national framework
which is favourable to maintaining and developing strong mechanisms
of citizen participation as a core element of sound local democracy.
National interests in developments occurring in large metropolises
should be made transparent and local stakeholders given a say. Their
institutional and financial set-up should provide local authorities
with sufficient resources, allowing them to dedicate qualified staff
to participatory mechanisms, to involve citizens in the broadest
manner possible, to develop educational programmes on democratic
citizenship and to promote the use of communication technologies
and social media. The international exchange of good practice, between large
metropolises as well as with smaller municipalities, will be essential
for making good progress in this field.