Vienna Selected as European Capital of Democracy 2024/25

Lifestyle & TravelCulture ♦ Published: February 20, 2024; 15:38 ♦ (Vindobona)

Vienna, the Austrian capital, will hold the prestigious title of "European Capital of Democracy" for one year from October 2024. This award follows a decision by a Europe-wide online vote, in which Vienna prevailed against cities such as Bratislava, Leipzig, Gdansk, and Izmir. The awarding of the title, which was previously held by Barcelona, was initiated by the non-profit organization European Capital of Democracy.

Vienna will become the "European Capital of Democracy" in October 2024, implementing measures to strengthen democracy, including computer games and mayors' conferences. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Thomas Ledl / CC BY-SA (

Within this framework, Vienna will put together a varied program to strengthen and celebrate democracy. Planned measures range from the development of video games dedicated to the fight against "fake news" to international events such as a conference of European mayors. In addition, the "Innovation in Politics Awards" are planned to recognize innovative political projects from all over Europe.

Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) emphasized the importance of commitment to democratic values, especially in times when populist forces are trying to divide society and undermine democracy. Democracy City Councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky (SPÖ) emphasized that more democracy is a central political concern of the Vienna City Government and invited all those who want to stand up for more democracy to help shape the Year of Democracy.

Year of Democracy in Vienna

The recognition as the Capital of Democracy offers Vienna the opportunity to act as a pioneer in democracy and to pursue an inclusive approach based on diversity, respect, and protection, as Maria Eugenia Gay, Deputy Mayor of the previous Capital of Democracy Barcelona, emphasized.

The Year of Democracy in Vienna promises to be an inclusive democratic experience, encompassing a variety of projects and initiatives. These range from festivals and workshops to artistic interventions and participatory processes to address the central debates of our political present and future.

One focus of the Year of Democracy is the further expansion of participation and co-determination opportunities for the Viennese. With a "hub" for participation and a democracy workshop, the city will launch new initiatives to enable even more people to participate in their immediate living environment. The aim is to break down barriers and develop participation formats that reflect the diversity of a major city like Vienna.

In addition, existing Viennese democracy projects that have convinced the jury of experts and citizens are to be positioned internationally as showcase examples: the Vienna Climate Team, the Cultural Lab in Municipal Buildings, the Participatory Children and Youth Million, and the Vienna Social Fund's Customer Council. The international focus on Vienna as a democracy capital should also help to make the Viennese more aware of the variety of opportunities for participation

Another focus is on innovative event formats that experiment with playful and artistic approaches to democracy. "Truth, Lies and Democracy" is aimed at Europe's gaming community and is intended to help combat the spread of "fake news" online. Teams are developing video games and interactive proposals to promote the fight against misinformation. An artistic focus is also planned under the slogan "Art of Democracy".

Vienna is also set to host several international events in 2025. The "ACT NOW Mayors' Conference" will bring together mayors, practitioners, scientists, and young people from Europe to discuss local solutions to the global crises of our time. The "Innovation in Politics Awards" will once again recognize innovative political projects from all over Europe; the final conference and award ceremony are planned for next year in Vienna.

The City of Vienna and the European Capital of Democracy initiative invite organizations, companies, associations, and all those interested in democracy to become part of the diverse program and strengthen democracy beyond Vienna's borders. Interested parties can contact

City of Vienna

European Capital of Democracy