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citizens are mobilising in support of

these initiatives: on the financial side

for instance, we are seeing a range of

new initiatives, from tontine systems, to

“crowd funding” and “business angels”;

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local authorities, local associations,

networks (“slow cities”, “cool cities”)

are working to promote “cities or

territories in transition” through local

climate protection programmes, energy

initiatives, eco-villages, eco-districts and

the “re-localisation” of business.

Focusing on such aspects as proximity,

energy transition and new forms of

governance, these initiatives are driven by

groups of citizens in search of alternatives,

often without the help of institutions,

whether local, regional, national or

European. Once started, a large number of

them are seeing their further development

backed by government policies, often at a

European level.

Helping to identify

and propagate new initiatives

Radical changes or forms of transition

or policy adjustment, generated by the

necessary energy transformation, the urgent

need for action to combat climate change,

the duty to safeguard future generations,

the need to find new ways of sharing work,

“social and environmental responsibility”

for everyone, and the evolution of new local

development models focused on “voluntary

simple living”, all offer a wide range of

possibilities for citizen initiatives.

Aware of these challenges and opportuni-

ties, it is AEIDL’s ambition to identify new

initiatives emerging at the local level and

within civil society, to decode early signs

of social innovation, to distinguish between

legitimate indignation, desperate anger

(all too often exploited by extremists of all

colours), and everyday inventions of new

collective values.

By bringing people together, whether

physically or virtually, whether within or

between territories, whether at regional,

national, European or international level,

AEIDL aims to support the citizen-based

co-construction of new practices, new

“The top-down process can surely create the institutional framework,

the shape, but not the content of a European citizenship. This can be

done only bottom-up, not from Brussels, by a myriad of civic initiatives

which will create – or re-create – basic communities.”

François Saint-Ouen,

François Saint-Ouen, Secretary General

of CEC (Centre Européen de la Culture)

Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative |

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