Policy & advocacy

ICLEI connects ambitious local and regional governments with leading peers, national  governments, as well as the European Commission and related institutions, the United Nations, business, academia, finance and NGOs. By doing so, they can learn and advance at a quicker pace.

ICLEI represents local and regional governments in European and global policy processes. We work with the European institutions and other networks to influence and shape the debate on urban sustainability policies and legislation and ensure that project financing is formulated to address sustainability challenges, and is accessible to cities, regions and public authorities.

Working with partners to influence change

 

As an organisation, ICLEI is involved in a number of processes and initiatives with local and regional sustainability governance. Below are key pieces of advocacy work at ICLEI and their broader impacts in the sustainability field.

Those working for a city are often approached to join initiatives or to become signatories of Commitments, Declarations and Messages in the area of sustainable development. You may ask yourself, “why are these important and why should my city participate?”

As a global network of politically strong cities, towns and regions, ICLEI and its Members have the opportunity to shape the debate and profile their cities at a European and international levels.

Learn about how your city can take advantage of these European and global initiatives to support your work locally.

Driving the European movement for local sustainable development

 

Since its founding, ICLEI has been one of Europe's primary advocates for local sustainable development. Through its European Sustainable Cities and Towns conferences and a series of initiatives and documents housed on the European Sustainable Cities Platform, it has mobilised thousands of local governments in Europe and beyond in the name of sustainability. There have been some key milestones on this journey:

The Aalborg Charter

 

The 1994 Charter marked a turning point for local sustainable development in Europe. Inspired by the Rio Earth Summit’s Local Agenda 21, it was developed by individuals, municipalities, NGOs, national & international organisations, and scientific bodies.

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The Aalborg Commitments

The Aalborg Commitments came a decade after the Charter. The Commitments  encompass a list of qualitative objectives organised into 10 holistic themes that provide a local level framework for embedding sustainability across municipality sectors.

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The Basque Declaration

The Basque Declaration was the main outcome of the 8th European Sustainable Cities & Towns Conference in 2016. It outlines 15 pathways for socio-economic, cultural and technological transformation for a more liveable, sustainable and inclusive Europe.

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The Mannheim Message

The Mannheim Message was launched at the 9th European Sustainable Cities & Towns Conference in 2020. It outlines five core systemic changes and nine policy shifts needed to bring about transformation for a sustainable Europe.

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Collaborating with leaders

 

Overarching

Climate change mitigation / adaptation & governance

Procurement

Energy & climate