Mile event: Bridging the Democracy Gap
Updated: Oct 27
How can we make political participation more inclusive and accessible to everyone? This is the question MILE partners tried to answer during an event on the 28th of September 2023, in collaboration with the European Parliament. Together with UNITEE and INTEGRIM Lab, New Women Connectors led interactive sessions to explore this question with representatives of civil society, diaspora, migrant communities, researchers, and policymakers.
The speakers started by recognising the barriers migrant communities and other marginalised and underrepresented groups face when it comes to taking part in the democratic processes. Lack of experience and trust in democratic processes, combined with complicated bureaucratic obstacles to access EU fundings are challenges that limit the democratic participation of marginalised communities. Moreover, there is little representation of leaders and politicians from migrant communities or other underrepresetned groups, which leads to many believing that politics are not for them.
During the discussion circles held by New Women Connectors, participants were asked what the future of inclusive participation in policy-making should look like. The main suggestions centered on sharing support and funding opportunities. Participants noted that competition between smaller organisations for funding opportunities actually harms the organisations themselves, who should focus more on collaboration and reducing the competition. Most importantly, larger organsiation that have more resources need to form equitable partnerships with smaller civil society organisations.
Participants discussing during New Women Conenctors workshop on harnessing the power of collaboration and diveristy
Following the MILE project during which four local municipalities across the EU exchanged their knowledge and methods of migrants' empowerement and active citizenship, five key steps have been identified to ensure greater migrant participation and inclusion at the local level, namely: Commitment - Co-creation - Innovation - Capacity Buidling - Activism.
For more detailed information about the discussions during the interactive workshops, visit MILE's website.
Do not miss the MILE closing event in Brussels on 23 and 24th of November, where the outcome of all the kowledge sharing - including research projects, campaign ideas, best practices, personal stories and experiences of members of diverse european organisations - will be presented. You can find more information on the event and how to register here.