Participatory decision-making in the city of Falun

In 2015, the Swedish mining city of Falun started a programme to increase citizens’ involvement in decision-making. The initiative was triggered by news that Falun would host the FIS Nordic world ski championships in 2015. However, much of the town’s 37,291 population wasn’t happy to be not given the chance to vote on the decision. Thus, the Democracy commission came up with proposals for making Falun the most democratic municipality in the country. The ‘Democracy Plan’ has five objectives:

  1. to build democracy centres in libraries where people can hold meetings;
  2. to introduce ‘democracy navigators’, people who can advise residents on how to bring their idea forward;
  3. to open a democracy website;
  4. to get more young people involved in democracy;
  5. to build networks to push active participation. A particular focus of the programme has been to help members of underprivileged groups (specifically immigrants and the unemployed) to exercise their civil rights.