We present the III European Congress of Proximity, Participation and Citizenship: Risk society: Socio-community Strengthening from Local Governance. This congress, organized by the Foundation, will be held in Getafe (Madrid) in March 2019.

Risk Society, Socio-Community Strengthening, Local Governance. Why?

From Kaleidos we think that we are at a decisive moment. The wave of exclusionary action that conceives the difference, whatever it may be, as a threat is shaking Europe more and more intensely. From the administrations in general, and the local ones in particular, we have the responsibility to act in a solid, coherent and coordinated way.

Proximity Services and Policies for citizens, based on legitimacy and trust, are now more essential than ever. We have to reappraise the social capital of/in our communities; why have we allowed this concept to be devoid of content? Citizens who live in a city/territory are the best experts in the world on this city/territory. They are the ones who know the collective imagination, intangible aspects, the soul and collective DNA…and are responsible for building the community of their dreams. There is nothing more powerful than a committed and aligned community in pursuit of its objectives. We believe that we have to emphasise what brings us together, in joint city and/or territorial projects, in social cohesion as a development tool and strategy (in harmony with Sustainable Development Objectives). We have always argued that a compass is more important than a watch, it’s true. However, time goes by…

We believe that Local Policy is a privileged environment for aligning and boosting this collective intelligence and steering it towards action and the creation of public value (clearly assuming that the creation of this value is not institutional heritage). When some studies refer to young people feeling as if they live in a post-institutional era, or when we observe communities who organise themselves outside the institution, at times as a sign of rejection and lack of trust in the institution, local authorities have to be able to adopt different roles depending on the moment in time and the circumstances: facilitator, leader, observer, driver, generator… because what occurs around about is not necessarily a responsibility but is, of course, incumbent upon us.

After 20 years, we continue to believe that the answer is an increased level of participation, governance, citizenship and local proximity. As the result of the above, we herewith present our III European Congress, a Congress which aims to be a platform for dialogue, analysis and reflection directed at action. To this end, we will have discussion panels, workshops, seminars, conferences, networking venues, discussions…which make our Congress a reference as a stable Action Forum on a European level. 

It is intended to provide several points of view on essential issues, whilst we are aware that in the face of the important situations we come across, the objective is not to work on the best decision, but rather to build it and legitimate it socially. Build it in a Kaleidoscopic, clear way; our name is an attitude. is a Foundation which, by grouping Spanish city councils from Alicante, Bilbao, Burgos, Getafe, Logroño, Málaga, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza, has been working on developing Proximity Policies and Services since 2000.

“Proximity Services and Policies for citizens based on legitimacy and trust, are now more essential than ever.”

“We have to emphasise what brings us together, in joint city and/or territorial projects, in social cohesion.”

“A reference as a stable Action Forum on a European level.”

“Local Authorities have to be able to adopt different roles.”