Who are the Agents of Co-Existence?

The Agents of Co-Existence network, made up of nine partners situated across Europe, has embarked on an exciting collaborative journey. The lead partner, Genk (BE), is joined by project partners from Aarhus (DK), Breda (NL), Quart de Poblet (ES), Gdańsk (PL), Banská Bystrica (SK), Budaörs (HU), Ķekava (LV), and the intercommunity Development Association of the Iași Metropolitan Area (RO). Together, they aim to promote transparent, innovative and citizen-centred governance.

The shared ambition of each partner is to transform the way local governments engage citizens in decision-making, inspired by the wise words of the former Mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz:

"To be able to innovate, a city should start by innovating in its own administration".

In alignment with this vision, the partners are determined to deepen their experience and knowledge in embedding social innovation and inclusion in all facets of local governance. This includes a commitment to improving the skills and capabilities of municipal staff, as well as introducing new organisational structures and cultures. When it comes to fostering innovation in the public sector, mindsets, attitudes and behaviours are as important – if not more important – than specific hard or soft skills.

The network's strategy includes co-creating a bold vision for the ethos of civil service, facilitating real-life experimentation, and consolidating and institutionalising best practices. To achieve this, the Agents of Co-Existence Network will explore citizen participation practices, paving the way for a 21st century fit civil service and innovative public services.

To this end, the Agents of Co-Existence network has identified four key themes on which it will focus:

       1) Working together with citizens

       2) Innovators coming into government

       3) Focus on staff, internal capabilities, and officials as innovators

       4) New working methods and rethinking the rules

To delve deeper into their aspirations and plans, you can explore the network's Baseline Study.

Submitted by Natasja Meysman on 05/02/2024
author image

Natasja Meysman

See all articles