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Part II - Civil and political rights in the city

Article VIII

1.   All citizens have the right to take part in local political life through the free and democratic election of local representatives.
2.   The signatory cities wish to see the right of municipal suffrage extended to the entire adult resident non-national population who have resided in the city for more than two years.
3.   Democratic participation is generally encouraged outwith the times of those periodic elections necessary for the election of municipal governments. To this end, citizens and their organisations can access public debates, direct enquiries to the municipal authorities over issues concerning the regional and local authority, and express their opinion either through a “municipal referendum” or through public action and meetings.
4.   In keeping with the principle of openness and in accord with the legislative regulations of their respective countries, the cities organise their municipal governments and their mode of operation in such a way that they contain mechanisms which hold accountable both elected representatives and the municipal administration.

Article IX


1.   The rights of the citizens to association, meeting and demonstration are recognised and guaranteed.
2.   The local authorities encourage associations as an expression of citizenship, and respect their autonomy.
3.   The city offers public spaces for the organisation of open meetings and informal gatherings. It ensures free access to these spaces for everyone, provided regulations are adhered to.


Article X


1.   The city protects people’s right to a private and family life and recognises that respect for the family unit, in all its current manifestations, is a fundamental element of local democracy.
2.   The municipal authorities protect the family unit from its foundation, without interference in its internal running. The authorities particularly provide assistance in housing issues. Low income families receive financial support, and structures and services are put into place to help children and old people.
3.   Each individual has the right to be emotionally attached to the person of their choice and, provided all the legal requirements are fulfilled, is free to marry that person without obstacle.
4.   The municipal authorities develop active policies to monitor the physical safety of family members and encourage the disappearance of all forms of ill-treatment within the family unit.
5.   With regard to freedom of choice in educational, religious, cultural and political matters, local authorities adopt all the necessary measures to protect children and young people, and base their education on the principles of democracy and tolerance with the opportunity for full participation in the life of the city.
6.   The local authorities create suitable conditions so that children can enjoy their childhood.

Article XI


1.   Citizens have the right to information on matters concerning social, economic, cultural and local administrative life, limited only by respect for the boundaries of privacy of the individual and the protection of small children and young  people.
2.   The municipal authorities offer free open and easy access to information. With this in mind the learning, facilitation of access to and regular updating of Information Technology skills is to be encouraged.