Reykjavik City Democracy Policy 2021–2030

Kona setur atkvæði í kjörkassa

Reykjavik City’s first Democracy Policy, together with an action plan, was adopted by City Council on October 19, 2021.

The main goal of the City of Reykjavik Democracy Policy is to increase citizen participation. The policy is aimed at making it possible for every resident to have a say in what matters to them. Access to information is a key factor in decision making and the opinions and views of citizens are important indicators. Gaining greater insights into the views and concerns of the people who live in Reykjavik helps inform the decision making of elected leaders. Decisions will build on the results of consultations and the agenda of the elected representatives. The Policy is valid until 2030, but the accompanying action plan contains measurable targets and is valid until 2024.

About the Democracy Policy

Work on the Policy began in the fall of 2019 in an interpolitical steering group that included representatives of all parties that had members of the City's Human Rights, Innovation, and Democracy Council. The draft policy was under review from July to September 2021, and all the suggestions and comments have been considered in the current version of the Policy.

The draft policy was prepared in an open consultation process accessible to all. Covid certainly made a mark on the process, but, using electronic solutions combined with other methods, it was possible to have a wide-ranging conversation about democracy and participation in Reykjavik.

The purpose of the Policy is threefold

  • For Residents - To support residents democratic participation; to increase residents' opportunities to influence their community, decision-making, and management of the municipality.
  • For Elected Representatives - To support elected representatives to gain insight into the opinions of residents in each instance; in making decisions based on the best available information; in supporting decisions and in explaining how they were made. The Policy supports elected representatives in deciding how and when they should consult with residents on matters relating to policy.
  • For the Administration - To enhance the ability of City of Reykjavik administration to prepare and conduct consultation in cooperation with elected representatives and residents. The policy encourages good cooperation between residents, elected representatives, and Reykjavik City services. Effective collaboration leads to a successful outcome in a democratic city.

The Consultation Process

Step 1

An open consultation process took place on the Better Reykjavik web site from February 2020 to June 2021. There, anyone who wanted to could put in their ideas about democracy and participation.

Step 2

A consultancy company held focus groups with randomly selected Reykjavik residents to discuss democracy issues. Summary of focus group discussions (IS).

Step 3

Reykjavik City held administrative workshops to prepare the drafting of the policy. Summary of workshops (IS).

Step 4

An open electronic meeting, Democratic Convention (IS), (I. “Stefnumót við lýðræðið”) was held on November 25, 2020 on the future of democracy in the City of Reykjavik. You can view the live subtitles in English. All were welcome and the meeting was thoroughly promoted. All information materials and registration forms for the meeting were available in three languages, and people had access to an interpreter. Summary of the Democratic Convention (IS).

Contact

For further information:

The expert on democracy issues and a member of the Steering Group for the formulation of democracy policies at the Reykjavik City Human Rights and Democracy Office is Sigurlaug Anna Johannsdottir.

  • Email: sigurlaug.anna.johannsdottir@reykjavik.is
  • Phone Number: 4114155