21 June 2023 – The Global Parliament of Mayors hosted a debate on the topic of “Empowering Cities: Co-Decision, Capacity and Capital” during the Brussels Urban Summit 2023. This debate brought together mayors and representatives of international city networks with the purpose of discussing the three C´s of Empowering Cities: Co-Decision, Capacity & Capital.

The session was moderated by Ms Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook (picture left), Executive Vice President of the Bertelsmann Foundation, and opened by outgoing GPM Chair Mayor Peter Kurz of Mannheim, Germany. The panel featured Mayor Danela Arsovska of Skopje , Macedonia (panel middle), Mayor Marvin Rees of Bristol, United Kingdom (panel right), and Mayor Mathias De Clercq of Ghent (panel left), Belgium, each of whom elaborated on the aforementioned questions and the ongoing work in their municipalities. 

This debate was substantiated by follow-up questions and comments by representatives of international organizations and city networks. Experts included Lamia Kamal Chaoui (OECD Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities), Andras Szorenyi  (Senior Policy Advisor Geneva Cities Hub), and Rafael Tuts (Director Global Solutions Division at UN-Habitat, United Nations Human Settlements Programme). In addition to that, more than 20 mayors from European and African cities participated in the debate and contributed to it in short interventions. 

Upon closing of the debate, Ms Clüver Ashbrook announced the handover of the GPM Chair-position from Mayor Kurz of Mannheim to Mayor Ricardo Rio of Braga, Portugal, who will chair the Global Parliament of Mayors from July 2023 onwards. 

With more than 100 guests participating and listening in on the debate, this event has exceeded expectations and contributed greatly to the visibility of the GPM at the Brussels Urban Summit and the wider field.