Cities are on the front lines of the fight to preserve liberal democracy and defend against attacks on free expression. Drawing from their cities’ shared identity as champions and centers of democratic development, the mayors reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to rebuilding and reinforcing democracy, standing up for free and fair elections at home and abroad, defending the rule of law at all levels of government, and addressing urban challenges through the lens of democracy and democratic values.

The Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy builds on a previous initiative of the mayors of Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw, who saw the growth of illiberal forces eroding democracy in their respective countries and came together to develop the powerful Pact of Free Cities in 2019. Now, joined by dozens of their colleagues across the world, the Declaration gathers on the commitments made at the Summit for Democracy 2021.

The declaration emanates from the commitments mayors made at the Summit for Democracy in 2021 facilitated by the White House, informed by a democracy-focused dialogue hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and GMF Cities, and propels their cities’ year of action ahead of the second US Summit for Democracy in early 2023.

During the GPM Annual Summit 2022 in Katowice, Poland, GPM Mayors signed the Declaration, committing to rebuild and reinforce democracy, stand up for free and fair elections and democratic movements worldwide, combat human rights abuses, address urban challenges through the lens of democracy and democratic values, share best practices in inclusive governance, engage in dialogue and action to help bridge the growing geographically, and keep working on fortifying democracy.

Marcin Krupa, GPM mayor and host of the GPM Annual Summit in Katowice, Poland, stated: “It is mayors and local communities that are most effective in defending the pillars of democracy. We—mayors—are currently observing negative trends and facing limited resources—but we will not be marginalized and we will continue to deliver in this context.”