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Regional experimentation

To unlock local public action from top-down, hierarchical siloed management, a number of European regions proclaim themselves in a “state of experimentation”. They explore new forms of governance: light and temporary administrative structures oriented towards innovation and transformation, sustainable management, agile territories open to adaptation, resilience and long term interactions.

Democity 21

These territories build on former Agendas 21 which goal was aimed at changing the administrative machine. They claim revival of the local governance and call it Democity 21. Democity 21 is becoming a reference framework for local public actors in implementing promising solutions and their various local adaptations.

Network of Free Zones

At the beginning, these territories in experimentation exist mostly at a micro-local scale: a village, a city-district, a cooperation of municipalities etc. These experimentations are showcases and are building a strongly responsive network across Europe which allows them to exchange, evaluate one another, and share the most from their experiences.


In front of the lack of coherence between the various levels of local authorities and the resulting inequalities on the territories, inter-territoriality is becoming a priority to develop synergies between related or close regions and between institutions.

Coherence between levels and territories 

At a European scale, all of the different levels agree on common strategic objectives of a sustainable transition. All stakeholders, even the smallest, meet their own objectives. Budgets, transition subsidies and objectives in terms of sustainability are facilitated between the regions and shared according to subsidiarity principles.

TerExp Program 

European authorities and state members under social, economical and environmental pressures recognise the interest of Democity 21 and support action-research adding to Inter-Reg programs, a new range of programs: the TerExp which are co-refinancing local experimentations for democratic sustainable development.

Renewal of the State

In order to ensure a global and coherent evolution of structures acting on the territory, a number of national public actors insist on implementing  experimentation also at state level. These experimentions should be based on the model of the Democity 21 which impacts have been assessed at the European level and sustainability advantages of these are confirmed.

Enabling Territories

Aims of this national experimentation are to explore how the evolution of local action is modifying the role of the State on one hand. And on the other hand, this experimentation investigates how lighter action modes of the State can support renovation of local authorities.


At a central, regional and local level, experimental mobile ministry project teams settle. The project team evolves within a network of regional public hubs, foster transversality between the different government missions and assist regional areas in achieving the sustainable development goals adopted at an European level.

In charge of deliberation

Step-by-step, permanent features enter the Democity 21 framework: for instance, elected representatives are transforming from decision delegates to having a non-cumulative new role: elected representatives are now responsible for the quality of deliberation and participation which are major ways of working and taking decisions in Democities 21.