For a future of peace in the Basque Country: municipalities as spaces for peace and living together


Year: 2016

Organized by: DEMOSPAZ in collaboration with the General Secretariat for Peace and Living Together of the Basque Government, the Chair of Human Rights and Public Powers of the University of the Basque Country and the City of Madrid.


Cities are spaces for “living together”, where different social processes take place and where local authorities have increasingly more responsibilities and capacity for action. The city represents a true “microcosm” with opportunities, tensions, demands and contradictions.

The city and the municipality, as a built space, contain and express the social relationships created and transformed over time, and generate opportunities or risks for the people who live in it. Cities concentrate and express the diversity of a culturally heterogeneous world that is increasingly global.

The municipalities have a long history of international commitment with the culture of peace and human rights, since the consequences of conflicts are directly suffered at the local level. Their experience at the local level, makes them an essential actor to make proposals and to carry out initiatives in favor of peace at both the local and international level.

The municipalities are the closest institutions to citizenship and they meet the most immediate needs of people and guarantee their well-being. For this reason, the municipalities must address adequately issues related to violence and conflict management. They have to promote the acknowledgement of citizenship rights for everyone, recognize and provide channels for participation in local policy management, respond to various forms of violence, and establish platforms for conflict transformation and mediation to break the cycle of violence. They have to manage social, cultural and identity diversity and seek the difficult balance between diversity and equality, from respect and tolerance, without allowing the impairment of rights and opportunities for certain groups. Of course, these actions are not exclusive responsibility of the local authorities, but they can play a key role in laying the foundations for a State policy committed to peace and human rights. This has been recognized by UNESCO, as well as by the Habitat III – United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – and the Sustainable Development Objectives, among others.

This project aims to explore and analyze the role of local authorities in favor of dialogue, living together and peace building.


  • Analyze and discuss the role of local authorities in the promotion of peace, living together and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
  • Identify the violences that take place at the local level and the elements that promote and inhibit the living together in municipalities and cities.
  • Analyze the role of culture, education, and citizen participation in shaping cities free of violence.
  • Learn about other experiences and initiatives that have facilitated the living together in other environments and explore how they can serve the current context in Euskadi.


  1. International Conference.
  2. Discussion papers.
  3. Videos and audiovisual material.