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Transatlantic Dialogue

Transatlantic Dialogue Initiative

In October 2021, the Strong Cities Network launched its Transatlantic Dialogue Initiative, with support from the US Department of State, to strengthen cooperation between mayors, local governments and practitioners across Europe and North America in preventing extremism, hate and polarisation, and safeguarding local democracy.

Through workshops in Bratislava, Brussels, Denver, Helsinki, London and Oslo, and most recently Strasbourg, as well as deep-dive work with cities in Slovakia, and capstone events in The Hague and New York City, Strong Cities is facilitating important city learning, sharing and recommendations for both mayors and practitioners on both sides of the Atlantic.


Why a Transatlantic Focus?

Historically, the transatlantic security relationship has kept European and North American stakeholders focused on collective actions to tackle common threats and achieve shared interests. While contexts differ between cities, the drivers of hate, extremism and rising levels of polarisation are similar. In both settings, and extending to the broader North America context, individuals are grappling with and/or drawing selectively from a variety of motivations and ideologies rather than being motivated by a single and distinct ideology. This has implications for city-level prevention policies and measures.

Shared Challenges and Opportunities

Cities have identified a number of shared threats and challenges to social cohesion, including hate (whether based on ethnicity, race, identity or religion), extreme right-wing movements, dis/misinformation and political polarisation. The Transatlantic Dialogue Initiative provides a platform through which mayors, city officials and local practitioners can share their experiences and approaches, develop a deeper understanding of the evolving threat picture, and identify, adopt and adapt practices that are working in other cities facing similar challenges.

Transatlantic Dialogue Initiative: Ten Key Findings in 2023

Explore this policy brief that shares ten key findings & recommendations from Transatlantic Dialogue activities in 2023, capturing valuable lessons and perspectives of local leaders and city practitioners in addressing these challenges in an increasingly hybridised threat environment.  

In 2023, Transatlantic Dialogue Initiative events were held in BerlinOsloBerlinLondonNew York City and Washington, DC, made possible with generous support from the cities of Berlin, London and Oslo, as well as the European Union, through the STRIVE Cities Initiative, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the US Department of State.


Hear from our Transatlantic Participants

Thank you for your kind invitation to be a part of the Strasbourg event. Professionalism, expertise and kindness best describe the Strong Cities team, and as for the event content, it was spot on: practical and applicable, a veritable good practice sharing session! Exactly what we all need! I am heading back with refreshed energy and new friends.

Clare Hart, Vice-President, International Outreach & European Cooperation, Montpellier Méditerranée Metropole, France

It was a true pleasure to partake in such enriching and inspiring exchanges. The opportunity to share our experiences with international counterparts was a highlight of the meeting. I am convinced that it is through such initiatives, which promote experience sharing and collaboration, that we can build a better world for tomorrow. Thank you also for the shared resources and I eagerly anticipate our next interaction.

Emile Mouheb, Deputy Mayor of Cernay, France

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Strong Cities Transatlantic Dialogue Initiative event in Strasbourg. Congratulations on the perfect organisation. Recent events remind us of how important is to keep in working in prevention every single day!

José Francisco Herrera Antonaya, General Director of International Relations, General Coordination of the Mayor’s Office, Madrid, Spain

I just wanted to express my deep gratitude for such a successful and productive Strong Cities Network Transatlantic Dialogue Initiative event in Strasbourg. Congratulations on the meeting and the valuable actions you are implementing. I believe that this cooperation between us is a social necessity for obtaining proper training and planning, and finding solutions. It was amazing!

Katerina Prentza, Member, Department of Planning, Development and European Projects, Municipality of Kordelio – Evosmos, Greece

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Strong Cities membership is open to local authorities at the city, municipal or other subnational level. Membership is free of charge.