Word of welcome by Jan van Zanen at the reception for the participants in the Strong Cities Network on Preventing Hate, Extremism, Polarization and Safeguarding Local Democracy, 14 november 2022



Dear Participants from both sides of the Atlantic and Elswhere,


The City of The Hague is a proud member of the Strong Cities Network.

A global network of more than 160 cities.

From megacities to counties, to states and small municipalities.


We all face Hate, Extremism, Polarization and theats to our politicians and democratic institutions.

In this context the mission of the Strong Cities Network is crucial.

We must ensure that cities, mayors and other local leaders have a platform through which to share experiences and approaches.

We have to come up with effective responses and safeguard our democracy.

We need to support cities – and those who know their local contexts best – to design and deploy local answers to these complex challenges.

We have to ensure that no city faces these threats alone.


I thank Executive Director Eric Rosand, and his team, for their work to bring us all together for this important and timely event.