Mr.Lutfi HAZIRIGjilan Municipality, Kosovo
- How and why you got in contact with ALDA's work?
I first got in contact with ALDA back in 2004 when I represented Kosovo Municipalities at the European Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and that was also the year when ALDA's first office was opened in Kosovo with the support of CLRA. This was a particularly important time for local authorities in Kosovo and I was privileged to be helpful then as I am now.
- What motivated you to be a candidate for the Governing Board?
The work that ALDA does and my belief is that democracy is about local engagement and understanding more than about anything else; these are the two key reasons that have kept me interested in the work of ALDA for quite some time now. These reasons have also been the backbone of my rationale to become a candidate for the Governing Board, in order to be able to help more in the progress of ALDA's mission and vision across Europe in general and in Kosovo in particular. I have been a first-hand witness, contributor, facilitator and leader of many democratic advances in Kosovo, at both the local and the national levels. As such, I see my experience as an asset to the rest of the GB team and at the same time, I see the experience and expertise of my fellow GB colleagues as an asset for me too.
- Why fighting for local democracy and citizen participation – how does that contribute to a better world?
As I just said above, democracy in my mind and experience is more about local engagement than anything else. And, obviously, local engagement does entail citizen participation. Good things start small, I believe. If you can make a municipality work effectively and efficiently while in accordance with the will of the local people and their key interests, then you have created a very strong foundation for democracy development at the national level. If democracy fails locally, it cannot ever prevail nationally. Therefore, supporting and promoting local democracy is establishing the right foundation for democratic countries to thrive. And, as many scholars, policymakers, and world renowned politicians have said, a world in which true and genuine democracies thrive is a better world -- which is something I agree with and wholly support.
- What is the biggest achievement of ALDA so far?
I really think that this idea of promoting and supporting local democracy is an achievement itself. It raises the awareness of important people, interest groups, and other stakeholders to the importance of local democratic development. In my mind, that is the foundation of democracy without which the concept of democracy is left very vulnerable.
- And what is your dream for ALDA – how will it look like at the end of your mandate?
What I want to do over this mandate is to share our own experiences within the GB members and others at ALDA and to bring new success to ALDA by working together. I want the end of my mandate to mark the beginning of new heights for ALDA. And by working together, I am sure that that can be achieved without a problem.
- What will your motto be, during the next four years in ALDA's Governing Board?
Local democracy is the foundation for democratic development. Therefore, my motto will be "Local Democracy, National Success.