HONORARY PRESIDENT

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IN MEMORY OF ALDA HONORARY PRESIDENT GIANFRANCO MARTINI

Observers to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Scholarship Gianfranco MARTINI
The European Association for Local Democracy – ALDA , in 2013 decided to set up an annual scholarship in memory of its Honorary President, Gianfranco Martini, who passed away in October 2012.

Gianfranco Martini was among the initiators of the concept of Local Democracy Agencies and became the first President of ALDA when it was founded in 1999. Throughout his active life Gianfranco Martini remained passionate about the promotion of local democracy, the engagement of civil society and the encouragement of interethnic dialogue in Europe with a particular focus on the Western Balkans.

The objective of the scholarship is to receive high-quality academic research and analysis for ALDA’s fields of activity in order to develop strategies on how to further promote local democracy, engage civil society and strengthen interethnic dialogue.
Scholarship awarded:
  • In 2013, the scholarship Gianfranco Marini was assigned to Mr. Gianfranco Brusaporci, PhD candidate at Université Catholique de Louvain (BE) and New Bulgarian University (BG), for his thesis on “Euroregions in South Eastern Europe: how to define a good model for the development of the area”. See the presentation of the research.
  • In 2014, the scholarship Gianfranco Marini was assigned to Mr. Sratan Dimitru, from Szent Istvan University (HU), for his thesis on “Building Social Capital in Developing Countries on the bases of integrated community planning and cooperation”. Read more about his research.

ALDA past Honorary President Gianfranco Martini
passed away on 10 October 2012


Gianfranco was our friend and our mentor.

As ALDA and LDAs, we all owe him a lot. He was the one who inspired the programme and he supported us from the deep of his heart and with all his strengths. He has always been committed to the cause of Europe as an instrument for peace and common growth. Till the very end, he exchanged views about the future of Europe, which seemed to him not so promising because losing the true sense of being together. He always showed us the example of personal commitment to the cause and he never preached us what to do but rather did it !

Gianfranco endured the difficulties of the Second World War. He was from Rovigo area, a very poor region of the Veneto. He studied Law in Venice and became a promising Lawyer in his home town, Lendinara. He was elected Mayor of this town for many mandates. He has been a European Activist since after the end of the War and contributed to the development of the Congress (earlier Standing Conference) of the Council of Europe. Making a difficult decision at that time, he moved to Rome with his family (four small children) an he spent all his life at AICCRE and contributed to the strength of the CEMR. In the '90, he started to work on the project of the LDAs and then with ALDA and was our President till 2008.

Like many us are doing, Gianfranco spent his life traveling around Europe and the globe for the cause of local democracy and human rights. He met and was friends with VIPs and with many "ordinary" citizens. Everybody that met him, remembered him. He was able to listen to all of us with attention and care. The communication with him was inspiring and stimulating. We all have thousands of images in our heads. He was a real gentleman, so elegant and deeply educated.

Gianfranco made the difference for us all and certainly for a part of Europe.

We are just so grateful that w had the chance to be among his friends and those who benefitted from his knowledge and experience.

We will all miss him.
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