Transparency and participative community: ALDA at the ELDW organised by Valongo Municipality
On 14 October 2016, within the framework of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW), Valongo Municipality, member of ALDA, organised a public seminar on “Trasparency: a participative community is a more enlightened community” aiming at fostering citizens’ active participation at local level in Valongo, Portugal. ALDA participated to the event.
The session was opened by Mr. José Luís Carneiro, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, and Mr. José Manuel Ribeiro, Mayor of Valongo Municipality, who delivered information about the full week of cultural activities, workshops and conferences organised within the European Local Democracy Week by the Municipality, and the importance of the involvement of citizens in the local democratic life, with particular attention to the involvement of youngsters.
The debate, moderated by Mr. João Paulo Batalha, Executive Director of the civic association – TIAC, gathered a high level panel of actors active at local level on good governance and citizens’ participation, such as Mr. Carlo Carreiras, Chair of the network of participatory local authorities, Mr. Nelson Dias, Chair of the Board of IN LOCO association, and Elena Debonis, Communication Officer of ALDA.
Transparency of budget, good governance, citizens’ participation at local level were the main topics discussed, and the role of ALDA as strategic partner for the opening of Valongo Municipality to the European dimension was confirmed. Valongo Municipality is in fact in an advanced phase of inclusion of citizens in public life and decision making process, and the exchange of good practices with other Local Authorities and Civil Society Organisations would represent an added value that is particularly needed. The seminar was an occasion to further discuss about the lack of trust towards institutions, the fight against corruption and the importance of having a representative democracy and a participative one working together to achieve better results on local level.
The session was followed by an open debate with citizens attending the seminar, who actively participated asking questions and more information.
The day of activity was closed by the theatre play “Gisberta” focusing on the topic of tolerance and discrimination, introducing the theme of homosexuality and violence.