The European Association for Local Democracy is expanding its network in Ukraine
Since the first LDA was opened in Dnipro in 2015, we are working hard to mark one more point on our map in Odessa city. The 3 days in Odessa, from 3 to 5 November, were full of activities and interesting work.
On 3 November the partners’ meeting of the Local Democracy Agency Odessa was organized. The meeting was hosted by the Odessa Municipality. The aim of the meeting was to present and discuss the initial steps and documents for establishing the new agency. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the City of Gdansk (committed international partner of the future LDA and local partner), by the Association for community self-organization Assistance, as well as by the representatives of the International Renaissance foundation, National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia. The Secretary General of ALDA – Antonella Valmorbida presented the concept of the LDA and ALDA’s activities run in Eastern Partnership and in Ukraine. Mr. Dmytro Radulov – Head of Department of Economic Development of Odessa City Council – expressed gratitude to the idea of fostering local democracy, and was actively engaged in the discussion about mission and priorities of the future organization. The process is progressing and our wish is to establish a consolidated network in Ukraine by the end of 2017.
ALDA was invited to take part to the XI international conference on community self-organization: title of the event was “Self-organization as the way to the development of reformed local communities”. The conference was opened with the working meeting of the EaP Path of ALDA’s LADDER project. The aim of the meeting was to inform participants and discuss together with them about the European Programmes and new initiatives for Local Authorities in the Eastern Partnership countries. Three programs were presented:
- “Mayors for Economic Growth”
- “Covenant of Mayors”
- Initiative “Public administration Reform”
David Melua – Executive Director of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia and co-applicant within the LADDER project, together with the Secretary General of ALDA, introduced the content of the programmes and the concrete opportunities for Mayors in the EaP. The presentations were followed by a participative discussion. All participants actively expressed their views about the programmes.
ALDA had an important place within the panel, presenting its international experience in the field of civic participation. Nino Tvaltvadze - Eastern Partnership Coordinator and project manager of ALDA - presented the results of the survey “Development of active citizenship as a way to strengthen local democracy in the Eastern Partnership countries", which was conducted to compliment to the CORLEAP report. David Melua presented the Georgian experience, while Dimitry Sokol – representative of Lev Sapieha Foundation - brought the Belarussian experience.
As conclusion to the three interesting days full of work, some concrete plans were drafted, making new contacts and gaining faith once again that ALDA needs to be in Ukraine! Meanwhile, the activities of the Local Democracy Agency of the Dnipropetrovsk Region successfully continue. The LDA is also benefitting of the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), funding its project "Participatory Democracy Development in Territorial Communities”.