Does the European Union cost too much?

The EU budget makes it possible to respond to emergencies its Member states may face.

For instance, after the acceleration of terrorist attacks in Europe, the EU decided to help its Member States in countering terrorism, a field belonging to national competences but that necessitated a common action from all the Member States. Then, via the fund for internal security, the EU supports the management of external borders, VISA policies and police cooperation at the European scale. This fund also finances the new European border agency.

The EU budget makes it possible to respond to emergencies its Member states may face.

For instance, after the acceleration of terrorist attacks in Europe, the EU decided to help its Member States in countering terrorism, a field belonging to national competences but that necessitated a common action from all the Member States. Then, via the fund for internal security, the EU supports the management of external borders, VISA policies and police cooperation at the European scale. This fund also finances the new European border agency.


Does the European Union cost too much?

94% of the EU budget directly finances public policies intended to citizens, regions, cities, farmers…

Only 6% of the EU budget is used for the administrative functioning of the European institutions.

94% of the EU budget directly finances public policies intended to citizens, regions, cities, farmers…

Only 6% of the EU budget is used for the administrative functioning of the European institutions.


Does the European Union cost too much?

The European budget allows the European Union to act for more than half a billion of European citizens in the 28 Member States.

The European budget allows the European Union to act for more than half a billion of European citizens in the 28 Member States.


Does the European Union cost too much?

The budget of the European Union provides an economy of scale, namely: it is this budget that allows the European Union to finance large projects a Member State alone could not develop by itself.

For instance, the Juncker plan, which plans to invest 500 billions of euros in the digital field and the energy transition, is helping the development of these sectors but also aims at creating about 1,3 billions of work until 2018.

The budget of the European Union provides an economy of scale, namely: it is this budget that allows the European Union to finance large projects a Member State alone could not develop by itself.

For instance, the Juncker plan, which plans to invest 500 billions of euros in the digital field and the energy transition, is helping the development of these sectors but also aims at creating about 1,3 billions of work until 2018.


Does the European Union cost too much?

The European budget is modest: it represents about 155 billions of euros per year, which is less than the annual national budget of several Member States (the one in Belgium for instance was about 155 billions of euros in 2016).

This means that each Member States participate at a level of 1% of its GDP. It is also estimated that every European citizen contributes to about 85 cents of euros every day to the EU budget.

The European budget is modest: it represents about 155 billions of euros per year, which is less than the annual national budget of several Member States (the one in Belgium for instance was about 155 billions of euros in 2016).

This means that each Member States participate at a level of 1% of its GDP. It is also estimated that every European citizen contributes to about 85 cents of euros every day to the EU budget.


On participatory democracy in Eastern Europe

On September 29th and 30th, 2020, a conference was held respectively in Moldova and in Ukraine under the joint partnership of ALDA, the Kettering Foundation and KAS – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on the topic of “Empowering local authorities and civil society to deliver solutions with participative democracy: implementation in Moldova and Ukraine”.

Both online events saw the participation of ALDA Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida and of Eastern Partnership Coordinator, Alexandru Coica and his colleague Viorica Bulat, as well as of the delegates of the local LDAs and of a selected number of key stakeholders involved in the research project behind the matter at discussion.

It was a small project, but with great results […] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future” commented the Mayor of Cimislia (Moldova), Mr Sergiu Andronachi; “The report aptly shows the current situation, it is well-prepared and well thought out and we are waiting to have Ms. Antonella as a guest again“. The representative of the Comrat Town Hall, Ms. Irina Cara took the occasion to congratulate the work as well: “Thank you for this project: it was a wonderful workshop in Comrat, we received a lot of information“.

The Deputy of the Dnipro City Council, Mr Artiom Pavlov, similarly expressed his enthusiasm, highlighting that the cooperation with ALDA is extremely important for the Dnipropetrovosk region and remarking that “We appreciate this fruitful cooperation and hope to demonstrate a closer approximation of the local government in Ukraine to the high European standards in the nearest future“.

"It was a small project, but with great results [...] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future!"

On ALDA’s side, it was highlighted that local public administrations must engage all citizens even if they seem like a weak link, as this creates the critical mass for cooperation that is necessary to produce change; and encouragement was provided as per the immense work that can be done together for the better of both local authorities and citizens.

All in all, the events were fruitful and satisfactory: in the words of Alexandru Coica, “The most important thing for us was to hear that the comprehensive research work that was done is useful for local authorities and grassroot civil society. I was delighted to hear that all engaged stakeholders will use the recommendations to improve their work“.

We’re very much looking forward to continuing these wonderful collaborations in the Eastern Partnership!

On September 29th and 30th, 2020, a conference was held respectively in Moldova and in Ukraine under the joint partnership of ALDA, the Kettering Foundation and KAS – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on the topic of “Empowering local authorities and civil society to deliver solutions with participative democracy: implementation in Moldova and Ukraine”.

Both online events saw the participation of ALDA Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida and of Eastern Partnership Coordinator, Alexandru Coica and his colleague Viorica Bulat, as well as of the delegates of the local LDAs and of a selected number of key stakeholders involved in the research project behind the matter at discussion.

It was a small project, but with great results […] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future” commented the Mayor of Cimislia (Moldova), Mr Sergiu Andronachi; “The report aptly shows the current situation, it is well-prepared and well thought out and we are waiting to have Ms. Antonella as a guest again“. The representative of the Comrat Town Hall, Ms. Irina Cara took the occasion to congratulate the work as well: “Thank you for this project: it was a wonderful workshop in Comrat, we received a lot of information“.

The Deputy of the Dnipro City Council, Mr Artiom Pavlov, similarly expressed his enthusiasm, highlighting that the cooperation with ALDA is extremely important for the Dnipropetrovosk region and remarking that “We appreciate this fruitful cooperation and hope to demonstrate a closer approximation of the local government in Ukraine to the high European standards in the nearest future“.

"It was a small project, but with great results [...] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future!"

On ALDA’s side, it was highlighted that local public administrations must engage all citizens even if they seem like a weak link, as this creates the critical mass for cooperation that is necessary to produce change; and encouragement was provided as per the immense work that can be done together for the better of both local authorities and citizens.

All in all, the events were fruitful and satisfactory: in the words of Alexandru Coica, “The most important thing for us was to hear that the comprehensive research work that was done is useful for local authorities and grassroot civil society. I was delighted to hear that all engaged stakeholders will use the recommendations to improve their work“.

We’re very much looking forward to continuing these wonderful collaborations in the Eastern Partnership!


Fostering participatory democracy in Eastern Europe: to be continued!

On Wednesday 7th October 2020, took place the final conference of the project “Empowering Local Authorities & Civil Society to Deliver Solutions with Participatory Democracy”, organised in Brussels and streamed online for all participants.

Officially kicked-off in April 2019 and carried out thanks to the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) programme, the project aimed at strengthening local authorities in Ukraine and Moldova, by empowering them to identify and deliver solutions using participatory methodologies, thus involving the whole community in the decision-making processes.
Despite the hybrid nature of the event, with speakers and participants both online and in presence, the conference enjoyed of a great vivacity and a high level of interaction. At first, the event was introduced by Denis Schrey, Head of Multinational Development Policy Dialogue (KAS) and Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA. This was followed by three presentations conducted by Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, David Mathews, President and CEO of the Kettering Foundation (USA) and Alexandru Coica, Project and Area Manager at ALDA.
During her speech, Ms Valmorbida not only described the main findings and the experiences in the four target cities, namely Dnipro and Mariupol in Ukraine, Cimislia and Comrat in Moldova. Most importantly, she presented the highlight and the major output of the project: a published book, titled “Participatory Democracy in Moldova and Ukraine – Empowering authorities and civil society to deliver solutions at the local level”. The book presents the research, the tools and the practical recommendations for local development and it is intended to be a guide and a source of inspiration for all communities interested in embarking in such a participatory journey, aimed at finding pragmatic and shared solutions to local issues.
Later on, the floor was given to Borys Albertovich Filatov, mayor of Dnipro and to Sergiu Andronachi, mayor of Cimislia, who shared their grassroot experiences concerning the application of innovative methods of citizens engagement. Afterwards, the perspective switched from local to a broader perspective, thanks to the input of Mathieu Bousquet, Head of Unit DG NEAR. The conference ended with a debate on recommendations to improve the effectiveness of local participative democracy, moderated by Alexandru Coica, and led by Daniela Morari, Ambassador and Head of the Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the EU.
All in all, the successful results of the project made it clear the immense potential of such processes in terms of problem solving, social empowerment and economic development, as they generate new energies, ideas and contribute to fight against the sense of frustration and brain drain in countries.
By virtue of this, even though this was the last conference, we suspect that actions to foster participatory democracy in Ukraine and Moldova won’t stop here. Stay tuned to discover all follow-ups of this great project!

On Wednesday 7th October 2020, took place the final conference of the project “Empowering Local Authorities & Civil Society to Deliver Solutions with Participatory Democracy”, organised in Brussels and streamed online for all participants.

Officially kicked-off in April 2019 and carried out thanks to the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) programme, the project aimed at strengthening local authorities in Ukraine and Moldova, by empowering them to identify and deliver solutions using participatory methodologies, thus involving the whole community in the decision-making processes.
Despite the hybrid nature of the event, with speakers and participants both online and in presence, the conference enjoyed of a great vivacity and a high level of interaction. At first, the event was introduced by Denis Schrey, Head of Multinational Development Policy Dialogue (KAS) and Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA. This was followed by three presentations conducted by Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, David Mathews, President and CEO of the Kettering Foundation (USA) and Alexandru Coica, Project and Area Manager at ALDA.
During her speech, Ms Valmorbida not only described the main findings and the experiences in the four target cities, namely Dnipro and Mariupol in Ukraine, Cimislia and Comrat in Moldova. Most importantly, she presented the highlight and the major output of the project: a published book, titled “Participatory Democracy in Moldova and Ukraine – Empowering authorities and civil society to deliver solutions at the local level”. The book presents the research, the tools and the practical recommendations for local development and it is intended to be a guide and a source of inspiration for all communities interested in embarking in such a participatory journey, aimed at finding pragmatic and shared solutions to local issues.
Later on, the floor was given to Borys Albertovich Filatov, mayor of Dnipro and to Sergiu Andronachi, mayor of Cimislia, who shared their grassroot experiences concerning the application of innovative methods of citizens engagement. Afterwards, the perspective switched from local to a broader perspective, thanks to the input of Mathieu Bousquet, Head of Unit DG NEAR. The conference ended with a debate on recommendations to improve the effectiveness of local participative democracy, moderated by Alexandru Coica, and led by Daniela Morari, Ambassador and Head of the Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the EU.
All in all, the successful results of the project made it clear the immense potential of such processes in terms of problem solving, social empowerment and economic development, as they generate new energies, ideas and contribute to fight against the sense of frustration and brain drain in countries.
By virtue of this, even though this was the last conference, we suspect that actions to foster participatory democracy in Ukraine and Moldova won’t stop here. Stay tuned to discover all follow-ups of this great project!


ALDA Governing Board’s members 2016-2020: Thank you!

As previously announced, the ALDA General Assembly which took place on Friday October 9th, 2020, marked a crucial moment in the history of the Association.

During the Assembly, in fact, the members of ALDA’s Governing Board, in charge since 2016, had to give way to the new components elected for the mandate 2020-2024.
By this occasion, we would like to officially offer our heartfelt thanks to each of the members of the exiting Governing Board, who accompanied ALDA since their election on May 12th, 2016 at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, and who guided the Association through a crucial period of growth and innovation:
– Mr. Oriano Otočan, Istria Region (HR), re-elected as ALDA President
– Mr Alessandro Perelli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (IT), confirmed ALDA Vice President
– Mrs. Imislawa Gorska, Principal of the International School of Bydgoszcz, Vice President
– Ms. Branka Mracevic, Herceg Novi Municipality (ME), Vice President
– Mr. Roger Lawrence, Individual member (UK), Treasurer
– Mr. Maurizio Camin, Association “Trentino con i Balcani” (IT), confirmed member of ALDA Governing Board
– Mr. Lutfi Haziri, Gjilan Municipality (XK)
– Mr. Dobrica Milovanovic, Individual member (RS), confirmed member of ALDA Governing Board
– Mr. Alexandru Osadci, CALM – Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova (MD)
– Ms. Antònia Rosselló, Fons Mallorquí de Solidaritat i Cooperació (SP)
– Ms. Natalia Sovkopljas, UTCS – Union of Towns and Cities of Slovakia (SK)
– Mr. Francesco Zarzana, Association “Progettarte” (IT), confirmed member and elected ALDA Vice President
On the other hand, we are sure that newly elected members, among which are members of the previous Board reconfirmed for the new mandate, will be worthy successors and continue to bring forth ALDA’s mission and values with a renewed commitment!
Among the latest actions of note carried out by the exiting Governing Board, we underline the official approval of ALDA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, a key document outlining values and standards which all ALDA’s staff, members and network are expected to share and encourage in order to assure a transparent, respectful and direct communication, both internal and external.

As previously announced, the ALDA General Assembly which took place on Friday October 9th, 2020, marked a crucial moment in the history of the Association.

During the Assembly, in fact, the members of ALDA’s Governing Board, in charge since 2016, had to give way to the new components elected for the mandate 2020-2024.
By this occasion, we would like to officially offer our heartfelt thanks to each of the members of the exiting Governing Board, who accompanied ALDA since their election on May 12th, 2016 at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, and who guided the Association through a crucial period of growth and innovation:
– Mr. Oriano Otočan, Istria Region (HR), re-elected as ALDA President
– Mr Alessandro Perelli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (IT), confirmed ALDA Vice President
– Mrs. Imislawa Gorska, Principal of the International School of Bydgoszcz, Vice President
– Ms. Branka Mracevic, Herceg Novi Municipality (ME), Vice President
– Mr. Roger Lawrence, Individual member (UK), Treasurer
– Mr. Maurizio Camin, Association “Trentino con i Balcani” (IT), confirmed member of ALDA Governing Board
– Mr. Lutfi Haziri, Gjilan Municipality (XK)
– Mr. Dobrica Milovanovic, Individual member (RS), confirmed member of ALDA Governing Board
– Mr. Alexandru Osadci, CALM – Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova (MD)
– Ms. Antònia Rosselló, Fons Mallorquí de Solidaritat i Cooperació (SP)
– Ms. Natalia Sovkopljas, UTCS – Union of Towns and Cities of Slovakia (SK)
– Mr. Francesco Zarzana, Association “Progettarte” (IT), confirmed member and elected ALDA Vice President
On the other hand, we are sure that newly elected members, among which are members of the previous Board reconfirmed for the new mandate, will be worthy successors and continue to bring forth ALDA’s mission and values with a renewed commitment!
Among the latest actions of note carried out by the exiting Governing Board, we underline the official approval of ALDA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, a key document outlining values and standards which all ALDA’s staff, members and network are expected to share and encourage in order to assure a transparent, respectful and direct communication, both internal and external.


"I fiori d'Europa": la street art per l'inclusione sociale

Nell’ottica di promuovere l’inclusione sociale tra i più giovani, la creatività, la coesione e la contaminazione tra culture diverse e forme artistiche atipiche, giovedì 1° ottobre 2020 si è tenuto ad Arcugnano in Piazza Rumor il laboratorio artistico di pittura “I fiori di Europa” come attività del progetto STAR.

L’evento ha riscontrato un ottimo successo, con la partecipazione di circa trenta bambini, di età compresa tra i tre e i dieci anni e provenienti da tutte le scuole del Comune, che si sono dilettati con le attività ludiche proposte. A disposizione dei partecipanti al laboratorio, una grande tela orizzontale di 160mq realizzata dall’artista Jerico, filippino d’origine e romano di adozione. Dopo un primo momento di esplorazione della tela, guidati da Jerico i bambini presenti hanno giocato con vivida immaginazione ed hanno poi dipinto utilizzando i colori dell’artista ed i loro stessi corpi per dipingere.

Coinvolti anche gli adulti presenti, dal momento che nell’occasione sono stati inoltre raccolti 27 questionari di indagine cittadina al fine di trovare un’intesa sul luogo in cui realizzare il murales che sarà l’output del progetto STAR.

Al termine dell’evento, la grande tela di Jerico è stata ritagliata in 14 pezzi suddivisi in regalo tra i partner di progetto, il Comune e le sue scuole; mentre sabato 3 ottobre si è poi tenuta l’inaugurazione della mostra temporaneaI fiori di Europa”, introdotta da un discorso del sindaco di Arcugnano e aperta al pubblico fino al 10 ottobre p.v.

Una manifestazione unica per celebrare la STreet ARt.. con una tela di 160mq!

Il progetto STAR – STreet ARt, nel cui ambito è stato organizzato l’evento, ha l’intento di promuovere l’amore per l’inclusione e di trasmettere ai più giovani i valori dell’unione e della solidarietà. Co-finanziato dal programma dell’Unione europea “Europa per i cittadini”, il Comune di Arcugnano ne è capofila, accompagnato nel consorzio da organizzazioni e Comuni europei appartenenti a 14 paesi tra cui Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Repubblica Ceca, Francia, Germania, Italia, Kosovo, Lettonia, Polonia, Portogallo, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia e Paesi Bassi. 

Nell’ottica di promuovere l’inclusione sociale tra i più giovani, la creatività, la coesione e la contaminazione tra culture diverse e forme artistiche atipiche, giovedì 1° ottobre 2020 si è tenuto ad Arcugnano in Piazza Rumor il laboratorio artistico di pittura “I fiori di Europa” come attività del progetto STAR.

L’evento ha riscontrato un ottimo successo, con la partecipazione di circa trenta bambini, di età compresa tra i tre e i dieci anni e provenienti da tutte le scuole del Comune, che si sono dilettati con le attività ludiche proposte. A disposizione dei partecipanti al laboratorio, una grande tela orizzontale di 160mq realizzata dall’artista Jerico, filippino d’origine e romano di adozione. Dopo un primo momento di esplorazione della tela, guidati da Jerico i bambini presenti hanno giocato con vivida immaginazione ed hanno poi dipinto utilizzando i colori dell’artista ed i loro stessi corpi per dipingere.

Coinvolti anche gli adulti presenti, dal momento che nell’occasione sono stati inoltre raccolti 27 questionari di indagine cittadina al fine di trovare un’intesa sul luogo in cui realizzare il murales che sarà l’output del progetto STAR.

Al termine dell’evento, la grande tela di Jerico è stata ritagliata in 14 pezzi suddivisi in regalo tra i partner di progetto, il Comune e le sue scuole; mentre sabato 3 ottobre si è poi tenuta l’inaugurazione della mostra temporaneaI fiori di Europa”, introdotta da un discorso del sindaco di Arcugnano e aperta al pubblico fino al 10 ottobre p.v.

Una manifestazione unica per celebrare la STreet ARt.. con una tela di 160mq!

Il progetto STAR – STreet ARt, nel cui ambito è stato organizzato l’evento, ha l’intento di promuovere l’amore per l’inclusione e di trasmettere ai più giovani i valori dell’unione e della solidarietà. Co-finanziato dal programma dell’Unione europea “Europa per i cittadini”, il Comune di Arcugnano ne è capofila, accompagnato nel consorzio da organizzazioni e Comuni europei appartenenti a 14 paesi tra cui Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Repubblica Ceca, Francia, Germania, Italia, Kosovo, Lettonia, Polonia, Portogallo, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia e Paesi Bassi.