Read or download our Newsletter


Read or download our Newsletter



#MediterraneanDay to celebrate closeness and diversity


The #MediterraneanDay is the initiative specifically dedicated to the celebration the Mediterranean sea. Have you ever thought about how people from Italy, and Spain to Morocco, and Tunisia have all be strictly connected to each other thanks to this common water basin?

The #MediterraneanDay is thus intended to remind people that similarities are stronger that differences. From 2021 and each year onward, on November 28th, several initiatives will be promoted so that to celebrates common achievements, relations while stimulating common understanding.

With more than 250 world heritage sites, rich marine flora and more than 40 languages spoken, the Mediterranean region is the cradle of many cultures, civilisations and history.

#MediterraneanDay to be celebrated each year on 28 of November from 2021 onwards

Yet, one question may come to mind. Why exactly this date?

Let’s take a step backward, untile 1995. That year on November 28th precisely the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU and 12 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries held the first Euro- Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona signing an agreement to launch the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Process. The idea behind this initiative was to consider and set the Mediterranean region into a common space for peace, stability, security and shared prosperity.

Fifteen year later in November 2020, the Union for the Mediterranean with its 42 Member States declared the 28th of November as the official Day of the Mediterranean. Willing to focus on what unites rather than what divides, the #MediterraneanDay has its first edition, this year, in 2021, and will be celebrated each year onwards.


At the #MediterraneanDay different parties, from NGOs, public administrations or private entities can join and engage in various ways:

  • “Open doors – allow a sneak peek into what you do!
  • “Promoting culture in many forms”
  •  Debates and workshops
  • “Recognising Mediterranean talent”
  • “Showcase what matters to you”

With enthusiasm ALDA shares this great initiative, having two of its offices in Italy and Tunisia, countries on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, as well as several Local Democracy Agencies. Thus, also at ALDA’s this common sea is what unites colleagues, people and friends of the association. 

Last but not least, for those interested it is also possible to follow the official hashtag #MediterraneanDay and keep updated with news and info.

The #MediterraneanDay is an initiative of Union for the Mediterranean in partnership with: European Union, European Committee of Regions, ARLEM, Anna Lindh Foundation, ENI CBC Med. To read the full list of partners please check: “Partners committed to make the Mediterranean a better place


ELoGE in Croatia: first steps and establishing cooperation


ALDA continues to contribute to good governance on local level in Croatia and takes its activities on the next level. ALDA launched the “European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE)” for Croatia on the 22 November 2021 in Zagreb. The project was promoted in a hybrid type of event, giving representatives of municipalities and participants the possibility to join both online and in presence.

The launching started with a short welcoming speech from M. Robert Ravenšćak, General Director of Ravecon LLC, our local partner organization and continued with the intervention from the President of ALDA M. Oriano Otočan and M. Niall Sheerin, representative of the Center of Expertise for Good governance, from the Council of Europe (CoE)

ALDA continues to contribute to good governance on local level in Croatia, launching the ELoGE programme for Croatia

M.Otočan illustrated the work of ALDA in Europe and specifically in Croatia; highlighting:

  • The duality of the local authorities in the country;
  • The openness they show in certain topics but remain firmly closed for other.

Thus, he reflected on how on the one hand Croatia has reached certain level of expertise and maturity; while on the other there are still difficulties that persist; emphasizing how this project will be perfect to tackle them.

Following, M. Otočan speech, M. Sheerin shared with the participant on the important work of the CoE mentioning the future plans and programmes that they are working on, such as the green agenda concerning Local Authorities. He highlighted that in these eras of social media and advanced technology, local authorities need to be innovative and open to change, in order to be efficient and effective in responding to the needs of the citizens.

The opening speeches were followed by a presentation of the ELoGE programme in the Country, done by Ms. Katica Janeva, ALDA’s regional coordinator for the Balkans, citing the details of the phases and processes that the LAs need to follow to be awarded the label, specific timing and timeline, tools and more. The event was closed off with a Q&A session and a fruitful discussion.


Related news:

BRIGHT Project’s 3rd capacity building workshop in Italy


The BRIGHT project had its third capacity building workshop in the beautiful Azienda Agricola Favella farm, Corigliano-Rossano, Italy, on November 16 and 17, 2021.

During the two day event participants had the chance to share and listen to in person testimonies and experiences from all the different representatives from the various stakeholders. Women leaders who took part of the BRIGHT project intervened, sharing the voices of all the women working in agriculture who were involved in the BRIGHT project. Participants also enjoyed moments of levity and socialization during breaks to visit the farm and share coffee and a meal together.

The event was constructive and overall a very nice time, keep up the good work BRIGHT!

Among the keynote speakers were:

On the second day of the workshop, a panel on Agricultural Policy and Social Conditionality was held. Several speakers intervened (on site and online), discussing the tools to support the legality of the agricultural labour market and what is the potential of social conditionality in the new CAP. 

Participants gathered into work groups to discuss and then share their ideas for BRIGHT’s European Frame Pact.

The event was constructive and overall a very nice time, keep up the good work BRIGHT!


Skopje: Launching Conference of ELoGE in North Macedonia


Skopje: the European Association for Local democracy – ALDA organised the “Launching Conference” of the project European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE) in North Macedonia on the 18th of November.

With great enthusiasm representatives from Macedonian Local Authorities (LAs), previously invited to take part of the project, gathered in Skopje and online to learn more about the ELoGE label. Thus, benefitting from this initiative, the above-mentioned LAs will be required to act in accordance with the 12 Principles of Good Democratic Governance. Among them:

  • Participation, Representation, Fair Conduct of Elections;
  • Responsiveness;
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness;
  • Openness and Transparency;
  • Rule of Law

More in depth, the event opened with the intervention of Eli Chakar from the Ministry of Local Self-Government; followed by Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA that illustrated experience of ALDA on the topic of good governance and Emir Coric, ALDA Governing Board member, who dedicated his speech to ALDAs work in the Balkans.

Representatives from Macedonian Local Authorities gathered in Skopje and online to learn more about the ELoGE label

Moreover, Niall Sheerin from Center of Expertise for Local Government Reform presented the important work of the Council of Europe and the different programs for development of local governance.

From a general perspective, the next steps will consist of measuring the assessment through the implementation of the benchmark for the European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE). Additionally, this exercise is a good learning toll for the Local Authorities to improve their daily work.

Yet, this is not everything: the symbol of ELoGE, a crystal dodecahedron, will be awarded to the Local Authorities demonstrating compliance with the principles of good governance, measured against a national benchmark.

Further updates will follow on the implementation of this initiatives, as well as on the award!


ALDA has received the accreditation to implement ELoGE in North Macedonia, and already in October 2021 ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida and ALDA Office in Skopje and SEE Coordinator, Katica Janeva had a meeting with institutions to discuss about the initiative. Finally, ELoGE in North Macedonia is financially supported by the Council of Europe.


Workshop in Patos: Intercultural Democracy in Action!


On 19 November 2021 in Patos, Albania 26 young people from the city engaged in a different interactive initiatives. Specifically, the main idea of the workshop was to discuss and reflect together on social inclusion in decision-making processes.

More in details, the VALID Team shared to the participants the main policies that the Municipality of Patos has reflected, based on the recommendations that young people made during the first local event. The goal of this initiative, among others, was to encourage youths to participate in decision-making processes such as the public hearings on the local budget and fiscal package for 2022. The latter were the main points that oriented the interactive discussion with the participants.

Participants agreed to join in the public hearings that the Municipality of Patos will organize in December 2021

With the participation of two experts from the region, one specialized in communication and the other on intercultural dialogue the group discussed the importance of citizens’ involvement regardless of their ethnic, social and cultural affiliation in the decision-making processes of their community.

The experts encouraged discussions on how much intercultural democracy influences local action, while the project team explained through a poster exhibition concrete initiatives that the youth of the city have undertaken in various topics, specifically those with a social theme. They were also greeted by the team that took part in the trip to Italy who shared their experience and brought examples from the city of Ravenna.

Participants agreed to join in the public hearings that the Municipality will organize in December 2021 with regard to the drafting and the approval of the city budget and fiscal package for the next year and were encouraged to be part of the Youth Advisory Group of Patos, an advisory group at the Municipality.


“For a new life of…rubbles” in Municipality of Peja


The Local Democracy Agency Kosovo, together with the Rrjeti i Organizatave të Kulturës (The Network of Culture Organizations) in Peja, have organized a common activity on 12th November 2021, involving pupils of the School of Arts together with an acoustical performance by the local artist Agon Goqi. Through this activity both organizations have prepared an exhibition inside the old and decaying structures of a former public bank.

35 participants attended the activity! Among them:

  • pupils of the School of Arts,
  • children coming from different ethnic entities and citizens.

The pupils of the School of Arts have exhibited their operas in the spaces of the old structures of a former public bank.  A video has been created to convey the message of the activity to the general public.

The Local Democracy Agency Kosovo, together with the Rrjeti i Organizatave të Kulturës involved pupils of the School of Arts for a local initiative in Peja

The aim of the exhibition was to convey the message that public and social structures can easily be transformed in spaces where culture activities can be implemented and through which culture can be conveyed. In short: a new life can come out of the rubbles.

The message that old public and social buildings can be reused for cultural activities has been conveyed to the participants that were present in the activity, and to the general public through the social media.


This event was organised within VALID project


Pan-European debates and a circus show for a #ClimateOfChange


A Climate of Change spread all over the city of Brussels, from 10 to 12 November, when the city was suddenly filled up with young students coming from evry corner of Europe.

Indeed, within the framework of the Climate of Change project, Brussels hosted the final contest of the Pan-European Debate, where 117 students from 13 EU countries will try to win using their best dialectic skills on climate change, migration, youth and economy.

Each country sent two teams to the competition: one composed of three university students and the other made of six teenagers (from 16 to 19 years old), accompanied by professors and educators.

In Brussels, the national team have been mixed together in order to form 26 new “European teams”, debating to raise awareness on climate issues, connected to the challenges of economy and migrations. Each debate contest was judged by a jury composed of 6 international experts and educators, who decided for each debate the team who better managed to argument and defend the assigned cause.

117 students from 13 EU countries will try to win using their best dialectic skills on climate change, migration, youth and economy

Cooperation among participants from different parts of the EU was one key factor to achieve success in this intellectual challenge. The aim is to foster EU citizenship as an evident EU added value for the youth tournament. On the 11th of November the students also had the chance to meet MEPs and ask questions or expose concerns about the just transition to climate justice.

On the other hand, each evening of the debate a Contemporary Circus Show titled “We Land” took place in the venue of Tour&Taxis in Brussels. Organised by ALDA and EEB – the European Environmental Bureau, the circus company MagdaClan performed an artistic show full of deep reflections on climate change.

The performance enjoyed a great participation from local citizens and was very appreciated by the students, thus making it the perfect closure of such an intense and deep week of climate debates!



Learn more about the Climate of Change project

Sign the #ClimateOfChange petition

"Women protagonists of innovation" - a workshop in Italy

On 24th November, 2021 a workshop will be held on European opportunities at the time of smart working promoted by “Sisthema Formazione” within the regional project “Women protagonists of innovation” financed within the regional directive “Il Veneto delle Donne” of the Veneto Region.

The workshop is organised by ALDA+ in cooperation with the Municipality of Lonigo (Italy) and will take place at the Sala delle Barchesse of the Municipality of Lonigo, from 4 to 8 p.m.

After the institutional greetings by the Mayor Pier Luigi Giacomello and the Councillor Andrea Castiello, Marco Boaria will present the new European programming for the period 2021-2027.

For info and registration, click here


The Nature of City Festival- ALDA partner at the March edition


The Nature of City Festival (TNOC) is an annual experiment in multidisciplinary collaboration designed to go beyond borders to radically imagine our cities of the future. The Nature of Cities’ mission is to curate debates and dialogues about urbanism through transdisciplinary collaboration and exchanges of experience and knowledge. A virtual festival that spans 3 full days with programming across all regional time zones and is available in multiple languages.

Moreover, TNOC Festival’s main philosophy is to promote inclusiveness and lower barriers to participation by striving for worldwide cities that are livable, resilient, sustainable, and just. It focuses on the creation of trans-disciplinary, publicly available, and widely disseminated programs mixing the arts, science, urban practice fields, and performance, in order to bring urban thought leaders and changemakers together to build better cities.

The Nature of Cities Festival will engage ALDA as a 2022 edition partner, based on a synergy born in 2021 during the last edition!

The Festival, which was developed by the Nature of Cities Organization in collaboration with a wide variety of global stakeholders, is taking place on March 29-31 2022, and it will engage ALDA as a 2022 edition Partner. A synergy born in 2021 during the last edition of the TNOC Festival, through the involvement of the LIFE METRO Adapt project as one of the main co-organizers, as it brought to the Festival a wide variety of activities and sessions, disseminating the project results and knowledge generated to the broader public.

We look forward to participating as partners! In the meanwhile, you can also help The Nature Of City build cities that are better for nature and people by submitting proposals of all kinds, from workshops and presentations to art performances, field trips, and documentaries.

The primary phase for session submissions is closing on the 30th of November 2021 at Midnight EST. Submissions after this date will only be considered on a “space available” basis. The results will be announced in early December while the full Festival schedule will be announced in January 2022.


Further info: