Wroclaw

Places have a meaning: ALDA Governing Board in Poland for Ukraine

The last meeting of the Governing Board of ALDA for this 2022 took place in Wroclaw (Poland). Oriano Otočan – ALDA President – together with the other delegates reached the Polish city, on Thursday 24 November 2022.

Welcomed by the opening speeches of Mr. Jacek Sutryk – Mayor of Wroclaw – Mr. Bartek Ostrowski – Vice President of ALDA and Representative of the Mercury Foundation (Poland)- and Mr. Otočan, the Board dedicated the first part of the meeting to the structural aspects of the Association – be they the implementation of the 2020-2024 strategy; and the activities foreseen for the upcoming 2023.


In Wroclaw, to support the LDAs in Ukraine and  develop a flagship initiative on models of migrants inclusion


In addition, great visibility has been given to the “proposal for a flagship initiative on models of migrants inclusion in our cities and territories” as well explained by the GB Member Mr. Andrea Rilievo.

As well mentioned at the very beginning, the Board gathered in Poland also in light of the current situation in Ukraine, which was the focus of the second part of the meeting. Hence, the GB Members discussed together how to further strengthen and empower the Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine, so that to provide additional support not only to the colleagues working there, but of course to the population and the citizens living there.

Last but not least, the meeting ended with the analysis and discussion of the Gender and Equality document, upon which ALDA is also working.

Overall, this Governing Board meeting was a successful one, opening for a positive and more engaged 2023!


ALDA at the ELoGE award ceremony

Antonella Valmorbida – ALDA Secretary General

at the ELoGE award ceremony 

 

Dear Ministers, dear Mayors, dear participants

I am pleased to be here today with all of you, as Secretary General of ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, but also having a significant experience working with local authorities in Croatia, North Macedonia, and Kosovo.

ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, in its over 20 years of existence, has the mission of promoting local democracy, citizen participation, and cooperation through work with local and regional authorities alongside civil society actors. It was created in 1998 by the Council of Europe. It is a global alliance that has undertaken many projects and initiatives, primarily on the local level, and is a key European player, particularly in the Balkans. It has developed a network of local institutions and civil society organizations that includes over 350 members from over 42 European and neighboring countries. ALDA cooperates with authorities on the European and local levels and provides support for them with these projects. We represent a unique organization in the working for and governed by local and regional authorities and civil society groups.

ALDA acts as a coordinator and supporter for a network of 15 Local Democracy Agencies. The coordination of this network of LDAs was the original purpose for its creation in 1998. We celebrate 30 years of activities in the region.

Antonella Valmorbida – ALDA Secretary General

at the ELoGE award ceremony 

 

Dear Ministers, dear Mayors, dear participants

I am pleased to be here today with all of you, as Secretary General of ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, but also having a significant experience working with local authorities in Croatia, North Macedonia, and Kosovo.

ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, in its over 20 years of existence, has the mission of promoting local democracy, citizen participation, and cooperation through work with local and regional authorities alongside civil society actors. It was created in 1998 by the Council of Europe. It is a global alliance that has undertaken many projects and initiatives, primarily on the local level, and is a key European player, particularly in the Balkans. It has developed a network of local institutions and civil society organizations that includes over 350 members from over 42 European and neighboring countries. ALDA cooperates with authorities on the European and local levels and provides support for them with these projects. We represent a unique organization in the working for and governed by local and regional authorities and civil society groups.

ALDA acts as a coordinator and supporter for a network of 15 Local Democracy Agencies. The coordination of this network of LDAs was the original purpose for its creation in 1998. We celebrate 30 years of activities in the region.


Managers

Vacancy: Project Managers - Multiple sectors

Managers

ALDA is looking for a:
1 – Project Manager focused on migration topic (Vicenza or Strasbourg office)
1 – Project Manager focused on Digitalization (Strasbourg office)
1 – Project Manager focused on Horizon projects – focus environment (Vicenza or Strasbourg office)

Among main tasks and responsibilities:

  • To plan and/or implement the action plan of the projects, organizing events and other initiatives described in the programme;
  • To follow and accompany the partnership and the group involved in the projects;
  • To communicate about the projects, developing a communication plan, social media
    account management;
  • To liaise and share knowledge about the project with the team of ALDA; 

Among the skills needed:

  • Ability to work in a team as well as individually;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Experience in managing networks, dealing with different institutions;
  • High motivation and strong interest for international cooperation. 

Among the education, languages and tools required:

  • University degree
  • Languages: English professional working proficiency – Italian and French is an asset.
    Regarding the position of Project Manager – Digitalization, a working knowledge of French is mandatory;
  • Previous experience in project implementation at least 2 years mainly linked to the topic assigned and proven experience in budget management;
  • Regarding the position of PM Migration, a strong Knowledge of migration policy is necessary; 

Where and when:

The contract will be for a period of 12 months and can be renewed subject to availability of resources and satisfactory performance evaluation at the completion of the first contracted period.
The contract will preferably start by beginning of January 2023.

Salary:
Salary will be based on the experience and qualifications of the candidate.
The proposed salary will follow ALDA’s staff regulation: Level Annual Brut Salary | Level 3 20.000 – 27.500 € |

How to apply:

Interested applicants should fill in the following template, attaching a Letter of Intent and Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English.  Applications must be received on or before 28th November 2022. Interviews will take place the following days and might be followed by a written test


COP27

COP27: ALDA’s active commitment to the planet, its species and people

COP27

The World Climate Summit, COP27, started in Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt), and lasts from 6 to 18 November 2022. It’s the Conference of the Parties, all those who signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

United Nations climate change conferences are among the largest international meetings in the world.

Moreover, climate change and environmental damage are urgent issues across the globe, as their effects are already being felt. For this reason, there is a need to adapt more quickly and comprehensively, and achieve a better world for us all, through a strategy of sustainability and climate neutrality. 

COP27

As the consequences of climate change are felt by everybody, but above all by the most vulnerable people, all citizens should engage and take action through initiatives that promote environmentally friendly and sustainable development policies. Therefore, civil society organisations (CSOs) play a primary role in raising awareness of citizens on climate change, approaching the green transition actions in a participatory process. 

ALDA’s work in the field of environment and climate change focuses on specific topics, such as climate change in urban and rural areas, flood risk mitigation, environmental governance, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable agri-food systems. In this framework, ALDA contributes to enhancing environmental governance both at the local and international levels, through an intense process of dialogue and communication among policymakers, civil society actors and practitioners.

Following last year’s edition of the Conference, nations are expected to demonstrate at COP27 that they are in a new era of implementation by turning their commitments under the Paris Agreement into action. Within the Climate Action goals of the Conference, what is ALDA’s role and how is it contributing with its work?  

ALDA’s commitment can be seen in the implementation of various projects!


ALDA’s initiatives and projects in line with COP27


Starting with “Climate Of Chage, whose motto is “End climate change, start #ClimateOfChange!”, being a Pan European campaign to build a better future for climate induced migrants, the human face of climate change. The project engages young EU citizens in support of policies and development actions to tackle climate change as a driver of irregular migration and forced displacement worldwide. 

Within the project, one objective was the collection of signatures for the petition, that was delivered to policy-makers during the COP27 by 5 Youth Ambassadors. The petition hitted the incredible number of 105.113 signatures, a result that was possible thanks to the thousands of people that joined the movement.

COP27

READY project aims to strengthen the socio-ecological awareness and capacity building of its young beneficiaries. Through the environmental issue, the young beneficiaries will develop skills in campaigning, project management, communication, advocacy etc.

The newly implemented project “SHARED GREEN DEAL”, moreover, aims to stimulate shared actions on Green Deal initiatives across Europe, by providing Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) tools to support the implementation of 8 EU Green Deal policy areas, at the local and regional level.

Moving on to another project, “LIFE BEWARE” focuses on the achievement of a global strategy for climate adaptation to flooding risk, increasing water infiltration and storage in urban and rural areas, by actively involving local communities. 

Among the other projects, “NEVERMORE” is determined to support excellence in research on climate science and climate policy. It aims to develop an integrated common assessment framework, tailored to the needs of different stakeholders and end-users (public and private actors, decision-makers and citizens).

ALDA is active within the COP27 topics with many other projects and initiatives, all to be discovered. All of them are also directed to fulfil the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, each being focused on one or more SDGs, trying to turn them into concrete actions. 

 

Useful links related to ALDA & COP27: 

Active ALDA projects 

ClimateofChange ambassadors at COP27

NEVERMORE Project kick-off meeting


Green

Embedding innovative teaching formats in higher education: Green Skills Online Exchange

Green Skills for Cities upcoming online exchange

Do you want to expand your skill set in transdisciplinary teaching and training for students on sustainable development in cities?  Are you a head of studies, (inter-)national trainer and teacher in higher education or vocational education and interested in education for sustainable development? 

Then this event is for you to:  

  • Gain expertise (learn from innovative concepts in the field) 
  • Get inspired (join and learn from discussion on do’s and don’ts)
  • Share your ideas (bring in new aspects to broaden our views)


"Green Skills - Embedding innovative teaching formats in higher education” takes place on the 13 December 2022


The “Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development” (RCE) at Vienna University of Economics and Business and the Erasmus+ Project “Green Skills for Cities” invite you to an online exchange on best practice case studies and teaching formats: “Green Skills – Embedding innovative teaching formats in higher education” which is taking place on the 13th of December, 2022  from 16:00-18:00 (CET) on Zoom. 

 Professionals working in the field and interested students are welcome to join.
Sign up here and you will receive the Zoom Link via email.

If you have any questions, feel free to email the project team here or check out the project website


ReCAP

ReCAP - Recovering inclusion through Creativity After Pandemic: in November the Kick-off Meeting in Porto

The ReCAP project has officially started, and the Kick-off Meeting took place on 3&4 November 2022 in Porto (Portugal), where the hosting partner Rightchallenge welcomed the whole consortium in their headquarters.

The meeting has been a great opportunity for the ten partners to get to know each other in-person and work together to set the next steps of the project.

The ReCAP project has a valuable goal to reach: it aims at promoting social inclusion and civic engagement of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who faced a further marginalisation from the socialisation places due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the project addresses young people with fewer opportunities, such as NEETs, people with a migrant background, minorities, youths from the LGBTIAQ+ community, and pays special attention to girls.

To face this challenge, the ReCAP project promotes the role of art and creativity as tools to face social exclusion, thanks to the great expertise of the participating organisations operating in the fields of art, creativity, social inclusion and gender issues.


The Kick-off Meeting has been a great opportunity for the partners to get to know each other in-person and work together to set the next steps of ReCAP


During this two-day meeting, ALDA, as project leader, introduced and explained the organisational, management and financial aspects of the ReCAP project, as well as the communication and dissemination strategy to be implemented. The partner Solidaridad Sin Fronteras (SSF) presented the first achievements obtained and the next steps of the Project Result 1 “Local context and needs analysis”, while La Piccionaia and CESIE introduced the main aspects of the second and third Project Results of ReCAP, which have to be carried out during the second phase of the action: the creation of a toolbox for youth workers and a roadmap definition of the local paths.

This Kick-off meeting represented a valuable experience for the whole consortium to share their ideas and discuss the next project activities, but also an opportunity to enjoy the charming city of Porto.


ARLEM annual meeting in Türkiye: cities and sustainability at the centre

The city of Izmir, in Türkiye, hosted the annual meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) on 7-8 November 2022. Happening at the same time as the COP27, this year’s Plenary focused on climate action in the Mediterranean area, while emphasising the role of Local Authorities as key actors involved in the process. Hence, in order to achieve the target and meet the ambitious goal, every stakeholder needs to be taken into account.

From a general perspective, ARLEM fosters decentralised cooperation and local democracy; while promoting regional cohesion among the countries joining the Assembly. Considering the expertise on democracy promotion, as well as the strategic position played by ALDA both in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Türkiye; Bartek Ostrowski – Vice President of ALDA together with Giulia Sostero – Middle East & Africa Coordinator, and Apolline Bonfils –  Project Manager & Head of Strasbourg Office were invited to join the meeting.


At ARLEM in Türkiye, to strengthening and improving the Mediterranean region


More in detail, inclusiveness and resilience of Mediterranean cities, sustainable urbanism were among the main topics discussed. Similarly, entrepreneurship represented one of the key issues tackled at the meeting. 

As demonstrated by the successful project “THE:PLACE – Programme for Local Authorities and Civil Society Exchange – , for example, the Association laid the foundation for further collaboration with both several CSOs also attending the meeting; and the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality.

Overall, by joining the annual ARLEM meeting in Türkiye, ALDA further exchanged and interacted with other stakeholders, for the strengthening and improvement of the region.


justice

“Climate Of Change” Youth Ambassador at COP27 calling for climate justice

With the support of more than 100.000, the “Climate Of Change” project consortium claims Climate Justice at COP27. The latter, starting on 6 November 2022 in Egypt, represents the most important worldwide summit on climate change, green and environment. 

Representatives and delegates from more than 90 states gather in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh, addressing the current climate crisis, while finding a common solution. Within this framework, the civil society is also mobilised and calls for fast and concrete actions: for example, more than 100.000 are taking part in the #ClimateOfChange movement to ask for climate justice!

More in detail, thousands of young people are actively calling for a better planet, thus participating in the COP27 in Egypt as Youth Ambassador Europe. Paloma, Fanni, Kamila, Penny and Ema (from Spain, Hungary, Poland, Greece and Bulgaria respectively), are the 5 ambassadors taking action as #ClimateOfChange activists on 11 th November at 11.30 EET in an official side event in Egypt!

This incredible result was only possible thanks to the help and support of a huge number of climate and social justice activists that joined the movement. Yet, what is the main request of  #ClimateOfChange

  • Keeping global warming under 1.5°by achieving EU climate neutrality by 2040. In fact, today the current objective is to keep global warming under 1.5° by attaining climate neutrality by 2050. However, regarding climate issues arising all over the globe including in Europe, the consortium urges governments to adopt measures for climate neutrality that will have an impact before 2050.
  • Using only renewable energies.
    Governments, even in times of crisis, cannot turn their face from clean renewable energies. They must keep up the objectives of using only renewable energies and stop relying on fossil fuels.
  • Helping low income households to transition from fossil fuels to renewable.
    The consortium is aware of the difficulties some households will face to transition to environmentally friendly heating solutions. It is important that the burden is shared fairly and that governments take such issues into account.
  • Shifting towards a socially and ecological just well-being economy.
    The interests and needs of society need to be above the interests and needs of big companies. There must be a change in people’s destructive behavior and destructive production oriented system.


Civil society and the “Climate Of Change” consortium in Sharm El-Sheikh for climate justice


  • Protecting climate change-induced migrants through a human rights- based migration policy.
    States should think and implement an international protection scheme for migrants that will encourage global justice. 
  • Enabling youth participation in political decision-making.
    Youth are most of the time excluded from decision making however, their future will be largely impacted by climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that their voice will be heard and that they will be able to participate in the decision making process. The objective is to avoid having climate action mechanisms that will exclude some people. 
  • Agreeing on a Climate Finance and a Loss and Damage mechanism.
    Governments must create a reparation system where richest countries will repay the poorest for the damages caused by their industries to those countries. Rich countries must acknowledge, recognise that they have a debt toward poorer countries. 
  • Ensuring that children’s and youth’s best interests and their rights are protected.
    It is an intergenerational debt linked to climate change because actions of older generations have important consequences on younger generations in the worst way. 
  • Defending the rights of women and girls and their participation into climate decision making processes.
    States should ensure women participate in climate change decisions because they tend to be more negatively affected by climate change than men. Every government including the European Union must lead strong action against the climate gender gap and must support third Countries where that gap is deeper. 

Readers can learn more about the position the consortium will hold at the COP27 by reading the “Policy Position of the Consortium of Climate of Change for COP27”

Overall, climate change impacts people both in terms of human rights; and in their own lifestyle behaviour. Governments need to put in place measures to ensure international human rights are respected. Hence, by joining the Climate Of Change” project, ALDA further stresses its commitment for a sustainable lifestyle, while contributing to develop citizens’ awareness on climate induced migration.

 

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✍️ From now on it will not be possible to sign the petition on climateofchange.info website, but, for those who have not yet signed the petition and wish to make their voice heard, you can sign via change.org


Wroclaw

In Wroclaw for the Conference on the role of local governments and civil society in the support to Ukraine

On the 25th November, the  Regional Representation of the European Commission in Wroclaw and the College of Eastern Europe are organising a Conference in Wroclaw (Poland), entitled “Development Aid for Democracy: the role of local governments and civil society. A multistakeholder tool to support Ukraine”, in partnership with ALDA, Lower Silesia Region and Wroclaw Municipality. 

Already at the beginning of the year, the ALDA Member “City of Wroclaw” has been in the first line in providing help to civilians and people in Ukraine: the “emergency campaign” marked a clear example of it. As Wroclaw, ALDA supported a great number of activities, and initiatives to ease and mitigate the effects of this tremendous war.

Thus, since the Russian invasion, democracy and security are at stake in Ukraine and neighbouring countries; and it comes with no surprise that an endless commitment from various stakeholders is required in order to overcome this humanitarian crisis; and end the war.


In Wroclaw to develop a multi-stakeholder approach in support of Ukraine


After the event held in mid-June in Brussels to support Local Democracy Agencies in Mariupol and Dnipro the choice to hold the conference in Wroclaw carries a similar meaning. Hence, the location is relevant per se, as Poland is at the forefront, representing a critical place to discuss the Ukrainian cause. 

Representatives of institutions, civil society organisations and stakeholders will be among the active players at the Conference. The latter will also represent the occasion to stress the role of Local Democracy Agencies as a successful example of decentralised cooperation and key factor in the democracy development process. 

In addition, this event will provide the perfect setting to present and together reflect on the “Final Declaration” on the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to democracy support. Based on the proven experience of ALDA, its members and partners, time has come to further concretise the commitment with a specific and formal document.

Overall, as history has taught, it is only by engaging civil society in close dialogue with Local Authorities and institutions that change can take place. There is the need to always support the bottom-up approach, providing long-lasting help and acting in concert with any relevant player.


reconstruction

Multi-stakeholder approach for the reconstruction of Ukraine: ALDA, the CORLEAP and the Czech Presidency

Joining the panel on the “Reconstruction of Ukraine”

Localisation and decentralised cooperation represent a key turning point and positive approach within the democratic process in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. Yet, considering the ongoing invasion of Ukraine; the pressure that Moldova is facing also in terms of energy supply, or the war that Armenia had to face – just to mention a few – how would it be possible to overcome these challenges?

Starting a process of reconstruction, based on the resilience of Local Authorities, municipalities and citizens not only is a necessary condition but it also the path to follow when facing a crisis. Therefore, envisaging the role of each player involved in the reconstruction process firstly, and in the democratic one secondly, is essential to understand the current situation in the EaP region.

Right the day after the 11th annual meeting of the CORLEAP, the “Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic” organised an international conference aimed at building bridges and connecting municipalities from the EU with those in the Eastern Partnership countries.  As recalled by Petr Gandalovič, Director of Department of Development Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Czech Republic, and moderator of the II Panel on the “Reconstruction of Ukraine”, “the four levels of the reconstruction have been represented: the international one; the national one; the one of the local municipalities and that of citizens”.


Reconstruction will take place locally, requiring a multistakeholder and multilevel approach


From a general perspective, the tremendous war and inhuman conditions that Ukraine is now facing, has to be understood in a broader context: “this is not only a regional war” – explained  Jaroslav Kurfürst, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Issues. Hence, what is now happening has a spillover effect, involving different actors, from the Eastern Partnership, to the European Union, and the entire global system.  

In addition, as recalled by Georg Ziegler, European Commission DG NEAR, the candidate status, as well as the financial stability have to be taken into account: Ukraine needs support so that to avoid inflation and any threat posed by an unstable financial situation.

If both at international and national levels authorities and governments are making a step forward, the local level has to be equally considered. “Ukraine made its choice” – stated Anatoliy Fedoruk, Bucha City Mayor, who together with Yana Litvinova, mayor of Starobilsk in the Luhansk Region, represented two municipalities of Ukraine. Exactly from the will of people, and the role that they play with municipalities that the reconstruction process has to begin. “I believe in our common, and I stress common, victory” concluded Mr. Fedoruk, emphasising the close involvement and support of the EU in this situation.

Finally, this vision was also shared by Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, who, recalling Maidan, stressed the importance of citizens as “drivers of the story”. Moreover, based on the successful examples of the Local Democracy Agencies, starting from those established right at the end of the war in the Balkans, Ms. Valmorbida advocated that “reconstruction will take place locally, requiring a multistakeholder and multilevel approach; working together for a common effort”. 

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The Panel took place in Liberec, Czech Republic on 4 November 2022. See the full agenda here