ALDA at 45th Congress of Local and Regional Authorities: Constructive dialogue & solutions

In the heart of the European landscape, the city of Strasbourg is poised to host a significant and eagerly awaited event. The 45th Plenary Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, scheduled from 24 to 26 October, 2023, is set to assemble a distinguished congregation of regional and local authority representatives. This pivotal assembly will engage in robust discourse and strategic planning, aimed at navigating the complex dynamics of contemporary governance.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, operating under the auspices of the Council of Europe, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to advancing democratic ideals and promoting effective governance mechanisms at the grassroots level. This year’s 45th Plenary Session acquires exceptional significance as it coincides with a period marked by economic instability and geopolitical flux. In this context, the Congress emerges as a unifying platform, fostering mutual understanding and collaborative problem-solving among diverse stakeholders.

The thematic focal point of the forthcoming session, “Local Democracy and Resilience in Challenging Times“, reflects the intricate tapestry of present-day challenges that transcend geographical boundaries. The chosen theme resonates profoundly as Europe grapples with multifaceted issues, such as climate change, shifting political landscapes, and the evolving nature of global interconnectedness. The capacity of local and regional authorities to navigate these complexities and cultivate resilience within communities remains paramount.

The Plenary Session agenda has been meticulously curated to ensure an intellectually stimulating and strategically insightful engagement. The program features a series of thought-provoking debates, each strategically aligned with the Congress’s overarching mission of empowering communities. Key topics on the agenda include:

  • Youth Engagement and Conflict Resolution
  • Safeguarding Democratic Principles
  • Advancing Urban Governance: Localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida will take the floor during the event and will contribute to the discourse on youth participation's contribution to conflict resolution and resilient societies

Notably, the 45th Plenary Session of the Congress will witness the esteemed presence of Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General. Her participation is a testament to the enduring partnership between ALDA and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. In recognition of this collaboration, Antonella Valmorbida has been invited to address the session on Wednesday, October 25th. Her insights will contribute to the discourse on youth participation’s contribution to conflict resolution and resilient societies.

Remarkably, the timing of the 45th Plenary Session aligns intriguingly with the 30-year anniversary of ALDA’s activities. This confluence of milestones adds a layer of significance to the event, amplifying the collective commitment to democratic excellence and effective governance.
Amid the gathering of distinguished attendees, the 45th Plenary Session symbolises the collective commitment to informed governance and robust problem-solving. The event serves as an acknowledgment of the intricate challenges ahead, while affirming the unwavering resolve of local and regional authorities to address these challenges.

Democracy, fundamental rights and gender: join public debates of the HEARD project!

On September 16, 2023, within the HEARD project’s framework, the Municipality of Vimercate (Italy), in collaboration with ALDA+, will host a public event that will spark stimulating discussions and foster a deeper understanding of crucial social issues. The project HEARD focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on democratic debates, enjoyment of fundamental rights and gender issues. The search for an adequate response to overcome the crisis that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic should be a result of the participation and involvement of different social actors, civil society representatives and states’ decision-making bodies. By actively involving partners from 9 different European countries in every phase of the project, the project HEARD aims to measure the impact of the pandemic in terms of respect of the rule of law, fullfilment of democratic values and enjoyment of fundamental human rights, with special attention to the implementation of citizens and residents’ social rights.

The event will be held at the Sala Falcone Borsellino in the Civic Library of Vimercate starting from 10.30 AM and it will include 3 public debate sessions on how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted different aspects of citizen’s life. Public debates will therefore consist on fruitful exchanges between experts, scholars, academics and committed citizens who will come together to explore the topics of democracy, fundamental rights, and gender equality.

The active participation of citizenship it’s crucial for the success of the event

Below you can find information on sessions’ schedule:

SESSION 1 – from 10.30 AM to 12.30 PM – How did COVID-19 impact the public debate?

SESSION 2 – from 14.00 PM to 15.35 PM – How did COVID-19 impact the enjoyment of fundamental rights?

SESSION 3 – from 15.45 PM to 17.00 PM – How did COVID-19 impact the women’s work-life balance?

The active participation of citizenship it’s crucial for the success of the event: everyone who might have something to say is invited to participate.

For more information on the event you can consult the Municipality of Vimercate’s Facebook page, where you will find general and specific agendas concerning the different sessions of the event.

If you are interested in participating, register at this link:

ALDA at the World Forum for Democracy 2023: identifying democratic responses to today’s challenges

We are delighted to announce that ALDA will join the 2023 edition of the World Forum for Democracy and its side events, which will take place in Strasbourg (France) from 6 to 8 November 2023, based on the theme of “Democracy=Peace?”.

ALDA’s proposal to introduce the Local Democracy Agencies as innovative instruments to bring peace through the promotion and support of democracy has been selected, from more than 400 initiatives, to be presented during the World Forum for Democracy 2023.

The initiative will be illustrated by two Local Democracy Agency delegates, namely Ms. Anzhelika Pylypenko, Governing Board member and representative of LDA Dnipro (Ukraine) and Ms. Dzenana Dedic, representative of LDA Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina), during the 3rd Forum Lab connected to “Social justice and equality” on Tuesday 7 November, 2023.

ALDA will present the Local Democracy Agencies as innovative instruments of peace and cohesion

Inaugurated in 2012, the WFD is a unique platform for global dialogue and democratic participation which brings new ideas into the work of the Council of Europe and promotes its principles across the world.

The Forum aims to foster a positive debate on the challenges facing democracy worldwide to find solutions through several initiatives and practices, contributing to sustainable peace. More than 2500 participants from over 100 countries will be engaged!

The event is open and free for anyone who wants to share ideas on how to make democracy stronger. Registration to attend the Forum in person is now open, and you can apply by clicking here!

Further information will be communicated soon on the website!

ALDA is committed to following up on the initiative, cooperating with its network and implementing its proposal to enhance democracy, and is looking forward to participating in the 2023 edition of the Forum.

Unveiling the Future of Transformative Innovations: The GINEVRA project begins!

In a captivating rendezvous of visionaries and innovators, the Kick-off meeting of the  GINEVRA project Governance of transformative innovation in Central European cities: the AV case, unfolded, casting a spotlight on the thrilling journey into the realm of transformative innovations. Held on 13 & 14 June, 2023, in Bialystok (Poland), this project meeting emerged as the cornerstone for understanding the GINEVRA approach and workplan. 

In the vibrant mosaic of the GINEVRA project, funded by the Interreg CE programme of the EU, each partner present in the event, brings a unique perspective and a shared commitment to transformative innovations. As the GINEVRA project unfolds, these partners stand as beacons of innovation, each with a unique story to tell and a vision of a brighter, more sustainable future. Together, they write the narrative of transformative innovations in Central Europe.

The two-day meeting started with a focus on Technical Work Package 1 (WP1)Responsible, Multi-level Governance of Transformative Innovation. WP1, led by HÁRFA, forms the bedrock for the project’s future endeavours. In the spirit of knowledge-sharing and collaboration, partners were encouraged to actively participate in shaping the project’s future. 

The meeting was then punctuated by three enlightening masterclasses, each shedding light on a crucial facet of the GINEVRA project. These masterclasses aimed at equipping partners with the knowledge needed to navigate the complex world of AVs and transformative innovations.

The GINEVRA partner meeting was more than just a gathering of organisations; it was the unveiling of a journey

The second day ushered in more knowledge and strategy. It began with the presentation of technical WP2 – Responsible, Multi-level Governance of Transformative Innovation: Toolkit and Capacity Building, delivered by EMFIE.

The second Work Package, scheduled to start in September, will focus on two pillars:

  • Stakeholders (A2.1): Co-creating tools for wide stakeholder engagement and capacity-building.
  • Citizens (A2.2): Co-creating tools for citizen participation and capacity-building.

As the day unfolded, partners discussed the way forward, underlining the importance of effective tools and strategies for stakeholders and citizen engagement. Among this, the development of an online AV Readiness Assessment Tool, designed to help cities evaluate their AV readiness, took centre stage.

The day culminated with the inaugural GINEVRA Steering Committee Meeting, a gathering of minds committed to steering the project toward its goals. This session shed light on the broader perspective, with discussions on project reporting and management. As the meeting drew to a close, plans for the next project meetings were unveiled, ensuring the journey ahead is paved with purposeful collaboration and shared vision. The GINEVRA partner meeting was more than just a gathering of organisations; it was the unveiling of a journey. A journey into a future where AV transforms our cities, a journey where responsible innovation guides our path, and a journey where stakeholders and citizens alike have a voice.

As the meeting concluded, it left a trail of excitement, anticipation, and a shared commitment to making transformative innovation safe and beneficial for all. The GINEVRA project is not just about autonomous vehicles; it’s about reshaping our urban landscapes for a brighter tomorrow. Stay tuned as the GINEVRA project continues to pave the way for responsible, multi-level innovation!

Check the official LinkedIn page of GINEVRA here

Making Grey Cities Greener: discover the GreenScape CE project!

We are delighted to announce the beginning of a new Interreg Central Europe project: GreenScape CE.

The project aims to integrate nature-based solutions in the grey infrastructure of cities in order to alleviate the negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change. 

The initiative involves 12 partners from 6 countries. Led by the North-West Croatia Regional Energy and Climate Agency (Croatia), the consortium is composed of ALDA+ (Italy), Ambiente Italia (Italy), the City of Zagreb (Croatia), Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia), Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj (Slovenia), the City of Warsaw (Poland), Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute and Applied Communication (Hungary), Andrija Štampar Teaching Institute of Public Health (Croatia), Etifor (Italy), the Municipality of Szeged (Hungary) and GRÜNSTATTGRAU Research-and Innovations GmbH (Austria). 

The partnership promotes learning about urban renaturation policies and multi-level governance structures that will enable better collaboration between decision-makers and local communities.

The project aims to integrate nature-based solutions in the grey infrastructure of cities, in order to alleviate the negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change 

The Kick-off meeting of the project, which took place on 13 & 14 April 2023 at the Agriculture’s Faculty of Zagreb University (Croatia), was aimed at presenting the main objectives and activities of GreenScape CE emphasising the several Nature-Based Solutions and Grey Infrastructure pilot action plans

The target action focuses on grey infrastructure in five urban areas in Central Europe, which are significantly affected by the worsening urban heat island effect: Milan (Italy), Ptuj (Slovenia), Szegedin (Hungary), Warsaw (Poland) and Zagreb (Croatia).

Therefore, a transnational collaboration is essential for the exchange of knowledge and ideas that will lead to the integration of climate resilience solutions in urban areas.

ALDA+ looks forward to cooperating with all the partners and supporting the development of green initiatives to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change. We cannot wait to make grey cities greener! 

Further information will be communicated soon on the website.


Check out the social media accounts of the GreenScape project! 




ALDA meets the talents of USE-IPM: together to build sustainable entrepreneurship

The first round of secondments of the USE IPM project – Up-skilling researchers for sustainable entrepreneurship based on innovation process management, has officially started! For the next two weeks ALDA will have the pleasure to host fifteen academic talents in Strasbourg (France) and make them part of the mission and vision of the Association and the daily work of ALDA in support of local democracy, citizen participation, and good governance. 

The first phase of this secondment is for participants to learn about the history of ALDA, its mission and the areas of action of each department and office. Subsequently, the talents will be matched with ALDA staff members in thematic workshops, during which they will be provided with mentoring support to increase their cross-sectoral circulation for the benefit of country enlargement, the goal of the USE IPM project.

 ALDA meets the talents of USE-IPM, a project aimed at enhancing the capacities of academic institutions for research and innovation towards sustainable entrepreneurship

On August 23, 2023, ALDA Secretary General, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, met the USE-IPM talents at the European Youth Center in Strasbourg (France) to present them the history, the daily work and the long-term objectives of the Association. 

The meeting was also a great opportunity to present the latest ALDA achievements, to exchange good practices of academics and civil society organisations in the field of youth participation and citizen engagement, and to explore fruitful future collaborations between ALDA and USE IPM talent institutions.

As part of the USE IPM project, this was the first step to emphasise the importance and strength of a major collaboration with the aim of enhancing the capacities of academic institutions for research and innovation towards sustainable entrepreneurship.

Local democracy in response to global challenges - an alliance between local authorities and civil society at the heart of the Europe of rights: Strasbourg

On August 23, 2023, ALDA Secretary General, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida met with Ms. Irène Weiss, Regional councillor in charge of cyber security for the Grand Est Region, and with Mr. Philippe Lacoste, diplomatic councillor to the Bas-Rhin Prefecture. During this meeting at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, ALDA officially presented and announced the activities of the project “Local democracy responding to global challenges – an alliance between local authorities and civil society at the heart of a Europe of rights: Strasbourg”, as part of the three-year contract “Strasbourg, European Capital 2021-2023”.

The project is financed by five institutions: the Bas-Rhin Prefecture, the Grand Est Region, the European Community of Alsace, the City of Strasbourg and the Strasbourg Eurometropole. Institutions whose daily work is aimed at strengthening democracy, stimulating citizen participation in the social and political life of the city and promoting good governance.

The idea behind the project stems from ALDA's mission to promote good governance at the local level through capacity building of key actors

The idea behind the project stems from ALDA’s mission to promote good governance at the local level through capacity building of key actors such as local authorities and civil society organisations (CSOs), supporting dialogue between these actors and promoting active citizenship. Based in Strasbourg, within the Council of Europe. and created 22 years ago under the auspices of the Congress of Regional and Local Authorities of the CoE, ALDA is willing to make the most of the city’s role as European Capital of Democracy and to capitalise on existing innovative practices and policies in the area.

The partnership among ALDA and the institutions will be focused on helping to strengthen European principles and values such as democracy and active citizenship at local level; and contributing to strengthening Strasbourg’s role as a true European capital of democracy and as an open forum for democratic debate on the major challenges in Europe and the world.

Thanks to the support of regional and local authorities, ALDA is honoured to manage this project and carry out its initiatives until December 2023, drawing attention to the city of Strasbourg as a European and international centre for the promotion of democracy in the world.

WYDE Civic Engagement call for proposals

Are you a Civil Society Organisation working for and with youth? Are you interested in youth civic engagement and participation?  We are looking for you! Participate in our call for proposals with your project idea!

What is the main objective of the call of proposal?

The WYDE Civic Engagement project foresees the implementation of 5 different projects called “Clusters”. Through the re-granting scheme, the cluster number 1 named “Generate Democracy: involving youth CSOs in democracy support” is dedicated to providing youth CSOs with the chance to put into practice the lessons learnt in the other clusters and undertake responsibilities over concrete actions promoting civic engagement and democracy.

The overall objective of the WYDE Civic Engagement project is to fund and implement national and transnational projects in support of youth civic engagement and participation in the decision-making processes across the Sub-Saharan Countries.

What are the specific objectives of the call?

  • Empower organisations working in the field of youth to play a relevant role in supporting the democratic participation of youth;
  • Support peer to peer learning among youth organisations;
  • Reinforce an international network of youth organisations and youth leaders;
  • Improve the cooperation between the youth civil society and public policy makers, at local, national, and international level;
  • Advocate for the establishment or improvement of representative youth structures (such as youth councils or youth parliaments).

The second phase of the WYDE Civic Engagement call for proposals will remain open until 15 April 2024

What actions can be implemented?

This call for proposals will finance actions that respect the five working principles of the Human Rights Based Approach methodology:

    1. Applying all human rights for all
    2. Meaningful and inclusive participation and access to decision-making
    3. Non-discrimination and equality; accountability and rule of law for all
    4. Transparency
    5. Access to information supported by disaggregated data.

Where can the project be implemented?

Selected entities should be implementing National/ transnational projects in support of youth civic engagement and participation in the decision-making processes across the Global South countries with a special focus on Sub-Saharan African Countries.

How to apply?

Read the full call for proposals of Women and Youth in Democracy initiativE Civic Engagement (WYDE Civic Engagement) to have more information about the call and how to apply! The call has been launched on April 3, 2023, and the second phase of the call will remain open until April 15, 2024.

Any questions? Join the Info Days of the Second Round of the WYDE Civic Engagement call for proposals!
  • 18 October at 12am CET time in English. 

           Registration link and meeting here.

  • 18 October at 2pm CET Time in French: 

           Registration link and meeting here.


🇫🇷 Read the call in French

🇫🇷 Annex A – Formulaire in French

🇫🇷 Evaluation Grid in French


🇬🇧 Read the call in English

🇬🇧 Annex A – Form in English

🇬🇧 Evaluation Grid in English


IMPORTANT: In order to apply, send the application with the following subject (modified by you accordingly) “WYDE CE_Phase 2_Lot Number_Country_NGO name_Project name” exclusively to

The WYDE Civic Engagement project is funded by the European Union.

ALDA Governing Board welcomes new Members: local actors as drivers of change in Ukraine

The latest ALDA Governing Board meeting took place on August 21, 2023 and it has been a fruitful opportunity to further enhance ALDA’s presence and support to democracy and communities in the region.

As the ongoing war against Ukraine is still damaging fundamental structures of Ukrainian society and governance, ALDA believes that it is important to focus on the action of local governments and local civil society organisations since they are active on the ground to ensure that basic services are still provided to people. 

Indeed, ALDA Governing Board met for an online session that introduced some great news regarding ALDA’s cooperation with local actors in Ukraine, as yesterday 5 new Ukrainian Members have joined ALDA.

Thus, the Governing Board gathered specifically to discuss and give feedback about the application of several potential new members: 

Local ukrainian actors as drivers of good local governance, stabilisation and cohesion

According to the new procedure, the new members presented themselves, their teams and their organisations activities to strengthen the knowledge of the Governing Board members about their everyday commitment to local democracy. One after another, potential members took the floor and presented their local reality, strategies and challenges to improve local democracy and citizens’ participation, including examples of present and past good practices they implemented in these fields. 

As a conclusion to this Governing Board session, all members have been welcomed as new members of ALDA

ALDA looks forward to working together and believes that these entities, as new ALDA members, can even more assert themselves as instruments of stabilisation and cohesion in a community that is torn by the conflict. The community needs help and long and medium term support along the path towards unity.

Thus, we give a warm welcome to all news Members of our network and cannot wait to begin to work side by side in order to keep enhancing local democracy around Europe and its Neighbourhood! 


To learn more about the ALDA membership and its benefits, check out the Membership Infopack (LINK) and/or contact us to 

Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief: ALDA's work against violence and discrimination

At the intersection of the freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association, the freedom of religion or belief stands as one of the fundamental tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, even when such freedoms are part of the declared principles of some democracies, several groups and individuals keep being actively and/or structurally discriminated or targeted because of their religion or beliefs. Since 2019, the United Nations instituted an International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief on the 22nd of August to tackle this issue. ALDA also tackles discrimination against religion or belief – and any other form of discrimination that may lead to hate crimes – through the STAND UP project.

Aside from the long history of religious discrimination in several countries (for example, the antisemitic component of Nazism during World War II), this International Day tries to respond to an alarming surge of discrimination and violence against certain religious groups in more recent times. For example, although they are not the only victims, there have been increasing instances of islamophobia in the USA and many European countries – what the Secretary-General of the UN has defined as an epidemic of hatred – especially after major terrorist attacks. Indeed, anti-terrorism rhetoric can often be linked with hate and violence against certain religions. The institution of this International Day exactly one day after the pre-existing UN’s International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism (21st of August) certainly attempts to prevent this risk.

Inclusiveness and non-discrimination represent key values of ALDA’s work and mission

In addition, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) denounces how Islamophobia is often another form of racism rather than a criticism towards a religion per se. All those practising a religion are assumed to have certain opinions or behaviours that are seen as negative or threatening; and those linked to a social group or ethnicity are assumed to be practising that religion and to hold specific negative values. Thus, victims of islamophobia often simply belong to a certain ethnicity but are not even Muslims.

Instances of racism, xenophobia, religious discriminations and other forms of marginalisation clearly intersect in the phenomenon of the acts of violence based on religion or belief, be it Islam or other religions. In order to tackle the issue, an intersectional approach that takes into account different aspects of identity and combining discriminating factors is needed. ALDA is particularly active in employing such an approach against overt violence via STAND UP, a project that aims at improving the reporting and prevention of hate crimes through localised and flexible analyses of hate speech. ALDA is also implementing an anti-discriminatory policy with the purpose of becoming more inclusive and to avoid marginalisation because of religion, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, (dis)ability and other factors.



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