WHAT IS ALDA
ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy, is a French-registered association dedicated to the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level in the European Union, its Neighbourhood and beyond.
ALDA is a key stakeholder in the field of local democracy, active citizenship, and cooperation between local authorities and civil society in Europe, its Neighbourhood, and all around the World, mainly acting through participative methods and decentralised cooperation.
ALDA was established in 1999 at the initiative of the Council of Europe to coordinate and support the network of the Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs), which are self- sustainable, locally registered NGOs acting as promoters of good governance and local self-government, with which ALDA collaborates in many activities.
ALDA is a membership-based organisation gathering over 300 members, including local authorities, associations of local authorities, and civil society organisations, coming from more than 54 countries in the enlarged Europe.
ALDA is funded through membership fees, as well as project funding from the European Commission, the Council of Europe and other public and private donors.
As a core element, ALDA supports citizens and groups of citizens in their initiatives aimed at improving their local context, building bridges with local authorities to make the change real.
LDAs, an expiring mission
After 5 years of grassroots actions, the LDAs were supposed to have achieved their mission and had to be closed.
ALDA & LDAs: partners in projects
ALDA mission’s changed, together with its acronym. Despite their intrinsic tie, ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy – has broaden its purpose. ALDA & LDAs are established and independent realities collaborating with each-other in many projects and activities.
The Council of Europe founded the Local Democracy Agencies in the Balkans to support the civil society recovery in the aftermath of the conflict.
ALDA: the need for more
At the initiative of the Council of Europe, ALDA Association of Local Democracy Agencies was established to coordinate and support the LDAs network, as an “umbrella organisation”.
A consolidated association with a growing scope:
going global, at a local level
Today, ALDA is a global alliance of associations, civil society organisations and local governments supporting local democracy and citizens engagement in Europe, the Neighbourhood and beyond.
ALDA works with members and partners to develop projects supporting its mission, being the promotion of good governance and citizens participation at the local level, and to reach the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030.
ALDA is a wide, consolidated network, made of 300 members from 54 countries, 16 Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) and 2 Operational Partners (OPs).
The Association is led by a Governing Board elected every four years, composed of its members’ representatives and engaged in fulfiling the mission, while daily operations are ensured by a staff made of 50 people working from 6 offices over Europe, from Strasbourg (FR), Brussels (BE), Vicenza (IT), to Skopje (MK), Chisinau (MD) and Tunis (TN).
In 2017, ALDA launched ALDA+, the Benefit Corporation owned by ALDA and dedicated to the provision of trainings, ad hoc consultancies and specialised services in all ALDA’s areas of competence. Indeed, ALDA+ represents the capitalisation of the experience of ALDA in the fields of local democracy, participatory processes and project-cycle management.
Following its vocation as a local organisation, in 2023 ALDA officially registered its local branches in Italy and in Moldova: ALDA Italia Aps (ALDA Italy Association of Social Promotion) and ALDA Moldova, establishing deeper links and having a stronger impact within the community ALDA and its offices are based in.
This continuous process of development and differentiation, is bringing ALDA to a whole new level, where ALDA’s offices, ALDA+, ALDA Italy, the network of the LDAs and the Balkan Network for Local Democracy (BNLD), have thus become autonomous yet interdependent realities, working together for the same mission, as a Group: the ALDA Community.
WHAT WE DO
Good governance and civic engagement put into practice to support citizens and strengthen local communities all over the globe
To promote good governance and citizen articipation at the local level in the whole Europe and beyond, ALDA leads a wide range of actions supporting local, national and international stakeholders in achieving their goals in the fields of European integration, decentralisation, human rights, social inclusion, migration, sustainable development, civic initiatives and much more.
ALDA is a key actor in policy-making and advocacy towards European and international stakeholders. Through projects, publications and recommendations implementing its mission and political vision, it brings an added value to the cause of local governance and citizens engagement, supporting the empowerment of local communities all over the world.
ALDA leads its activities through different forms of actions and channels:
in the field of good governance and citizen participation at the local level in Europe and beyond, with its members, partners and the Local Democracy Agencies
Coordinating and supporting the 16 Local Democracy Agencies
and 2 Operational Partners
Managing and supporting its wide network of members
made of around 300 stakeholders including local authorities, associations of local authorities, provinces, counties, civil society organisations, and academic institution
Collaborating with European and worldwide networks
on campaigns, statements and joint initiatives to let citizens be heard and contribute to the decision-making process of their communities.
Cooperating as official partners of the Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Moreover, it is a long-term partner of the Europe for Citizens Programme and Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme and other key policies and programmes of the European Commission.
Supporting local stakeholders’ initiatives by providing ALDA’s unique expertise gained during its over 20 years of activity in the European Union and its Neighbourhood through
the establishment of partnerships and the identification of relevant stakeholders to cooperate with, scouting funding opportunities to implement project ideas, and assuring dissemination and visibility of their initiatives
Leading advocacy and lobbying activities
raising the voice of its members and partners to orient local, national and European policies in our field of activities to make a stronger and more cohesive Europe, based on the principles of equality, democracy and human rights.
ALDA has capitalised its experience in the flagship initiative, the “European Support to Local
Democracy”, which is today disseminated all over the World.
ALDA is mainly active in the territories of the European Union, in the Balkans, in the Eastern Partnership and in the Mediterranean area, where ALDA has developed more than 500 projects and reached 25 million citizens.
Thanks to its Strategic Views 2021-2024 ALDA is now going global and implementing its programme all over the globe.
Read our Statute.
ALDA’s 20 years of activity
During its 20 years of activities ALDA has developed more than 500 projects and reached almost 25 million citizens. Today, ALDA is a wide, consolidated network, counting over 300 members from 54 countries, 16 Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) and 2 Operational Partners (OPs).