The Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award, an annual tribute to outstanding contributions in local and regional governance, has reached its pinnacle as the nominations for the 2023 edition closed on December 4, 2023. With a total of 14 nominations, including one from the European Parliament and six from the Committee of the Regions, the announcement of the laureate is NOW PUBLIC! The nominations showcased a diverse array of candidates, with representation from various cities, regional councils, and partner associations such as Eurocities and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions. The Evaluation Committee comprised partner associations including UCLG, ICORN, CALRE, CEMR, AER, Eurocities, CRPM, ALDA, the City of Gdansk, and the Committee of the Regions. Together, they meticulously reviewed the nominations, resulting in a shortlist of five commendable candidates, among which the ADL Zavidovići Association outstanded.
ADL Zavidovići Association wins the Adamowicz Award 2023!
The “Ambasciata della democrazia locale a Zavidovici” Association, founded in 1996, originated from the voluntary efforts of a pacifist group during the Bosnian War. It has since evolved into a collaborative platform involving various stakeholders. After joining the Council of Europe’s Local Democracy Agencies programme, it expanded its reach to Brescia, Alba, and Cremona. The Association, now a Social Enterprise, operates in Italy and Southeast Europe, primarily Zavidovići, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its activities encompass social and cultural integration, decentralised cooperation, twinning initiatives, sports exchanges, youth programs, training, awareness campaigns, and research on Bosnian social realities and migration phenomena. The Association’s diverse efforts highlight its dedication to fostering democracy, integration, and collaboration on both local and international levels.
The Jury, a distinguished panel of elected representatives from the European Committee of the Regions, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the City of Gdańsk, and the town of Michałowo (the previous laureate), played a pivotal role in shaping the beneficiary of the Award, together with the Acting Chair of ICORN which contributed with valuable insights: their collective efforts culminated in the selection of the laureate for the 2023 edition, the ADL Zavidovići Association.
The eagerly awaited proclamation of the Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award 2023 took place at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk (Poland) on January 13, 2024, from 16:00 to 17:00.
The prestigious award was received by Maddalena Alberti, director of ADL Zavidovići Association at the presence of Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, who attended the event. This significant event not only marked the recognition of exemplary leadership in local and regional governance but also served as a poignant commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the tragic assassination of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz.
During the receipt of the Award, Maddalena Alberti, with an emotional speech, expressed deep gratitude for receiving the Mayor Pawel Adamowicz Award on behalf of the Association ADL Zavidovici. She emphasised the honour and responsibility that comes with the award, highlighting the duty to continue Adamowicz’s legacy of promoting human rights and democracy. She stressed the importance of translating values such as equality, freedom, respect, tolerance, and solidarity into concrete actions and policies. In a time of poly-crisis with global conflicts and increasing distrust towards democracies, she called for courage and referenced historical moments like Gdansk in the ’80s, emphasising the need to find courage even in seemingly hopeless situations. Alberti stressed the need for an open Europe rooted in human rights and democracy, cautioning against history repeating itself tragically. She called for perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges, emphasising that structural changes require constant, long-term commitment. Alberti concluded by urging everyone to turn the impossible into the possible and thanked the audience.
ALDA is, also this year, honoured to be part of this manifestation. Paweł Adamowicz was the Mayor of the City of Gdańsk and a dear friend of ALDA, who was tragically murdered in January 2019, pays tribute to his dedication to democracy and community service. Paweł Adamowicz, known for engaging with marginalised voices, offering solidarity, and advocating for diversity, left a lasting legacy in local governance. The Award symbolises hope for elected representatives and citizens committed to fostering democracy and open communities at the local level. This prestigious prize not only recognises exemplary leadership but also serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz, inspiring future generations to contribute positively to local and regional governance.
In extending our heartfelt congratulations to the ADL Zavidovići Association for receiving the prestigious Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award 2023, ALDA takes immense pride in the remarkable achievements of our member. The dedication and excellence demonstrated by the Association align perfectly with the values championed by Mayor Paweł Adamowicz, and we commend them for their unwavering commitment to fostering democracy, integration, and collaboration at both local and international levels. Maddalena Alberti’s impassioned acceptance speech resonated deeply with the audience, encapsulating the honour and responsibility that accompanies this esteemed award. As ALDA, we stand united with ADL Zavidovići in our shared mission to create open and inclusive communities. This recognition not only marks exemplary leadership in local and regional governance but also serves as a poignant reminder of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz’s enduring legacy. Congratulations once again to ADL Zavidovići for this well-deserved accolade.