In a world where the very concept of democracy faces challenges, the 12th Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) Annual Meeting shed light on a crucial and timely topic. Held on September 7 & 8, 2023, in the charming city of Batumi, Georgia, this highly anticipated event delved into the intricate and essential dialogue between local authorities and citizens within the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries.
Within the rich landscape of democratic principles, local democracy serves as a cornerstone, ensuring the broader democratic fabric remains resilient and vibrant. As global discourse sometimes casts doubts on the effectiveness of different governance models, it becomes ever more evident that the core strength of democracy lies in the active participation of its citizens.
The CORLEAP Annual Meeting underscored the imperative for a better democracy achieved through active engagement. The event was aimed at strengthening the involvement of local and regional authorities in promoting decentralisation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), promoting local democracy and exploring new ways of cooperation between the local and regional authorities in the EU Member States and those in the EaP countries, with the support of partner organisations.
The meeting was aimed at strengthening the involvement of local and regional authorities in promoting decentralisation in the countries of the EaP
Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, took part in the event within the session “Local authorities’ dialogue with citizens in EaP countries” and shared her insights and expertise, casting a spotlight on the theme of local democracy and citizen engagement in the EaP. Mrs. Valmorbida brought to the forefront the practical experiences and success stories from ALDA’s extensive work in strengthening local democracy across Europe and beyond, and she presented the good practices of members and partners of the Association in the EaP concerning citizen participation and democracy promotion.
The strategic collaboration between ALDA and CORLEAP exemplified the power of unity and shared objectives. Having the same priorities and being based on the same core values, these entities significantly contributed to enhance political work and developmental progress within the EaP region.
The 12th CORLEAP Annual Meeting provided an invaluable avenue for renewed dedication to the principles of local democracy and citizen engagement. The event contributed to foster collaboration among organisations, share experiences, and envision a future where the power of local democracy and citizen participation becomes a transformative force in shaping societies.
The meeting was an exceptional platform for participants to explore and solidify the role of local democracy in the broader democratic fabric. It reinforced the idea that active citizen engagement is not merely a call to action; it is a catalyst for lasting, positive change.