ALDA at the 2nd Annual Team Europe Democracy Meeting

ALDA at the 2nd Annual Team Europe Democracy Meeting

Jun 25, 2024

EU values and Enlargement

On 13-14 June, ALDA (European Association for Local Democracy) took part in the 2nd Annual event of the Team Europe Democracy (TED) initiative. This significant gathering, held at The Faculty in Brussels, brought together key stakeholders dedicated to promoting democracy and human rights on a global scale.

The Team Europe Democracy (TED) initiative, launched in December 2021, is a global thematic Team Europe Initiative (TEI) that aims to enhance democracy and human rights worldwide. This initiative involves 14 EU Member States, including Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden. The primary objective of TED is to create a coordinated strategic European response in support of democracy, effectively steered worldwide by the TED Secretariat, comprised of GIZ and Enabel staff. The TED initiative seeks to enhance evidence-based support for democracy globally, and to establish and strengthen networks among EU institutions, EU Member States, think tanks, academia, civil society organisations, and other like-minded entities in the fields of democracy support, human rights, and related areas. Additionally, TED focuses on producing and sharing best practices, lessons learned, approaches, and tools on democracy support.

The annual meeting of TED provided an invaluable opportunity for ALDA to collaborate with other European and international stakeholders committed to advancing democracy and human rights worldwide

The first day of the event commenced with a networking lunch, followed by a high-level opening ceremony with virtual and in-person addresses from key figures such as Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, and Caroline Gennez, representing the Belgium Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event continued with plenary sessions focusing on fostering civic space, advancing rule of law, and a fireside chat with notable speakers including Hans Joppen, Ursula Werther-Pietsch, Heidy Rombouts, and ALDA’s own Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida

ALDA was represented at the event by Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida and Communication Officer Manal Snidi

During the Members Fair, Manal Snidi provided an overview of ALDA’s mission and primary initiatives. She highlighted our work with the WYDE CE project, showcasing the outcomes of our recent activities and detailing the forthcoming call for proposals. Additionally, she presented our Flagship project on the Territorial Approach for Local Development (TALD), emphasising its significance and impact, notably in fragile context. 

The second day opened with a recap of the first day’s discussions and a session on TED Partner Country Engagement. This was followed by a thematic deep dive on elections, with panellists such as Ken Godfrey and Domenico Tuccinardi sharing their insights. The day featured intensive working group sessions, where ALDA contributed to discussions on political and civic participation, demonstrating our commitment to advancing democratic principles.

Participants were then divided into 3 groups, ALDA’s team took part in a working group on Democracy and Participation in which it has been contributing since the beginning of the TED. For the last 2 years, ALDA’s involvement has focused on sharing our extensive experience in subgranting management and promoting the (TALD). As a first cycle of activities arrived to its term, ALDA’s team had the opportunity to exchange with colleagues DG INTPA, Member States, Development Agencies and associations of local and regional development on how to better address democracy and participation at the local level. 

The event concluded with plenary sessions presenting the results of the working group discussions and closing remarks from the EU Commission, DG INTPA, and the TED Secretariat. ALDA looks forward to continuing our active participation in this initiative and contributing to the global effort to support democratic governance.