ALDA welcomes the Ukrainian Delegation of City and Village Mayors, Civil Society Experts and Businesses at its premises in Brussels

ALDA welcomes the Ukrainian Delegation of City and Village Mayors, Civil Society Experts and Businesses at its premises in Brussels

Apr 11, 2024

Citizens engagement Good governance

On the 8th of April 2024, ALDA hosted a delegation of Ukrainian City and Village Mayors, Civil Society Experts and Businesses at its premises in Brussels, as a part of the study visit organised by ANTS, a member of ALDA. 

During the gettogether, ALDA’s Coordinator of the Secretariat, Mr. Adrien Licha, presented ALDA’s origin as a catalyst for participatory democracy in the Balkans through Local Democracy Agencies. Then – following a depiction of ALDA’s vision and its emphasis on multi stakeholder cooperation – its partnership with Ukraine was introduced. Starting with ALDA’s efforts in knowledge sharing on participatory democracy before 2014, through the formal opening of the first LDA in Ukraine in the aftermath of the invasion of Crimea, until today’s multiple engagements in the country, through the Flagship Initiative on Ukraine. 

Partnerships with programs like U-LEAD with Europe have enabled ALDA to advance its mission in Ukraine, focusing on community development and resilience. 

ALDA’s Flagship Initiative emphasises the importance of LDAs in fostering peace and social cohesion.

Today, ALDA perpetuates its stand for the future of Ukraine putting civic engagement, participatory democracy and civil society at the heart of its initiatives in the country

Despite the ongoing Russian aggression, ALDA remains committed to supporting Ukraine’s recovery through multilateral cooperation, in line with the Lugano Declaration. By engaging local authorities and civil society, ALDA strives to contribute to Ukraine’s peaceful and democratic future. As of now ALDA coordinates three LDAs in Ukraine, while the opening of additional ones is either planned or being discussed. Over the past two years, ALDA’s initiatives in Ukraine have been vital in promoting peace, resilience, and reconstruction. Through collaboration and innovation, ALDA stands with Ukraine in its journey towards a brighter future. 

In this purpose, LDAs in Ukraine carry out several projects, including psychological rehabilitation for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Dnipro – along with shelters providing food on a daily basis, Project “I Mariupol” offering support centres to provide basic needs to IDPs and capacity-building training on EU programs and Project development,

This is all possible thanks to a cooperative process of engagement with ALDA’s network, building a bridge with the local community and finalised with the Memorandum of Understanding putting the LDA in place. Going further, ALDA’s support and monitoring of the LDA’s activities is constant, to ensure the carrying out of activities in an efficient and sustainable manner.

The discussion testifies to the mutual admiration and interest both parts showed and it laid down and touched upon many compelling issues. Empowerment of youth and bottom-up democratic processes kicked off the talks, which later moved to the topics of sustainability, green environmental recovery and reconstruction, management of the immeasurable quantity of waste generated by the Russian invasion and the delicate issue of demining agricultural territories and tackling the damages already inflicted.
The discussion has been enriching and all of the topics touched raised new challenges for the implementation of a bottom-up and participative decision-making process, requiring further coordination and better synergy: two aspects that ALDA will definitely prioritise for the time being, working alongside its Ukrainian colleagues.