On 29 January, ALDA held a meeting at the Committee of the Regions together with the Region of Lower Silesia (PL) and the Region of Dnipropetrovsk (UA) to discuss the opening of a Local Democracy Agency (LDA) in Ukraine. An LDA in Ukraine would operate as a locally registered NGO and would function as a coordinating and stimulating agency for the local society with the support of civil society and local authorities from Europe.
The meeting opened with presentations from all three sides. Lower Silesia is one of the richest regions of Poland and has a twinning arrangement with among others the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in Ukraine. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is also one of the most developed, industrialised regions in Ukraine and is very interested in establishing an LDA in their region as this would fit to other initiatives they have taken to promote the development of local government and citizen participation in the region.
ALDA presented best practice examples of other Local Democracy Agencies and details of how an LDA operates. The Dnipropetrovsk region was identified as a good place to set up an LDA in order to boost the development of local communities, local democracy and citizen participation in the region.
All partners showed a very strong interest in the project and agreed to work further on it in order to aim at opening an LDA in Dnipropetrovsk before the end of 2013. Lower Silesia offered to be the lead partner of the LDA. Furthermore, the NGO Eastern Europe Foundation was identified as a good local partner.
A working group with ALDA, Lower Silesia and Dnipropetrovsk was set up to move on with the project and as a first step the group will be to actively search for more partners to ensure further support. The following meeting is expected to take place in April in Dnipropetrovsk.