BNLD General Assembly 2022: Welcome to the new President, Sladjan Ilic!

The Annual General Meeting of the شبكة الديموقراطية في البلقان.(BNLD) took place on the 22nd of June 2022 in Novi Sad, Serbia. On the agenda were the election of the President, as well as the strategic accountability principles of the Network. The Delegate of Local Democracy Agency Zavidivoci, BiH, Sladjan Ilic, previously having sat in the Governing Board, was elected as the new President of BNLD.

Sladjan Ilic, previously member of the the Governing Board, is elected as the new President of BNLD

A different discussion highlighted that after the long period of COVID – 19 outbreaks, there was a generation shift in the organization and in civil society. Changes are constant and fast, on the personal, social, and organizational levels. The members agreed that a good quality and solid base for a functional registered organisation was laid out, and that the Network is ready for bigger projects.

In addition, it was pointed out that the creation of digital tools and development of the Network presence is a strong point and that the Network needs to continue working in that direction so as to lead to more sustainable projects.

BNLD, since its creation in 2019, has been actively promoting regional cooperation, local democracy, and peace and reconciliation in the Western Balkan countries.


Balkan network for local democracy on the road: Seminar in Novi Sad


The Balkan network for local democracy (BNLD) reunites for the first time in 2022 for the Regional Capacity building and Networking seminar, which took place in Novi Sad, Serbia, from the 20، to the 22و of June 2022.

The event organized in the framework of the project “Strengthening the regional cooperation to promote civic space in the Western Balkan countries” gathered around 25 participants, trainers, guest speakers, representing BNLD members and regional CSO networks.

Capacity-building sessions, a regional activity planning, field visits and exchange with OPENS, and Novi Sad capital of culture organizations

The programme saw capacity-building sessions, a regional activity planning, field visits and exchange with OPENS, and Novi Sad capital of culture organizations.

This activity is organized in the framework of the project “Strengthening the regional cooperation to promote civic space in the Western Balkan countries” financed within the Project Protecting Civic Space –Regional Civil Society Development Hub” financed by SIDA and implemented by BCSDN

Joined forces to support the work of LDAs in Ukraine. What’s next?

On 22 June 2022, ALDA together with Local Democracy Agencies gathered for the Conference “Supporting the Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine" in Brussels, at Residence Palace.

At the core of the conference was an update on the situation on the ground in Ukraine, and the implementation of ALDA’s activities to support Ukrainian civilians and people in need.

The conference consisted of two panels. The first panel started with Bruno Julian Hamm – Pütt, Konrad Adenauer foundation Kyiv opening speech, stressing how important is “to support the European path, to show the economic future while supporting the Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine”.

Similarly, Antonella Valmorbida, the Secretary-General of ALDA, presented the testimonies from Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine, specifically in Mariupol and Dnipro. She also explained the methods undertaken by them in terms of the promotion of democracy as well as people’s engagement.

The Association will continue its work together with Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine on activities to further promote local democracy

In addition, considering the historical and statutory bond among the Association and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Council of Europe (the Congress), the Svetislav Paunovic joined on behalf of the Congress, emphasizing in his speech that support of local governance in Ukraine and the cooperative relations between local and international governments are crucial in the reconstruction of democracy. Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdansk, President of CoR Working Group on Ukraine, was on the like mind, stressing the continuous support for the work and activities of the Agencies.

Moreover, before entering the second part of the conference, Tetiana Lomakina, Adviser-representative of the President of Ukraine on the barrier society issues and delegate of the Local Democracy Agency in Mariupol stressed: “there are three key points on which Ukraine is focusing now: the return of Ukrainian citizens back home; the preparation for the winter in order to ensure that people have a place to live; and work on the reconstruction work on damaged buildings”.

Moving on to the second session, both Local Democracy Agencies in Mariupol and Dnipro presented their work and new projects. Specifically, Anzhelika Pylypenko, the Delegate from Local Democracy Agency Dnipro, presented the “Phoenix” project. She explained that the aim of the project is to reactivate the work of the Dnipro office; consult internally displaced persons, including soldiers and families, and train civilians on how to save their lives in the time of active hostilities.

Further testimonies were shared by Olha Oliinyk, head of NGO “Ideas for People” and deputy head of the Secretariat of VOAOMS, while Inna Volkova, Councillor of Odesa Rayon Council explained the administrative system in Ukraine while sharing pilot projects on modular housing in Ukraine. Both speakers emphasised the will for future initiatives, cooperation and potential opening of the Local Democracy Agencies in Odesa and Vinnytsia.

Last but not least, LDA Mostar DelegateDzenana Dedic shared her experience and work of the Agency right after the Balkan war that she, together with other thousands of civilians, had to face. “Stay human!” she said, while remembering those terrible days.

Overall, ALDA has already proved its continuous commitment to helping and supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens. The Association will continue its work together with Ukrainian Local Democracy Agencies on activities to promote local democracy further.

EPD Conference 2022: together to strengthen democracy and good governance

On June 21-22, 2022, ALDA participated in the European Partnership for Democracy Conference 2022 in Brussels. 

The European Partnership for Democracy is an active network, of which ALDA is part, that gathers together regularly in order to discuss democracy و good governance

This year’s conference offered a chance to explore the future of European and global democracy during these unprecedented times. 

Nowadays, considering, on the one hand, both the Russian invasion of Ukraine; and the continued democratic backsliding around the world; or, on the other hand, the concerns risen on the issue of  rule of law within the EU, as well as the finalisation of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), it is fundamental for European states to strengthen their coordination and cooperation in defence of democratic principles.

The European Partnership for Democracy is an active network, of which ALDA is part, that gathers together regularly in order to discuss democracy and good governance

From a general perspective, The EPD conference was divided into three panels and into six breakout rooms, each of which tackling the war in Ukraine and the state of democracy worldwide. ملتزمين جدًا بالتحدث عن, Secretary General of ALDA and President of the EPD Board, intervened during the second panel  “State of Democracy in Europe and looking ahead to the 2024 elections”, where she discussed with other speakers the state of democracy in the run-up to the 2024 European Parliament elections. 

While الكسندرو كويكا, EaP, Russia and Central Asia coordinator, participated in the breakout session “Democracy support in repressive environments”. 

During the second day of the conference, the partners of the EPD network split up in different working groups in order to exchange ideas, thoughts and engage in constructive dialogues on common challenges, finalising the session with an interesting workshop on data visualization. 

Overall, by joining the EPD Conference 2022, ALDA wanted to highlight the importance of cooperating and creating synergies to support Ukraine and strengthen democracy in Europe and beyond. 


EPIC call for Proposal - Pilot projects

The EPIC project – European Platform of Integrating Cities is a three-year project funded European Union – AMIF programme – which aims to improve the integration of migrants at the local level by creating a European network of local authorities and civil society organisations that:

A) will share knowledge and practices of inclusion of citizens from third countries,
B) engage in peer-to-peer exchanges on the basis of common priorities and different competences,
C) will develop efficient integration services within the local territories and
D) will improve capacities to counter negative narratives on migration.

Based on the transfer of knowledge and skills between local authorities and NGOs with different degrees of experience, EPIC supports practical, direct and gradual learning to improve the inclusion of migrants in each project city.

Apply to the EPIC call for proposal for two pilot project  by 18 July 2022!

Subject of the Notice and Aims of the Intervention

Within the EPIC programme, ALDA in collaboration with the Region of Sardinia and the project partners project partners, proposes an ideas competition to develop TWO PILOT PROJECTS in the Region Sardinia.

The pilot projects envisage the implementation of activities related to the themes of promotion and active socio-occupational participation of migrants, with particular reference to the valorisation of 2G young people (second generation).
The ideas may concern, by way of example only, paths that can be activated both in the school and extra-school environments, complementary to initiatives already existing in the territory of the Region of Sardinia or ex novo.

Amount of the grant

ALDA provides a budget of Euro 15,000.00 for each of the two winning projects.
Both winners shall contribute to the total budget of Euro 15,000.00 with a 45% of co-financing of the total, amounting to Euro 6,750 of co-financing not deriving from other EU funds.


Related documents & info:

Call for proposal [available in Italian only]
Annexes A-B. Application form [available in Italian only]
Annex C – budget [available in Italian only]
Annex D – report [available in Italian only]


Youth engagement project implemented by Dnipro Local Democracy Agency selected to be presented at the 4th Eastern Partnership Youth Conference in Prague

The project entitled “Development and advocacy project of the Concept of e-democracy of the Dnipro city until 2020” implemented by the LDA Dnipro will be presented at the 4، Eastern Partnership Youth Conference – Youth for Revitalisation of Democracy in Prague on 11-12 July 2022.

The project was supported by INNOVABRIGE Foundation and implemented in different cities in Ukraine. The city was the first one to develop the concept of the project and conduct a successful advocacy campaign for its approval by the Dnipro City Council. Young people aged 21-29 made up the main part of the Concept Development team.

Dnipro was the first city to develop the concept of the project and conduct a successful advocacy campaign for its approval by the Dnipro City Council

The main aim of the project was to facilitate e-democracy applications in the city of Dnipro. This included electronic local petitions, appeals of citizens to authorities, discussions and voting for projects, and consultations with the population on important issues for the community.

In these times, the Eastern Partnership countries experience a number of worrying trends. Specifically, rising extremism and disinformation as well as threats against journalists result in citizens’ mistrust of democratic institutions. Therefore, it is important to make young people heard at all levels in order to create democratic and inclusive societies.

The 4، Eastern Partnership Youth Conference – Youth for Revitalisation of Democracy will give the opportunity to approximately 100 young people to take part and discover methods and strategies which improve inclusive youth participation in democratic processes, as well as facilitate youth involvement at all levels of political decision-making.

ALDA congratulates the colleagues from LDA for such a great achievement!

[Picture credits: Eastern Partnership Youth Conference]


ALDA among the keynote speakers at the Assembly for European Region webinar for Ukraine

On 17 June 2022, ALDA Secretary General, ملتزمين جدًا بالتحدث عن joined the webinar entitled: “Ukraine: Regional and local initiatives for support and exchanges”, organised by the Assembly for European Region (AER).

Considering the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the need to support local citizens now facing a tremendous reality, a great number of civil society organization (CSOs), institutions and other entitles have started a countless initiatives targeted to provide concrete help.

Based on its experience, concrete knowledge and field work, ALDA has presented its networks and strategy to support Ukrainian citizens at AER's webinar

Within this framework, led by the opening speech of Magnus Berntsson, AER President, several experts and representatives of the CSOs joined the invitation to share and discuss together how to foster and further develop the ongoing actions.

Based on its experience, concrete knowledge and field work, ALDA has presented its networks and strategy to support Ukrainian citizens. Hence, since the beginning of this unjust war, the Association has proved its continuous and tireless commitment to help the colleagues form the Local Democracy Agencies in Mariupol and Dnipro, as well as other friends leaving in Ukraine.

ALDA is very much willing to keep on its activities with Ukrainian partners, while remaining available for future possibilities with new stakeholders.

Check all the initiatives of #ALDAforUkraine
Check the agenda of the webinar

LET’S Brussels! The partners of the project gathered together for their first International Meeting

United in diversity” is not only the motto of the European Union, but also the fundamental idea on which the LET’S MEET project is based. 

The LET’S MEET project aims at erasing the geographical borders by sharing, through the use of new media such as podcasts, biographies of the most prominent figures of European cultures in order to highlight and embrace the cultural diversity rooted in European history. 

The main idea behind this project is to disseminate knowledge on European multicultural personalities which have made cultural diversity their most powerful weapon, transferring ideas and artistic motives across Europe, thus contributing to the construction of the European Cultural Community و Civic Identity.

"United in diversity" is not only the motto of the European Union, but also the fundamental idea on which the LET’S MEET project is based. 

Halfway through the end of the project, the partners of the LET’S MEET project decided to meet for their first International face-to-face Meeting on 7&8 June in Brussels.

During this two-days long event, the partners discussed the achievements of the project and outlined its future directions, exchanging ideas and thoughts and creating a melting pot of cultures. In addition, they had the opportunity to get to know better the personalities that shaped Brussels, by walking through the streets of a city that is the very essence of multiculturality.

Road to Global Forum 2022: going digital through challenges and opportunities

On June 15th, 2022, Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA took part to “Local Democracy; Digital Accessibility & Assistive Technologies; Future of Digital Identity" a webinar in preparation of the upcoming Global Forum Event 2022, which will take place on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th October 2022 in Muscat, Oman. 

The webinar focused on Digital Accessibility, which, along with Local Democracy and Assistive Technologies, are going to be the three protagonist themes of this year’s Global Forum. 

تم عقد اجتماع Global Forum/ Shaping the Future Event will take place on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th October 2022 in Muscat, Oman

After two years of suspension due to the covid pandemic, the Global Forum/ Shaping the Future Event is back to a face-to-face modality, and it foresees several speakers on the topic of digital solutions for a smarter, more sustainable and resilient world

Since 1992, the Global Forum gathers together experts of different fields in order to discuss the main technologic, economic, social, societal, political and ethical issues and challenges that affect the digital society. 

ALDA believes that digitalisation comes with challenges and opportunities and that it needs to be guided by a long term strategy, not only digital but also cultural. This strategy is the key to exploit the potential that digitalisation offers, while ensuring data protection and digital security. 



Strategic partnership with CERV: actions and initiatives to promote democracy and peace

Earlier this year, ALDA – The European Association for Local Democracy – was awarded the Operating Grant of the التابع لالتحاد األوروبي of the European Union!

From a general perspective, this specific grant is articulated in the following pillars:

  1. Equality, Rights and Gender Equality; focusing on promoting rights, non-discrimination, equality (including gender equality), and advancing gender and non-discrimination mainstreaming
  2. Citizens’ engagement and participation; in terms of  promoting citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union, exchanges between citizens of different Member States, and raising awareness of the common European history
  3. Daphne; which stand for fighting violence, including gender-based violence and violence against children
  4. Union values, targeting the protection and promotion of Union values

Based and inspired by these above-mentioned guiding lights, ALDA has been fully committed in turning those goals into fact, thus engaging citizens, and local communities within its actions. The DESIRE project, aiming at raising people and especially youth’s awareness on the historical importance and the meaning of the Declaration of Schuman for the EU, is just an example.

The pillars of the CERV programme at the basis of ALDA’s projects and initiatives

Yet, the Association collaborates and exchanges with several other entities and networks, from the Local Democracy Agencies to other CSOs and institutions. 

Starting from the former, ALDA has organised a dedicated conference, involving several donors and stakeholders, on the current situation, and possible future opportunities for the Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine, willing to contribute to the process of peace-building, citizens’ engagement while firmly condemning this war. The conference will take place on 22 June 2022, at 2.30 PM at Residence Palace, Wetstraat 155, Brussels, Belgium

Considering the latter, ALDA will join the Award Ceremony of the European Federalist Movement in Verona, to celebrate winners of the contest “Lets’ become European citizens” on 30 June 2022 at 4 PM at Loggia Frà Giocondo, Verona, Italy.

These are just a few of the countless initiatives undertaken by ALDA, within the CERV programme, as a leading association within the democracy promotion and citizens’ engagement framework, في أوروبا وخارجها.