Mariupol

LDA Mariupol: a 5th anniversary marked by the willingness to rebuild through democracy, good governance and public participation

Five years have passed since the opening of the LDA Mariupol, and so much has changed since December 9, 2017. 

If you looked out the window there was another Ukraine. The buildings were intact, streets were crowded, life was flowing quietly. Today, after a tremendous and inhumane attack directed towards Ukraine and its citizens that has lasted for more than 10 months, we find a different nation. 

But there is something that has not changed: the mission, the vision and values of LDA Mariupol and its team, which continues, today more than ever, promoting democracy, good governance and citizens engagement, with an ever-increasing determination.


On this important anniversary we want to focus on what can be rebuilt through democracy, good governance and public participation


Since 2017, the LDA Mariupol has been implementing actions towards the promotion of these concepts, and has no intention to stop. To mention a few, the Ukrainian Local Democracy Agency participated  in the “Youth for democracy” project, which was aimed at training young people to participate in decision-making at the city level. Other projects like “Empowerment of local self-government and civil society in Ukraine and Moldova through participatory democracy tools” was aimed at finding effective mechanisms of interaction and solving problems relevant to the city of Mariupol, while the project “Participatory Democracy” had the goal of implementing 12 principles of good governance in the work of local self-government in Mariupol.

These are only a few examples to highlight that, on this important anniversary, we do not want to focus on what is no longer there, but on what can be rebuilt through these exact values. 

Said with the words of Tetiana Lomakina, Delegate of the LDA Mariupol  “After the victory, the revival of Mariupol awaits us. And we believe that those bases of local democracy, those approaches of good governance, those best practices of public participation that we have been implementing for the last 5 years, will be at the heart of all processes. And that our friends and partners such as the European Association of Local Democracy will be with us.

ALDA will never stop promoting and working with the LDA Mariupol and the other Local Democracies Agencies, in support of Ukraine and its citizens. 

We wish the Ukrainian LDA a joyful 5th anniversary, with the hope that the next one will be surrounded by harmony and peace

 

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Useful resources:


Grant

Grants manager - Youth Participation in Public Affairs

The EU-funded YPPA project aims to improve the enfranchisement, empowerment, and inclusion of youth in all levels of democratic participation at the national, regional and global scales. YPPA’s three-pronged approach is informed by the need for youth engagement and inclusion not only at national level, but beyond and above it. Young people view politics not as bounded by borders but cutting across them, as waves of trans-border youth movements during the Arab Spring and Colour Revolutions show well, while the most pressing challenges for youth –such as climate change, digitalisation or the job market– bring a global and regional scope into national politics.

Among main tasks and responsibilities:

  • Accompany youth organisations or grassroot organisations working on youth in Africa in the project development phase, through coaching and mentoring meetings, both online and offline
  • Regularly monitor the project implementation of the eventually contractualised projects, including administrative and financial support, and in general by coaching the participating organisation whenever necessary, and maintain a mentoring relationship.

Among the skills needed:

  • Project development skills, in particular EU project development
  • Strong project management skills, in particular EU project management, in terms of activities implementation and budget management
  • Proved experiences and capacity to coach and lead the grassroot organisations

Among the education, languages and tools required:

  • University degree in any field relevant to the position (international relations, diplomacy, project development/management, etc.)
  • Professional experience in any field relevant to the position
  • Perfect command of both English and French – both written and spoken (any additional language, particularly Arabic or other languages widely spoken in the African continent, is a plus).

Where and when:

ALDA office in Tunis (Tunisia) starting ASAP

How to apply:

Candidates interested in the profile should send their CV and motivation letter in English by 15 December 2022 to  job@aldaintranet.org indicating “YPPA Grants manager” in the subject line


In Warsaw for EUScepticOBS Final Event

On the 30th of November in Warsaw, Poland, the final event of the “EUScepticOBS: analyzing Euroscepticism, informing citizens and encouraging debates” project took place. The partners from 7 European countries (Poland, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Hungary) met to discuss the topics tackled during the national workshops and to prepare the final manifesto. 

The project objective was to examine the evolution of the Eurosceptic parties’ position by comparing their attitudes towards different issues, from ecology to immigration. 


The aim of EUScepticOBS is to avoid further political polarization within EU societies, engage soft Eurosceptic citizens in dialogue and try to regain their support for the EU's projects. 


During the project, several events were carried out across Europe, mainly held away from the capitals to attract local citizens who are less aware of European outcomes. 

The workshops followed the same structure:

  • The first part consisted of a citizen’s workshop in which several groups had solution-oriented debates to provide practical recommendations, each supervised by an “eminent personality”. 
  • The second part was a  round-table between the “eminent personalities” based on the issues raised during the workshop. 

 

The last event, recently concluded in Warsaw, was dedicated to the cross-examination of the national workshops and group discussions and the preparation of the final manifesto, which constitutes the outcome of debates. 

The event was divided into two parts. During the first one the participants were divided into two groups and discussed the main issues addressed during the national workshops such as migration, the role of the European institutions, the institutional education and so on. The second part was a group discussion among all participants in which were selected the most considerable arguments and thematics for the final manifesto. 

The EUScepticOBS manifesto will be soon available on the project website.


Second Transnational Meeting for the PACIFY-D project!

On November 24, 2022, the PACIFY-D project partners gathered together in Athens (Greece) for the second face-to-face Transnational Meeting.

The PACIFY-D project, working towards providing innovative training opportunities to young people and establishing Country Info Points as local learning centres for youth education, to strengthen democratic attitudes through civic engagement and civic participation, was officially launched during the Kick-Off Meeting on June 20&21, 2022, which took place in Pecs (Hungary).

During this second Transnational Meeting, the partners, warmly hosted by KMOP in its headquarter, had the possibility to discuss the project progress. In particular, attendees presented their workplan and shared their views on the preparation of the first project result, namely the “Training materials for Young Local Ambassadors”. Notably, these materials will serve as guiding tools for youth workers to involve and train young people on diplomacy and local democracy, with the aim of fostering young people’s participation in their society. Partners commonly agreed on the next steps concerning the finalisation of this outcome. Thanks to the coordination of KMOP and the co-leading role of Interarts, all project partners will work together to create interactive, interesting, and digitalised training materials. Relevant updates will be available in the next few months.


The Transnational Meeting represented a valuable experience for the whole consortium to share their ideas on the project and enjoy the charming city of Athens


The training materials developed during this first phase of the project will be the basis for the creation, piloting, and testing of Country Info Points (CIPs), expected in the second phase of the action implementation.

Subsequently, the project coordinator provided all partners with relevant inputs on project management and quality assurance in Athens, in order to ensure a smooth and proper implementation of the action. Finally, coordinated by ALDA, all partners discussed the communication and dissemination of the project, exchanging views on its objectives and results.

The meeting represented a great opportunity to monitor the project progress, to define the next steps and to share points of view on the project topics, which are crucial for every partner organisation. It was also a valuable experience for the whole consortium to share their ideas and enjoy the charming city of Athens.


climate

Enhancing Youth action through Climate of Change subgrants: discover our partners’ activities!

In march 2023 the project Climate of Change is going to deliver to the European Commission a petition that asks for immediate political actions for Climate Justice. The claims were not only shared at COP27 in Egypt this year; but received the support of more than 100 ‘000 young people around all Europe. This is a clear sign that a growing community of young people shares rising concern about climate change’s effects on world societies.

This great achievement was only possible thanks to a wide network of collaborations and partners but yet another important piece of the puzzle has been constituted by the project subgrantee’s activities. 

To those who might not know, the actions of Climate of Change project (financed by the DEAR programme) foresee a funding package dedicated to young associations working on a local base on themes related to Climate Change and migration. As one of the partners, ALDA itself is now looking forward to collaborating with youth associations both in France and in Belgium. Precisely, at the moment the Association is looking forward to hirings a good number of new partners to finance and work with for furthering local action for climate justice. 

So far ALDA has developed partnerships with 3 fantastic youth associations that work on environmental issues and migration: 1) Youth ID, 2) Wakamoun and 3) StandUp4Europe. Together with these 3 young realities ALDA has been working together on  knowledge dissemination actions and by promoting the petition, let’s have a look together at some of the activities carried out in collaboration!


A growing community of young people shares rising concern about climate change’s effects on world societies


  • Youth ID

Thursday 28th October our CoC ALDA’s team joined Youth ID on occasion of the Erasmus week in Paris. It was a great opportunity to meet more than 40 young engaged people from 10 different countries. There was the chance to fruitfully talk and discuss the theme of climate justice. In particular, by disseminating knowledge about the negative relation between climate change and gender inequality growth. Claims were supported in light of the results of the research produced by the University of Bologna on Global South countries as a part of the broader CoC project. We highlighted data that show how the loss produced by natural disasters directly affects the more vulnerable populations, elderly, women – especially indigenous women – children and particularly those who live in poor rural areas and that six out of ten migrating women are raped during their journey, and girls traveling alone and LGBTQI+ are at highrisk of trafficking in persons (Hernández Bonilla and Morales Orellana 2020). 

The discussion was carried out lively and there was a great response from the public, with YouthID After hearing about our project and its evidences a very lively dis 

  • Wakamoun 

The solidarity association Wakamoun helped us collect signatures for our petition by involving young people that are engaged in defending the environment. The association also furthered their commitment to make as many people as possible sign the petition, by launching small challenges on climate themes with the app MaPetitePlanète. Eventually, the association went to Madagascar to report the impacts of climate there and how it has worsened the living conditions in the country. Following their trip they are promoting their work in different ways in the french city of Mulhouse, by proposing different events and exhibitions on Climate Of Change issues there. 

  • Stand Up For Europe

Finally in Brussels, the association Stand Up For Europe organized an event the 26th of October 2022 to discuss #ClimateOfChange action. This was a fruitful occasion to further civic engagement to fight for Climate Justice, and it was possible to meet and hear the voice of many different experts invited by the association. Vivian Dorizas, Project Manager at Buildings Performance Institute Europe, was one of the main speakers at the event and discussed the importance of advanced technologies to tackle climate change in the construction sector. More precisely, her presentation “Toward Decarbonization of the EU Building Stock” focused on several concepts : community, artificial intelligence, digital technologies and circular economy.

These and many others are the possible activities that can be carried to disseminate Climate of Change issues as one of our subgrantee. If you are a youth association working on Climate and Migration issues in Belgium and France don’t hesitate to apply as soon as possible to our new call!

 

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Actions can be financed for 70% of the total budget
Deadline: 8 december 2022

Click here for more information 


Mostar

Time to celebrate: LDA Mostar 18th anniversary

It seems so far in the past, yet so close: 18 years have gone so quickly, but the commitment of the Local Democracy Agency (LDA) in Mostar has never failed. Established back in November 2004, the LDA Mostar is animated by the will to foster active citizenry on the one hand, and to spur transparent and accountable local authorities on the other.  

 

What does it mean in practice? By both developing and implementing national and international projects and initiatives, the Agency has been able to put its mission into action. Organised in seven different clusters – be they “democracy”, “EU integration” and “intercultural dialogue” – LDA successfully tackles and responds to the needs of local communities, its people and citizens.


“We will continue our mission with equal persistence and passion for the benefit of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a special focus on the City of Mostar ’’ - Dženana Dedić, LDA Mostar director


‘’Those who want to live in a truly democratic society have a long and demanding road ahead of them. This requires everyone’s participation and a sincere drive for a prosperous society. The essence of LDA Mostar’s work lies precisely in overcoming obstacles and activating all the stakeholders of society along the way, because only through joint involvement and action does society become truly democratic” – said Dženana Dedić, LDA Mostar director.

“We will continue our mission” – continued Ms. Dedić “with equal persistence and passion for the benefit of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a special focus on the City of Mostar.’’

Hence, thank to its wide experience the LDA has been among the main actors recently involved in the “Strengthening local participation and cooperation through partnership of Public Authorities and CSOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina – LINK 4 Cooperation” project. The latter is one of the latest positive examples of actions undertaken by the Agency; yet they are numerous.

 

ALDA colleagues wish to the LDA Mostar all the best wishes and look forward to further collaborate and exchange, for the best of people and democracy… Happy 18th Anniversary!

[Images from LDA Mostar FB account]


In Copenhagen to exchange on the inclusiveness and migrants’ empowerment

On the 24th and 25th of November, ALDA was both part of the 2nd Transnational Partner Meeting (TPM), and of the online Conversation of Change (CoC) training at Union in Copenhagen. Held by Crossing Borders, the event took place in the framework of  the Includate project. The latter aims at the inclusion of people with fewer opportunities, specifically migrants, which are prone to intersectional marginalisation through a combination of ethnic discrimination and social-economic deprivation. 

Beginning on 24 November, the first part was dedicated to the results and reports on the local events, providing valuable insights as the before-mentioend events were held in different countries with diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the TPM marked not only an opportunity to share problems and solutions; but also it allowed the creation of a fruitful space of discussion. 

Specifically, partners reflected and exchanged on several methods, such as combining mapping and reporting and about the involvement of the participants.


In Copenhagen partners reflected and exchanged on several methods, such as combining mapping and reporting and about the involvement of the participants


Lately in the afternoon, all partners had the chance to participate in an online Conversation of Change training, which focused on facilitating dialogue through different methodologies, such as the SECURE dialogue, The Boston Matrix, group discussions and Methods for Opening the Space.

Finally, on the following day, partners gathered to discuss the next steps and action plans, while also reporting on the dissemination activities. Besides, after lunch, Crossing Borders hosted the Migrant City tour, giving participants the chance to discover Nørrebro neighborhood in Copenhagen, which is home to a vibrant multicultural community. The guide explained the history of the districts, putting a focus on the migration flows, the riots, and the industrialization period which all converged to the creation of such a culturally diverse neighborhood

Overall, the meeting was an opportunity to share and learn from each other, and all the partners were enthusiastic about the outcome. ALDA looks forward to meeting again in Palermo next year! 

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Useful info:
The partner countries within Includate are: Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and Denmark. 

The meeting in Copenhagen was the third event of the project, following a Kick- off Meeting and a Transnational Learning Teaching Training Activity in Berlin. 


International Network Conference: inclusion and empowerment of migrants and refugees

3STEPS project network in Greece, Italy, Turkey, France, and Spain

The 3STEPS international conference, entitled “Social inclusion of (low-skilled) migrants and refugees in education. Join 3STEPS network” took place on 23 November 2022 in Strasbourg. Hosted by ALDA, partners  and guests (both online and offline) actively joined the conference, grasping the most of it.

 

From a general perspective, the 3STEPS project is meant to support social inclusion of migrants and refugees by fostering two methodologies previously implemented – be they “Basic Education Methodology” and “Tandem Now”. Specifically, the project intended to increase the chances of migrants and refugees to remain within the educational and vocational system of their host country by providing them basic skills as well as a stable grounding for further personal achievements.

 

The first part of the conference was dedicated to insights on the implemented activities and the outcomes of the project based on the information collected by each partner. Here the main aspects:

  • Caminos, Spanish association and leader of the project, provided an overview on the key aspects of the project, the “3 steps” to take: 
    • Basic education training to improve skills on literacy, numeracy and digital skills
    • Vocational orientation and blended learning by role models mentors
    • Social inclusion and mutual learning activities
  • After having provided an overview on the Italian context, CESIE illustrated the work undertaken in terms of mentoring. The latter refers to the activities of orientation or information developed according to the needs of the mentees mentor with migrant background experienced from linguistic and cultural point of view
  • Similarly, Mozaik recalled how, thanks to the 3STEPS project, the organisation has been able to create a space for young migrants/refugees in Turkey to contribute with their talents and strengths to the well-being of the whole society in the long-term. Hence, the training was a way to increase their motivation and envision their future paths



  • A great insight both in terms of the Greek context on unaccompanied minors, and in terms of training of trainers. As also responsible for the working package, Symplexis shared with the audience the activities done, while introducing the concept of “mentors as role models”, through volunteering. In other words, mentors support youngsters in their career orientation, studies & strengthening their life skills.

In addition, as pointed out by participants, what is quite necessary when discussing “Inclusive Education” is the improvement of collaboration among the different stakeholders, thus requiring constant actions and the sharing of knowledge, tools and good practices through a solid network.

 

The latter is thus among the will behind the project: creating a group of people interested in the topic, so that to have an international collaboration, while also working to develop a policy brief, useful for further studies and improvements. A holistic approach that takes into consideration both educational and vocational development, focusing on individuals’ singularities are at the core of “Inclusive Education”: hence, having a network working to ease and to reflect around these hints will be of great value.

Overall, the International Networking Conference marked an important milestone in further localising the event, in engaging with organisations and citizens in Strasbourg, while further spreading awareness and exchange on Inclusive Education.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact: Anita Lugli, Project Manager


Wroclaw

Wroclaw Declaration: European institutions and Civil Society Organisations together for Ukraine

Wroclaw

November marked an important milestone in developing cooperation for democracy. The high-level conference organised by Regional Representation of the European Commission in Wroclaw and the College of Eastern Europe, further testified the commitment not only of ALDA, but also of many international and multi-stakeholders in supporting Ukraine.

Held in Wroclaw and entitled Development Cooperation for Democracy: the role of local governments and civil society. A multistakeholder tool to support Ukraine”, the conference gathered different actors, be they institutions or civil society organisations, to exchange and reflect on how to develop a holistic approach to respond to the crisis.

Today, at the House of Europe in Wrocław, we are talking about development cooperation for democracy and support for Ukraine fighting for our common freedom”, said Mr. Jacek Wasik, Director of the Regional Representation of the European Commission in Wroclaw in his opening speech. The same spirit of cooperation and hope was also stressed by Laurynas Vaičiūnas, Chairman of the Foundation College of Eastern Europe 

The added value of this conference was underlined by the representative of the city of Wroclaw as well; recalling the deep bond among noth only the two countries, but also among the Polish city with the two sisters-cities in Ukraine: Lviv and Kyiv.

Similarly, Oriano Otočan, ALDA President, shared the experience of the Association in the management of post-conflict situations. Thus, ALDA itself was initiated after the war in Western Balkans, bringing together both local and international stakeholders to ease the situation and provide solutions.

If on the one hand democracy is now under attack in Ukraine, on the other hand and especially for the Country of Kyiv, the  decentralisation process is fundamental. As mentioned by Giulio Venneri, Team leader, Rule of law and Democracy Team, DG NEAR, European Commission, local leadership is the key element now also in order to guarantee future resilience. 


"At the House of Europe in Wroclaw we are talking about development cooperation for democracy and support for Ukraine"


Furthermore, support should be given also in terms of finance, as well as “on-site” projects: the renovation of a school building is among the examples illustrated by  Marcin Krzyżanowski Deputy Marshall of the Lower Siliesia Voivodoship.

A further insight on the local situation has been provided by Svitlana Yarova, Member of the City Council Vinnitsa, Deputy Head of the Institut for City Development, who presented the integrated development of Vinnystia. In addition, Yana Brovdiy, Officer – International Partnerships (U-LEAD), CEMR, illustrated the activities done not only in Ukraine but also in the EaP region, especially on digitalisation and gender equality. Another great voice from the civil society world came from Carlotta Besozzi – Coordinator Civil Society Europe –  who stressed the importance of including CSOs in the instrument of Rebuild Ukraine; and Alexandru Coica, reporting on the successful examples of the Local Democracy Agencies, as testified by Anzhelika Pylypenko, Representative of LDA Dnipro. 

The second panel was entirely dedicated to the key role of civil society organisations, precisely focusing on  “Decentralised cooperation, multi stakeholder cooperation and city Diplomacy as a tool for development cooperation – practical recommendations”

Thanks to this moment of exchange, panellists and participants had the opportunity to work on a draft declaration. “The Polish democratic transformation was a strong success, it should be an export product and we should be more aware of that and adopt a strong narrative on this matter” expressed Bartek Ostrowski – ALDA Vice President. 

Panellists joining this moment were all professionals and experts working closely with people and citizens; while transferring the need of the society to the institutions; bridging the two sides. “ Being a part of the international environment means being a part of a learning community. Solidarity is key to have a place in the global world”, emphasised Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA. The idea of CSOs as a bridge between people and institutions was also reiterated by Artem Zozulia, Chairman of the Ukraine Foundation; while Denis Schrey, KAS, Programme Director of the Multinational Development Policy Dialogue and Network Coordinator, European Network of Political Foundations (ENOP) stressed how “The multi-stakeholders approach is key to translate the cultural differences between countries”.  

Similarly both  Jan Wais, Deputy Director of the Office for International Cooperation, Wroclaw  Municipality; and Krzysztof Latka, Chairman of the Foundation for the Central and Eastern Europe Development contributed by providing their own perspectives and insights so that to foster the collaboration and mutual understanding when working together for a common goal.

Overall, this conference not only proved the continuous commitment to peace and democracy of ALDA and the institutions and CSOs joining together in the event, but also demonstrates that collaboration and multilateral cooperation are key factors to provide concrete solutions to the current war that Ukraine is facing.


Another step within ELoGE: meeting with the Minister, Mr. Risto Pernov and Minister, Mr. Elbert Krasniqi

The importance of implementing the project “European Label for Governance Excellence (ELoGE)” both in North Macedonia and in Kosovo* has been further testified by the meeting among the Minister of Local Self Government of North Macedonia, Mr. Risto Pernov; the Minister of the Ministry of Local Government Administration, Mr. Elbert Krasniqi and ALDA President Oriano Otočan; ALDA Governing Board Member Emir Coric together with ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida.

Hence, on the second half of November 2022, the ALDA delegation gathered in Skopje – the capital city of North Macedonia – to capitalised on the successful commitment of the Association in implementing the ELoGE mechanism. From a general perspective, the latter is intended to support local self-government units to improve their standards and provide high-quality services within local self-government.


Meeting Minister Mr. Pernov and Minister Mr. Elbert Krasniqi to implement ELoGE and encouraging the participation of citizens to the community life


More in details, concerning North Macedonia, the local government units conducted self-assessment surveys among citizens, employees and councillors, while collecting documentation that allows to check whether the self-assessment is justified. Starting back in April 2021 with the preparation phase, the project then saw several phases, one of which was the workshop organised in March 2022 to illustrate and discuss on the ELoGE project.

Similarly, on 19 May 2022 in Pristina, representatives from 11 Municipalities attended a dedicated training focusing on the implementation and further understanding of the mechanism.

Furthermore, as also exchanged during the meeting with the Minister, Mr. Pernov, there is a fertile and common ground to further deepen the collaboration and partnership; while encouraging the participation of citizens to the community life; and strengthening the Self Government policy.

Both the ALDA office in Skopje as well as the Board are very much grateful for this meeting, and reiterate the will to implement ELoGE project in North Macedonia and Kosovo*, while enabling communities.