A conference to celebrate the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU

On September 17th 2021, ALDA is organising a special conference meeting to welcome the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021.

The event will start at 12pm and will take place in hybrid form, with some participants and speakers in Novo Mesto and others connected online. Organised within the framework of the Week of Culture of Novo Mesto, the Conference will be launched by Antonella Valmorbida – Secretary General of ALDA and Steering Committee member of the Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe. Ms Valmorbida will give participants a comprehensive overview of the significance and importance of the Conference as a unique opportunity for citizens from all over Europe to freely express opinions and suggestions that will shape European policies in the years to come.

Keeping in mind that in 2021 Slovenia is also celebrating 30 years of independence, the conference aims at offering an exchange platform for a fertile discussion on the recent history of the European Union, its past challenges and future perspectives, taking into consideration the key role of citizens in shaping the future of the Union.


A discussion on the recent history of the European Union, its past, challenges and future perspectives


The first project in the spotlight, the project DESIRE, funded by the Europe for Citizens programme, focuses on the importance of the Schumann Declaration for the constitution of the European Union;  follows the project PERCEPTIONS which is working to identifying and understanding the narratives and (mis)perceptions of the European Union in non-EU countries.  Finally, we will talk about DEVOTE, a project aiming to strengthen the integration of students with migrant background in schools, prevent early school leaving and improve their success in education by providing training, coaching and guidance to teachers.

To join the conference online, register through this link

AGENDA

12:00 -12:15  – Tools and opportunities offered by the Conference on the Future of Europe – Antonella Valmorbida – General Secretary of ALDA and Steering Committee member of the Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe.

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12:15 -12:30 – Presentation of the project DESIRE – DEclaration of Schuman: Initiative for Revitalizing Europe. What is the Schumann Declaration and what has been its role in the constitution of the European Community? – Dejan Gluvacevic, Dunav 1245

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12:30 -12:45 – Presentation of the project PERCEPTIONS – Identifying and understanding narratives, imaginations and perceptions of the EU – held outside of Europe – and the way they are distributed via various channels, especially social media channels – Celia Charre, Project Manager at ALDA.

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12:45 -13:00 – Presentation of the project DEVOTES “Developing the Competencies of Teachers to Integrate Students from Migrant Background into European Schools” project – Eva Trentin – Membership officer at ALDA.


Regional Best Practice Fair in Skopje

On September 2nd and 3rd, at Hotel Continental in the City of Skopje in North Macedonia, the Regional Best Practice Fair was held, organized by the Balkan Network for Local Democracy. The nature of the event was a hybrid meeting, with participants and presenters both in person and through the zoom platform online. 30 participants joined the event, together with the speakers. The latter, thanks to interpreters were able to speak their respective languages, giving to the initiative a great international atmosphere.

Presentations and discussions on data related to several matters, be they: self-government, participation, CSOs, were on the agenda. Moreover, various case studies of individual community practices in the Western Balkan 6 Countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) and among 9 communities regarding topics such as active citizenship, decision-making. Besides, the overall initiative culminated in a digital activity in which participants voted through their phones, while sharing their ideas through the Slido app.


Progress has been made, as clearly demonstrated during the fair


In addition, findings presented by the researchers will be used on a national and regional level as a basis for further development of civil society; as well as advocation for the interests of citizens among the Western Balkans. Hence, getting citizens, especially youth, more involved and informed with local self-government is among the goals of this initiatives. Many examples of mobilization and promotion of values of active citizenship, such as:

  • Youth podcast,
  • An initiative to get local elections back in the city of Mostar,
  • Promotional videos,
  • Spreading of environmental consciousness though a booklet

were among the individual municipality cases presented. Overall, this event showed that there are still ways to considerer, regarding the enrichment of local democracy, but progress has been made, as clearly demonstrated during the Fair. Hence, many best practices were highlighted, and many more are still to be done.

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This event is part of the project CSOs Networking for Better Local Democracy in the Balkans”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA),and implemented by the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN). It included participants from various groups such as CSOs, youth groups, BNLD members, certain national stakeholders, etc.


“Theatre is for everyone”: Young performers with disabilities take the stage!

With great enthusiasm LDA Kairouan Tunisia organized an art and theatre show – performed by 30 young people with disabilities. Performers, aged between 8 and 30 years old, had different disabilities ranging from mental disability and autism to motor disability and deafness. Yet, this is exactly the plus that made this initiative a touching and great moment.

Resulting from a consistent and committed work of 8-month theatre workshops, the show presented variety of artistic performances from poetry and singing to theatre and dancing. The delight and excitement of participants, their energetic and dynamic movements on stage, and their embodiment of the characters they played echoed the success of the show.

The young performers belonged to three specialized rehabilitation centers for people with disabilities: Association for Supporting the Hearing Impaired (ASDA), The General Association for The Physically Impaired (AGIM), and The National Union for The Mentally Impaired (UTAIM).


Inclusivity is the keyword to social theatre!
"Theatre is for everyone" - Tunisia


More about the show!

Youth with autism and mental disabilities performed choreographies, by wearing traditional outfits. Their vivid and harmonious dancing, inspired by Tunisian folklore, sparked joy and excitement.

Moreover, participants with deafness disabilities performed an amusing theatrical piece based on mime, tackling social and humanitarian issues revolving around justice, perseverance, love, and kindness. Thrilling music accompanied the performers who relied on their expressive facial expressions and agile body movements.

Yet, this in not everything! Wearing white outfits, actors with physical disabilities performed a piece of theatre that addressed discrimination and unemployment as a form of self-advocacy. The story, unfolded in an imaginary land, was located between life and death. Some of the characters yearned for life while others disagreed as they found death the path to salvation from their hardships.

Inclusivity is the keyword to the social theatre!

The objective was to provide a platform for inclusion, personal growth, and soft skills training. The social theatre was a great source of learning through its dramatic games, inclusivity, encouraging expression, and openness to self and others. Indeed, educators and theatre operators noticed the stunning development in the participants’ linguistic, social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. Driven by passion and joy, pupils learned a set of new competencies and best practices from their teachers and also from each other.

 

Awareness about worldwide humanitarian issues

Youth actively contributed to the scenario by providing their visions and suggestions about themes, plot, and characters. They also came up with the idea of giving tribute to Palestinian children who lost their lives during the last attack on Gaza. Through their action, they proved that they do not live in a small bubble but are also interested in global and humanitarian issues.

The project aims to promote the rights of people with disabilities and to create a culture of inclusion through theatre. Indeed, the success of this activity is the outcome of the supervision and effort of the whole partners, and also thanks to the unwavering trust of parents and the youth in the importance of their participation and belief in their capacities.

 

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This activity is part of the project Ricomincio Da Te (Starting from You) co-financed by the Italian Agency of Cooperation for Development (AICs), in partnership with COPE Italy, LDA Tunisia, Kairouan municipality, Social Affairs Tunisian ministry, and the rehabilitation centers in Kairouan ASDA, AGIM, UTAIM.


A special EU meeting in Thiene: The Conference on the Future of Europe and the New MFF 2021-2027

In the afternoon of Monday 6 September was held, at the Council Chamber of the Town Hall of Thiene, a training event on the Conference on the Future of Europe and the annexed presentation of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, organised by SEI – European Intermunicipal Service with the collaboration of ALDA+, ALDA’s Benefit Company, which has been working for over 20 years in favour of local realities in Italy and across Europe, promoting the active participation of citizens and helping administrations and associations to access the funding tools offered by the European Union, and beyond.

After the welcome by the local authorities, the meeting opened with a speech by Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA on the Conference on the Future of Europe. Valmorbida offered participants a comprehensive overview not only of the meaning and importance of the Conference as a unique opportunity for citizens from all over Europe to freely express opinions and suggestions that will shape European policies in the coming years. More importantly, the Secretary General of ALDA offered a practical demonstration on the use of the online platform that allows citizens to interact, showing them how to register, write their ideas and discuss those of others, search for events in their surroundings.


Since its foundation, ALDA+ supports municipalities in accessing EU and non EU funding for the good of local communities


The conference continued on a European note with the presentation of the New Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union, by Marco Boaria, Director of Programmes & Development Department of ALDA and CEO of ALDA+. This investment plan sets out the budget and priorities on which the European Union wants to invest from now until 2027 – explained Boaria – adding that it is an unprecedented economic investment plan, which together with the 750 billion euro “Next Generation EU” recovery tool, should represent a valuable instrument for the recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.

Finally, Marco Boaria presented the new funding programmes, which municipalities will be able to try to access and obtain precious funds for the realisation of works useful to the territory and citizens.

The meeting was addressed – among others – to the municipalities of the upper Vicenza area active in SEI, the Intermunicipal European Service coordinated by the Municipality of Thiene and involving Breganze, Marano Vicentino, Villaverla and Zugliano – as well as to the Municipality of Malo, interested in actively cooperating with SEI in the near future. The seminar was an opportunity to get informed about the news related to the new programming, in order to plan the SEI’s project activities in the coming months.


New course in "Development Cooperation" starting in October

ALDA+ has always been able to provide valuable and professional courses on several topics, and this time is glad to present a new course!

Developed in collaboration with Progetto Sud – Trade Union Institute for International Cooperation promoted by UIL – the labour trade union –   this training will have a strong focus on “Development cooperation: design and management techniques and methodologies”.

The training will start with two sessions on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th of October, for a total of 5 modules.


Save your spot and register now!


Experts and professional will be at your disposal during the course, whose agenda will develop as follows:

  • module 1 – International development cooperation: actors, actions, themes
  • module 2 – Techniques, methodologies and tools for drafting development cooperation projects: a path to generate change
  • module 3 – EU Project management techniques: the management of a development cooperation project for lasting, sustainable and measurable change
  • module 4 – Financial reporting of projects: aspects, criteria and tools
  • module 5 – Working on a project proposal: reflection, analysis, processing and evaluation of the project idea

Check the AGENDA for more details and contact us by email for further info, at eleonora.bertin@alda-europe.eu


Empowering women in local authorities: ALDA’s new mission in Turkey

As ALDA’s engagement in Turkey has becoming more and more intense, a new project focused on gender equality and women participation has just seen its official opening on Monday, September 6th, 2021.

Empowering women in local authorities: here is the title of this ambitious project, funded by the Sabanci Foundation in frame of the Social Change Grant Program and led by KA.DER – Association for Supporting of Women Candidates, the Municipality of Edremit and ALDA.

The project Empowering Women in Local Authorities will encourage women in joining participation mechanisms while mainstreaming gender equality at the local level. Moreover, it foresees the active involvement of 14 pilot provinces or district municipalities from every regions of Turkey, which will work to strengthen gender equality during the 12-month project period, under the guidance of the CEMR’s “European Charter of Equality in Local Life”.

As main goal, the project wants to empower the pilot municipalities for the establishment of Local Equality Action Plans and the implementation of the necessary strategies for including women into urban life and local decision-making processes. It also aims at establishing Gender Equality offices in the targeted municipalities, transferring the Turkish law od 6284 “Protect family and prevent violence against women” and the Istanbul Convention to the citizens, fulfilling gender-based budgeting techniques and designing permanent monitoring and evaluation mechanisms based on these results.


12 months, 1 goal: encourage women in joining participation mechanisms while mainstreaming gender equality at the local level


During this first online meeting all partners and donor were present and virtually met each. The conference started with opening speeches of Nuray Karaoglu, representing KA.DER Association, Selman Hasan Arslan and Tamer Acar for the Edremit Municipality and Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA. 

Ms Valmorbida highlighted “the crucial importance this project has not only for the empowerment of the democratic functioning of the targeted local authorities, but as well for the empowerment of citizens, especially  women, to be part of such democratic process”. “Indeed – continued Ms Valmorbida – women engagement and empowerment is not yet acquainted and need to be consolidated“. 

The meeting then went on with the presentation of the project structures and main milestones and expected outcomes, for which the involvement of all project partners is required, reason why the session was followed by a space for questions in order to clarify all remaining doubts on the next steps and procedures.

This project is actually another great opportunity to cooperate with the Municipality of Edremit, which is already a member of ALDA and a partner for other projects. This cooperation is particularly significant because it is a beautiful consolidation of the connection between ALDA and Edremit because the process to open a brand new Local Democracy Agency there is coming to a close. This comes at a moment in time where the importance of  ALDA’s mission – its founding principles and promotion of active citizenship and democratisation – is particularly relevant for the country.


Regional Best Practice Fair in Skopje

The Balkan Network for Local Democracy – BNLD is organising a Regional Best Practice Fair on the 2nd and 3rd September 2021 in Skopje. This two-day hybrid event will bring together representatives from CSOs, youth groups, local public authorities and members of BNLD coming from the 6 Western Balkan countries.

The objective of this interactive fair is to create a positive environment open for exchanging and rethinking the cooperation between local authorities and civil society. During this hybrid event, the physical and virtual audience can participate on a combination of presentations and peer-to-peer exchanges.  The sessions will offer a modern perspective on citizens’ participation adapted to the new reality. The networking will foster the creation of a mutual understanding and cooperation in order to jointly face the challenges in the respective communities


To join the event virtually connect HERE


During the event the delegations will present their best practices in setting up and running concrete mechanisms for citizens’ participation and programmes of education for active citizenship. They will be encouraged to create presentations that will showcase the full potential for replication of their mechanisms. By the end of the event, participants will vote up 3 best practices with most potential for multiplying effect that will be promoted further within the regional awareness raising campaign of the project.

Sharing best practices is an excellent way to improve the performance, productivity, fill knowledge gaps, improve efficiency, encourage leadership, and more.

To join the event virtually connect HERE.

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The event is organised in the framework of the project “CSOs networking for better local democracy in the Balkans”, financially supported within the Project “Protecting Civic Space – Regional Civil Society Development Hub” financed by SIDA and implemented by BCSDN.


The project AUTREMENT celebrates its first year of promoting local democracy and soft mobility!

The steering committee meeting (COPIL) of the project AUTREMENT (Urban Planning of the Territory to REinvent Mobility and ENgage Tunisians), held on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, marked the end of the first year of the project.

The AUTREMENT project aims to promote sustainable urban development in the Tunisian cities of Kairouan and Mahdia in order to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and the attractiveness of the region’s economy and tourism.

The second meeting of the COPIL was an opportunity to review the first year of the project. Ms. Lysiane Humbert, Administrative, logistical and financial manager of the project, and Mr. Younes Aggoun, AUTREMENT head of mission, presented the progress of activities and discussed the project’s prospects at a time when the pandemic is severely hampering the implementation of the action plan.

This conference was marked by the virtual presence of representatives of the three local authorities’ partners of the project: Mr. Radhouen Bouden, Mayor of Kairouan, Ms. Julia Dumay, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg in charge of international relations, Ms. Loubna Zouari, Deputy Mayor of Mahdia in charge of international partnerships.


One of the flagship events of the AUTREMENT project, "the bicycle parade, has demonstrated the dynamism of this network by gathering several dozen participants


Although disrupted by an unstable health context, this period allowed the coordination office in Kairouan to consolidate its presence on the ground, to launch its collaboration with the local and regional CSOs and to develop a cooperation with local authorities. One of the flagship events of the project, “the bicycle parade”, organized last May, has rightly demonstrated the dynamism of this network by gathering several dozen participants. The video of the parade, viewed more than 600 times on social networks, also reflects the enthusiasm of Tunisians for this type of event.

However, the pandemic has not been without impact on the conduct of activities. The postponement of field missions, workshops and citizen consultations, as well as events in Kairouan and Mahdia, limited the action of the AUTREMENT project. The teams had to be creative in adapting to the health situation while carrying out as many of the planned activities as possible. For example, a training on cycling policies for agents and elected officials, scheduled for July 12 and 13, 2021 in face-to-face, took place instead in virtual format due to the deterioration of the health situation in Tunisia.

During the COPIL, the Mayor of Kairouan, Mr. Bouden, praised the resilience of the project teams in the face of the pandemic. Enthusiastic about the year to come, he recalled his commitment to the energy transition and announced the creation of a department of urban mobility in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Transport. He expressed his wish to see AUTREMENT follow this dynamic through concrete actions.

Ms. Zouari, Deputy Mayor of Mahdia, was pleased with the success of the project among the citizens of her city. “The project is beginning to gain visibility in Mahdia and raises expectations,” she said.

Ms. Dumay, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg, praised the adaptability of the teams and recalled that the project is fully in line with the priorities of ecological, social and democratic transition of the current mandate of Strasbourg and in the logic of sharing experiences and cooperation between municipalities.

For the coming months, capacity building and public space development are the guidelines of the course of action.

The project “AUTREMENT” involves the realization of 7 micro-projects in Kairouan and 3 soft circuits in Mahdia, in addition to the creation of a bike house in Kairouan.

In connection with the developments, awareness-raising activities and citizen consultations are scheduled, responding in particular to the wishes expressed by the elected officials of Kairouan and Mahdia.


2 projects, 1 meeting in a beautiful place: let’s meet in Lavarone with the DESIRE and the Rude Awakening projects!

From the 24th to the 26th of September 2021, the municipality of Lavarone will welcome European partners of the project DESIRE and the Rude Awakening. These 2 projects have similarities and differences that make them interesting. The first one is focusing on raising youth awareness on what the EU means and around the Schuman Declaration. This is done through a co-creative methodology by using art to speak about the EU.  The second one aims to make the museums more attractive for the younger generation. With this aim, a video game on the topic of WW1 has been created. The trailer has been released. (Find it out here)

It will be the first meeting in person for both projects which have started during the COVID19 pandemia. This meeting is a great opportunity to network, exchange best practices and create links between the partners. Lavarone and its peaceful nature is the right place for that. The ambition of the event is above all to start a strong-enlarged network of active and committed realities, linked together by past, present and future projects.


This meeting is a great opportunity to network, exchange best practices and create links between the partners


It will be a pleasure to share what we have done. So, stay tuned to discover what’s happened during the meeting!

About the DESIRE project

DEclaration of Schuman: Initiative for Revitalizing Europe (DESIRE) is a Europe for Citizens funded project. The project aims to raise people and especially youth’s awareness on the historical importance and the meaning of the Declaration of Schuman for the EU. The objective is to actively involve youth in approaching history in a proactive way. Through the co-creation of artistic tools, as videos, theatre, games, audio narratives, partners will accompany groups of youth citizens in re-discovering history and in debating on EU values as intercultural dialogue, peace and solidarity. The consortium is leading by Comune di Lavarone (Italy) and composed by Fondazione Belvedere-Gschwent (Italy), Union of bulgarian black sea local authorities (Bulgaria), Municipio de Valongo (Portugal), Danube 1245 (Serbia), Zdruzenie Institut za razvoj na zaednicata (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Administration Communale de Grez-Doiceau (Belgium), Fundacio de la Comunitat Valencia de Patrimoni Insdustrial i (Spain), Kulturni centar Osijek (Croatia), ALDA (France).

 

→ About “The Rude Awakening” project

“The Rude Awakening – a multimedia journey in the footsteps of frontline soldiers’ everyday life”, is a European project that aims to raise the awareness and interest of younger generations (between 13 to 20 years old) on the topic of war and peace. With the support of digital and audiovisual contents based on the stories of WWI soldiers, “The Rude Awakening” wants to lead a new educational and emotional perspective on war and peace, whereby visitors will learn by doing as they fill the shoes of a soldier all along the museum visit, thus better understanding war memories and soldier life thanks to technology. It’s a co-funded project by the European Union MEDIA programme, a sub-programme of Creative Europe, which gathered Fondazione Belvedere-Gschwent as the lead partner, and as project partners: Comune di Lavarone, ALDA, 101 Percento, Mémoire pour la vie, Gornjesavski Muzej Jesenice, Danube Connect, World of NGOs and the Macedonian Center of Photography. 

 

For more information on the project and how to join it, please contact the artistic Director, Mr Renzo Carbonera: progetti@fortebelvedere.org

ALDA looks forward to this great event, which serves as a great occasion to discuss together about our common past and history.


Join the final LIFE METRO ADAPT meeting

ALDA is pleased to invite you to participate in the final LIFE METRO ADAPT meeting, entitled: “Strategies and measures for adaptation to climate change in the Metropolitan City of Milan”.

The event will take place over several days from 21 to 28 September 2021 in the framework of “All4Climate-Italy2021“, which gathers all the events dedicated to the fight against climate change. Take place in Italy,  it aims at promoting an active and constructive dialogue on the challenges of the climate crisis and at fostering the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement. All4Climate is an opportunity for all those involved in the fight against climate change to make a concrete contribution to the debate preceding the Pre-COP hosted in Milan in September and the COP26 hosted by the UK in November.



The initiative “Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Measures in the Metropolitan City of Milan” has to be understood within the  framework of the project Metro Adapt – Strategies and Measures for Climate Change Adaptation in the Metropolitan City of Milan. The latter is intended to promote the creation of a sound climate change governance common to all local authorities (LAs); while producing tools that allow LAs to implement efficient adaptation measures.

The event will be a mix of moments of knowledge exchange with national and international experts as well as moments of entertainment. Guided visits to the project’s pilot sites will also be on the agenda. Overall, the final objective is to drive the attention on climate change and climate change adaptation strategies closer to public decision makers, municipal technicians, citizens, young people and students.

The first scheduled event will take place on 21 SEPTEMBER 2021 from 9.00 to 10.45 am.

It is an international workshop (online): “Climate change adaptation strategies in European metropolises”. The workshop is addressed to national and international local and regional authorities and, specifically, to European metropolitan areas, with the aim of creating a space for dialogue and exchange of good practices on climate change adaptation in urban areas. Moreover, starting from the climate change adaptation strategy designed by LIFE Metro Adapt, it will boost a co-creation process leading to the co-design of a sustainability plan and the creation of synergies and future collaboration opportunities among participants. The meeting will be conducted online in English. Registration required at this link.

Looking forward to see you there!