analysis

Comparative analysis: Citizens' participation in the Western Balkans

Three comparative studies have been done, examining the level of citizen participation in decision-making process at local levels within the six Western Balkans countries (WB6);  under the work 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), Each of the above-mentioned studies focuses on a different facet of citizen participation. Yet, taken as a whole, they represent one comprehensive analysis.

The first book is about local self-government and decentralization in the Western Balkans. Decentralization is one of the most prominent series of reforms in the region. Across the different government systems in the region though, the level of decentralization differs due to various domestic factors. We see examinations of key features, structures, and mechanisms within the local government of multiple internal systems in the countries.


The publishing of these comparative analysis is meant to inform and act as a guide for interested citizens and groups


The second book is about CSOs and participation in decision and policymaking on the local level. Based on this, one can consider how the civil sector is important in strengthening democracy and accountability in the region, and to what extend CSOs play various roles with varying levels of political involvement. In addition, the study examines policies, initiatives, and mechanisms within the targeted region; acting as a guide for those who want to engage in local participation.

The third book is about local community participation in decision-making within the Western Balkans. Citizens’ participation is one of the hallmarks of democratic functioning, and each country has their own mechanisms and laws for regulating it. The purpose of the analysis is to further examine the interests, initiatives, and degree of participation in various municipalities.

Overall, local democracy and citizen participation continue to be a major fundamental focus in the empowerment of the Western Balkans region. The publishing of these comparative studies is meant to inform and act as a guide for interested citizens and groups.

You can download the comparative analysis available in 4 languages, English, Albanian, Macedonian and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian here or visit our Resource Hub.


The CAP-PERI project kicked off in Vicenza: Innovative methodologies to talk about sustainability

The CAP-PERI project had its start on the 29th and 30th of September with the Kick Off Meeting that saw partners coming to Vicenza to discuss the implementation of the project and the organization of the educational activities.

During the second day they had the opportunity to visit to the rural area of Carpaneda, the perfect place to analyse how to define themes such as the connection between town and country; as well as the inter-exchange among the rural and urban worlds. At the same time, it is a place that expresses the urgency of developing and promoting a “culture of agriculture” open to all citizens, as far as the following topics concern:

  • Food & Health;
  • Safeguarding biodiversity and the rural landscape and
  • Adapting the territory to the challenges posed by climate change.


CAP-PERI is expecting to improve citizens and youths’ awareness on the social, economic, and environmental implications of the CAP at National and European level


The itinerant walk was hosted by the local associations of “Comunità Vicentina per l’Agroecologia” and the “Laboratorio Spazi Rurali e Boschi Urbani”; enhancing the value of the territory as a place of dialogue between the city and the rural area. Similarly, the occasion was perfect to size the possibility for it to become the centre of new agriculture and sustainability.

In the late afternoon the public presentation of the project was held at a Teatro Astra where a performance followed.

CAP-PERI is expecting to improve citizens and youths’ awareness on the social, economic, and environmental implications of the CAP at National and European level.

CAP-PERI will shed lights on how the Future CAP Strategic Plans will be the instrument to achieve the Green Deal goals, how they will support EU policies in managing the transition towards a sustainable food system and in strengthening the efforts of farmers to contribute to the EU’s climate objectives and to protect the environment.

The project methodologies are innovative as children and young people will have the opportunity to learn social research and theatre techniques through augmented reality tools and seminars with experts.

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The project is led by ALDA (lead partner) together with LaPiccionaia, CESIE, ISBEM Scarl, IRS – Institute for Social Research and Replay Network.


DEVOTE’s educational content is ready in 6 languages!

The educational content for DEVOTE’s future open online course is now available in 6 languages!

The DEVOTE team has worked hard to develop the structure of a 6-module course for teachers and educators, aiming to provide them with skills and tools to integrate students with migrant backgrounds in schools.

The team developed the above-mentioned modules using feedbacks from students with migrant backgrounds and their teachers, collected through a survey. Their insight highlighted the necessity to discuss the assessment practices for students with migrant backgrounds and the difficulties they can encounter regarding the national language. Therefore, DEVOTE Project designed educational content aiming to give teachers tools and guidance to better support students while fostering their success in school.


DEVOTE Project designed educational content aiming to give teachers tools and guidance to better support students while fostering their success in school


However, the survey conducted also demonstrated the importance of both the environment and the social setting for students with migrant backgrounds. To address these matters, the team created modules on parents’ engagement, on psychosocial support and on the “Whole school approach”. The latter involves all parts of schools’ staff to answer students’ holistic needs. Finally, this exercise provides examples of good practices in intercultural education.

You can find all the modules in English below. If you want to download them in another language, check this page.

Module 1 – The Whole School Approach DOWNLOAD

Module 2 – Assessment of students with migrant backgrounds DOWNLOAD

Module 3 – National Linguistic Support DOWNLOAD

Module 4 – Parental Involvement DOWNLOAD

Module 5 – Psychosocial support DOWNLOAD

Module 6 – Best practices in Intercultural Education DOWNLOAD

The publication of DEVOTE’s educational content brings us closer to the creation of our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), and we want it to be as helpful and instructive as possible for you, so please give us your feedback on the modules by filling in the following survey in your preferred language:

English Dutch / French / Slovenian / Turkish Italian Greek

 

 


Culture twinning: a strong network of towns to promote cultural tourism

The project Culture Twinning: Twinning Tourism Promoting Cultural Heritage, which started in 2018, is coming to an end with an upcoming last meeting online to close the project and sum up the results.

The project, funded by Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union, is led by the Municipality of Novo Mesto (Slovenia) in partnership with ALDA, the Development Centre of Novo Mesto (Slovenia) and the municipalities of Herceg Novi (Montenegro), Torun (Poland), Vilafranca de Penedés (Spain), Trnava (Slovakia), Langhenagen (Germany), Bühl (Germany), Bihać (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The main objective of this two-year-long project was creation of a strong network of twinned towns to mutually promote cultural tourism and raise awareness among citizens on the importance of cultural heritage. This resulted in the creation of a network of towns that promote cultural heritage in a long-term perspective, and which developed opportunities for mutual understanding, intercultural learning, solidarity and social engagement.

The objective was successfully achieved!


Cultural heritage is more than historical monuments left behind from the past. it defines who we are as individuals, as communities, as regions.


Through project’s activities, partners had the opportunity to meet each other and present their respective towns and their cultural heritage and also to interact with local actors operating in the field.

All events implemented aimed at discovering the rich cultural heritage of each town of the network. In Italy an interactive guided tour for kids took place, in order to stress the importance of educating young generations on local cultural heritage, while in Herceg Novi the international conference “Strategic Tourism Development Based on the Valorization of Cultural Heritage” presented examples of good practice of proper valorisation of cultural heritage in European cities.

In Novo mesto a hackathon was organised where kids presented inspiring examples of good practice of innovative cultural tourism, as well as a visit to the 4th festival of Iron age living and cookery.

Another meeting was in the beautiful and historical city of Trnava, one of the oldest cities in Slovakia, where participants could enjoy the unique medieval atmosphere, culinary specialities and hospitality during the Traditional Trnava Market.

In Vilafranca  exchanged ideas about the methods for creating cultural knowledge, enhancing culture in society and fostering the weight of culture in promoting quality cultural tourism. The participants learnt about the culture of “castellers” through a wide range of activities related to their world.

The sixth and the last meeting of the project, which contributed to the involvement of citizens and awareness of cultural heritage in several European partner cities through education and lifelong learning, took place in Bihać. The urban pulse of the city with an extremely diverse and unique history of different cultures and religions enriches the offer on the river Una.

The event has officially concluded this joint adventure, but the established connections between partners will live on and create common stories backed with richness of natural and cultural heritage. The project has reached an incredible number of citizens, more than 460 direct participants in the events and more than 40.000 indirect participants through the project’s website, partners’ websites, press conferences, news and articles.

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Why CUT – Culture Twinning Project? 

Cultural heritage consists of cultural and creative resources with a value for society that has been publicly recognised in order to preserve it for future generations. The rich and diverse cultural heritage of central Europe is one of the key attractions for tourists visiting the area. That is why local heritage has become an important economic factor. Efforts to preserve and utilise cultural heritage can help generate tour¬ism income in particular for remote regions, far from economic centres, rely on tourism-related services for employment. The sustainable use of cultural heritage is essential to ensure that central Europe will remain a popular destination to visit and to live in.
Through the exchange of good practice, experience and expertise of involved partners, we have increased involvement of citizens and raised awareness of the importance of Eu¬rope’s cultural heritage through different events and promotion. Through the activities of the project, we have strengthened the tolerance and mutual understanding between European citizens respecting and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity, while contributing to intercultural dialogue.

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Useful links:


Thematic surveys to raise the voice of Civil Society Organisations on the Future of Europe

While the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is at its peak, the Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe is working unceasingly to back the CoFoE to ensure a total and wide inclusion of civil society organisations in such a unique and crucial process.

Indeed, on Tuesday October 12th, a Plenary of the Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe took place. After receiving the latest updates by the institutional representatives, the core of the conversation focused on the methods to give voice to Civil Society Organisations from all over Europe and listening to their aspirations and concerns.
Such an ambitious goal will be reached, among others, thanks to the spread of a set of surveys elaborated by each cluster in order to get thematic feedbacks from Civil Society Organisations.

Results are not to be awaited. After a work of research and consultation, the 5 thematic clusters have produced a questionnaire each, as a valuable instrument to boost the dialogue with major stakeholders, encouraging the latter to consider the perceptions and the vision of European citizens.


We invite all Civil Society Organisations’ representatives to join the survey by filling one or more questionnaires, according to your area of competence


Thus, each cluster has produced a coherent and representative sheet to be submitted to key policymakers to ensure that the voice of CSOs is heated and taken into consideration for the elaboration of policies and plans.

Find below the clusters and the link to each survey:

  1. Environment, steered by Green 10: the goal is to face the challenges brought by climate change. Questionnaire coming soon.
  2. Social Europe, chaired by SOLIDAR, aims at outlining the future priorities of the EU. Join the survey and fill in the questionnaire here
  3. Europe’s digital transformation, chaired by ECAS, focuses on setting standards on technology and data’s management, also considering not loosing sovereignty on the topic. Find the survey here
  4. Our European life, chaired by Volonteurope and CEV, focuses on rights, values, new and unexplored challenges such as space and migration. Find their questionnaire here
  5. The Union’s democratic foundations, and how to strengthen democratic processes governing the European Union – To make Europe a citizens’ project, chaired by ALDA and ECOLISE, focuses on boosting citizens engagement, involvement and participation to guarantee a high qualitative social development. Join the survey, choose your language and fill in the questionnaire in English, French or Italian

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About the Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe (#CSOCoFoE): the role of the Convention is that of working as a bridge between civil society organisations and the institutional setting of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE). The Convention has kicked off in February 2021 and is committed to examine the democratic functioning of the Conference and ensure a real involvement of citizens and their representative associations in this process.

It gathers over 75 European networks and platforms, thus reuniting millions of citizens from all across Europe. Its work is managed by a steering committee and 5 thematic clusters, reflecting the political priorities and pillars of the EU.

ALDA, following its vocation and mission, has an active role in the Convention, not only participating as a member, but also as part of the steering committee, represented by ALDA Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida. Moreover, ALDA is also colliding the cluster on democracy, by making available its expertise on democratic processes, good governance and citizens participation.

Read more on the Civil Society Convention’s website


Time to be Generative! 50xcento training for young leaders

On September 30th the training course for young leaders “50xcento” took place in the home of the Associazione Caracol Olol Jackson in Vicenza, Italy.

The free course was directed at young people who wanted to be “the real engine of Italian development”, who were interested in the growth of the community in which they live and who wanted to become active protagonists of a new life of  society by putting people first.

The main objective of the course was that the young leaders learn the basic values and skills to be truly “generative” and not let the system of instant gratification and consumerism affect their drive to change their environment for the better. It looks like they have!


50xcento to be the real engine of Italian development


More than 20 bright young people gathered in Vicenza, from morning until late afternoon, to reflect and work on the questions and ideas proposed by the coordinator Paolo Pezzanatrainer from Generatività. Participants had also the opportunity to share a meal and enjoy beautiful performances of live music and dance.

During the experience young adults worked together to build a cardboard structure representing what they would like their own city to be like, learning from each other and appreciating the fact that everybody had a unique personal skill set to share in order to make something everybody would be proud of.

After an entire day spent together, caring for and learning from each other, the participants set off to a nearby park to take pictures and share on social media the fruits of their labour, in order to further the scope of the change that, if they so wish, they can begin to achieve.

50Xcento is promoted by ARC, the Research Centre of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, and by the Alliance for Social Generativity, a constantly expanding national project born from a movement developed within ARC, which brings together different organisations, especially enterprises, promoting generative culture in the country. 50xcento is sponsored by Fondazione Cattolica


GEM IN: Embrace intercultural education!

What is the best way to learn?  Playing of course!

The “Game to EMbrace INtercultural education” – GEM IN project builds on this incentive to promote intercultural education by using non-formal and playful approaches, enhancing the acquisition of social and civic competences to young people.

The purpose of the project is to support intercultural education at school and in non-formal youth environments as a vehicle to foster social inclusion, cross-cultural dialogue and active citizenship by promoting European values.

At the same time, the project intends to provide inputs and policy recommendations for intervention strategies to promote intercultural education and active citizenship through an innovative educational framework.


What is the best way to learn?  Playing of course with GEM IN!


The educational framework’s aim is to be a guide for all the teachers, educators, project managers and people using the game as an educational resource thanks to its complete explanation of all the steps that were taken to create the game and its contents, keeping in mind the values and the methodology promoted through the whole project GEM IN

For example, during the piloting phase of the project in Cyprus, children had the opportunity to learn about another culture and what inclusion means through the game developed by GEM IN; and not even the covid-19 pandemic could stop this learning (by playing) experience when students were able to play and interact with the game online, as well as offering insightful and constructive feedback.

For more information, you can visit the project website and read both newsletters.

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ENG Newsletter 1 and 2

FR Newsletter 1 and 2


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.


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!