New Year’s Greetings from ALDA

We finally reached to the end of a year which tested us from various perspectives, placing each of us in front of personal, social and economic challenges.

From our side, ALDA did its best to stay close to all each members and network and accompany them through this difficult period.

On behalf of the whole team of ALDA, – stated our President Mr Oriano Otocanwe are deeply convinced that 2020 proved like never before the value and the power of belonging to a united and resilient community. ALDA’s network itself could be compared to such a community, or better, a community of communities: a strong and consolidated entity, where no one is left behind. Indeed, we are very proud of the twenty years of our existence and successful work and cooperation with hundreds of non-governmental organisations, cities, municipalities and regions.”

The year behind us has not been easy and many have suffered – continues Mr Otocan –Problems related to the Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed us down but definitely not stopped us. Above and beyond, my wish for the year approaching is to see ALDA’s network grow and become a global example and point of reference of good governance and participation. Shall the spreading of values such as peace, solidarity and civic engagement serve to avoid the repeating of conflicts and human rights’ violations we have been witnessing in 2020.”

“Lastly, but not less important – concludes our President – may 2021 be the year we all get to gather, together, again! I wish everyone all the best!  I wish you a better, calmer, safer and happier 2021!”

A special wish to the whole network of ALDA has been recorded by our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida: choose your language of preference among EnglishItalian, French or Russian and play the video!

We finally reached to the end of a year which tested us from various perspectives, placing each of us in front of personal, social and economic challenges.

From our side, ALDA did its best to stay close to all each members and network and accompany them through this difficult period.

On behalf of the whole team of ALDA, – stated our President Mr Oriano Otocanwe are deeply convinced that 2020 proved like never before the value and the power of belonging to a united and resilient community. ALDA’s network itself could be compared to such a community, or better, a community of communities: a strong and consolidated entity, where no one is left behind. Indeed, we are very proud of the twenty years of our existence and successful work and cooperation with hundreds of non-governmental organisations, cities, municipalities and regions.”

The year behind us has not been easy and many have suffered – continues Mr Otocan –Problems related to the Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed us down but definitely not stopped us. Above and beyond, my wish for the year approaching is to see ALDA’s network grow and become a global example and point of reference of good governance and participation. Shall the spreading of values such as peace, solidarity and civic engagement serve to avoid the repeating of conflicts and human rights’ violations we have been witnessing in 2020.”

“Lastly, but not less important – concludes our President – may 2021 be the year we all get to gather, together, again! I wish everyone all the best!  I wish you a better, calmer, safer and happier 2021!”

A special wish to the whole network of ALDA has been recorded by our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida: choose your language of preference among EnglishItalian, French or Russian and play the video!


The winter of ten years of spring: is the flame still burning?

ALDA continues its commitment to local communities and to support of local democracy

Ten years have passed since the spark that set off the phenomenon later renamed the “Arab Springs”, a popular revolutionary movement carried out mainly by young people and civil society. Their core claim was for greater freedom and democratic and civil rights, good governance, citizen participation, values also at the heart of the activities of ALDA, which continues to be present with its support and its projects.

The flames of the widely mediatized suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire to protest against the abuses of the authorities beyond Tunisia, ignited protests in many countries in North Africa and the Near East such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan and Djibouti, but also, to a lesser extent, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco and Kuwait.

Read the whole statement here

ALDA continues its commitment to local communities and to support of local democracy

Ten years have passed since the spark that set off the phenomenon later renamed the “Arab Springs”, a popular revolutionary movement carried out mainly by young people and civil society. Their core claim was for greater freedom and democratic and civil rights, good governance, citizen participation, values also at the heart of the activities of ALDA, which continues to be present with its support and its projects.

The flames of the widely mediatized suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire to protest against the abuses of the authorities beyond Tunisia, ignited protests in many countries in North Africa and the Near East such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan and Djibouti, but also, to a lesser extent, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco and Kuwait.

Read the whole statement here


ALDA’s statement on local democracy, human rights and accountability in Belarus

For more than 10 years ALDA has been actively working at grass-roots level in Belarus through different projects targeting local communities. During this period, over 100 grants were offered by ALDA to contribute to local sustainable development, active citizenship and accountability at local level.

With concern, since the elections in August 2020, we are witnessing ever increasing violations of personal freedom, repression and massive arrests of peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, journalists, civil society representatives and activists. Under these circumstances, it is admirable to observe the determination of Belarus people to remain peaceful and not respond to multiple provocations. As a response to these regular abuses, EU states imposed targeted sanctions against Belarus officials responsible for human rights abuses and rigged elections.

Read the whole statement here

For more than 10 years ALDA has been actively working at grass-roots level in Belarus through different projects targeting local communities. During this period, over 100 grants were offered by ALDA to contribute to local sustainable development, active citizenship and accountability at local level.

With concern, since the elections in August 2020, we are witnessing ever increasing violations of personal freedom, repression and massive arrests of peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, journalists, civil society representatives and activists. Under these circumstances, it is admirable to observe the determination of Belarus people to remain peaceful and not respond to multiple provocations. As a response to these regular abuses, EU states imposed targeted sanctions against Belarus officials responsible for human rights abuses and rigged elections.

Read the whole statement here


ALDA's statement on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh)

ALDA expresses concern on the situation over Azerbaijani and Artsakh contact zone that turned into a full-scale war since September 27, 2020 and which is now in part solved by the truce and agreement overlooked by Russia and Turkey.

ALDA has been active since years in Armenia to support local democracy and citizens participation and local development. Recently it developed successful projects of sustainable development programs in the North of Armenia, with the support of local partners and the activity of the Local Democracy Agency based in Gyumri.

Read the whole statement here

ALDA expresses concern on the situation over Azerbaijani and Artsakh contact zone that turned into a full-scale war since September 27, 2020 and which is now in part solved by the truce and agreement overlooked by Russia and Turkey.

ALDA has been active since years in Armenia to support local democracy and citizens participation and local development. Recently it developed successful projects of sustainable development programs in the North of Armenia, with the support of local partners and the activity of the Local Democracy Agency based in Gyumri.

Read the whole statement here


First Governing Board Meeting: a meaningful start for the upcoming 4 years

The newly elected Governing Board of ALDA met virtually today for the first time for closing the 2020 and preparing the way ahead for the 2021!

On the 10th December 2020, all the 12 newly elected members of the ALDA Governing Board met for discussing very important and substantial topics for the institutional and political life of ALDA.

Among the more formal documents approved by the Governing Board, some very important decisions have been made: ALDA Board confirmed statements concerning the present situation in Nagorno-Karabagh and in Belarus as well as commented the importance of starting the accession process in Northern Macedonia. The Governing Board members then examined the plan for the enlargement and sustainable management of the LDAs network and addressed internal matters concerning the management and organisation of staff members and offices, as well as Members commitment to the work of ALDA through its Advisory Board and Working Groups.

The stable and ambitious plan for 2021 has been approved and comments in order to make ALDA stronger and more relevant for members and partners.

All in all, this first Governing Board meeting proved to be extremely fruitful in terms of synergies and inputs exchanged among all members, deeply committed to act for ALDA’s welfare and growth.

The newly elected Governing Board of ALDA met virtually today for the first time for closing the 2020 and preparing the way ahead for the 2021!

On the 10th December 2020, all the 12 newly elected members of the ALDA Governing Board met for discussing very important and substantial topics for the institutional and political life of ALDA.

Among the more formal documents approved by the Governing Board, some very important decisions have been made: ALDA Board confirmed statements concerning the present situation in Nagorno-Karabagh and in Belarus as well as commented the importance of starting the accession process in Northern Macedonia. The Governing Board members then examined the plan for the enlargement and sustainable management of the LDAs network and addressed internal matters concerning the management and organisation of staff members and offices, as well as Members commitment to the work of ALDA through its Advisory Board and Working Groups.

The stable and ambitious plan for 2021 has been approved and comments in order to make ALDA stronger and more relevant for members and partners.

All in all, this first Governing Board meeting proved to be extremely fruitful in terms of synergies and inputs exchanged among all members, deeply committed to act for ALDA’s welfare and growth.


Resilient together: a free ALDA membership for municipalities

Differently from what all of us was hoping to, the covid-19 emergency has not stopped and neither slowed down. On the opposite, with the cold season coming up, the number of positive cases has started to rise again precipitously all over the globe.

For this reason, which already pushed ALDA to offer a number of free memberships to Municipalities highly affected by the crisis, we decided to postpone the deadline and continue our action of support to local communities.

Indeed, we highly encourage Local Authorities – which are not yet members of ALDA – to apply and benefit from a one-year free membership!

"We postponed the applications' deadline to continue our action of support to local communities"

During our 20 years of activity and thanks to our network counting hundreds of municipalities from all the Union and its Neighbourhood, ALDA could testify how important is for local authorities to enter an international network and establish contacts with different, yet similar, cities and associations.

We strongly believe that partnership is the key ingredient to ensure innovation and prosperity to local communities and that’s what ALDA has been promoting and acting for since its creation.

Being a European Association developing projects and building bridges between civil society and local authorities to find shared solutions to local problems, ALDA wants to assist municipalities as much as possible especially in such a critical moment.

 

HOW TO APPLY:

Municipalities wishing to apply to this call are requested to fill in the registration form by December 31st, 2020, including precise information regarding:

  • number of inhabitants
  • number of infected people
  • number of COVID-19-related deaths
  • main affected sectors (education, tourism, agriculture, industry…)

You will also be requested to upload a text file describing at least one example of good practice that the Municipality has put in place in order to contain and fight the disease and the social and medical effects of it – highlighting, if possible, the cooperation that was established with the local Civil Society.

Let’s #stayEUnited and be resilient, together!

***

To have an overview of ALDA membership’s benefits, READ THE NEWS of the previous call for applications

Differently from what all of us was hoping to, the covid-19 emergency has not stopped and neither slowed down. On the opposite, with the cold season coming up, the number of positive cases has started to rise again precipitously all over the globe.

For this reason, which already pushed ALDA to offer a number of free memberships to Municipalities highly affected by the crisis, we decided to postpone the deadline and continue our action of support to local communities.

Indeed, we highly encourage Local Authorities – which are not yet members of ALDA – to apply and benefit from a one-year free membership!

"We postponed the applications' deadline to continue our action of support to local communities"

During our 20 years of activity and thanks to our network counting hundreds of municipalities from all the Union and its Neighbourhood, ALDA could testify how important is for local authorities to enter an international network and establish contacts with different, yet similar, cities and associations.

We strongly believe that partnership is the key ingredient to ensure innovation and prosperity to local communities and that’s what ALDA has been promoting and acting for since its creation.

Being a European Association developing projects and building bridges between civil society and local authorities to find shared solutions to local problems, ALDA wants to assist municipalities as much as possible especially in such a critical moment.

 

HOW TO APPLY:

Municipalities wishing to apply to this call are requested to fill in the registration form by December 31st, 2020, including precise information regarding:

  • number of inhabitants
  • number of infected people
  • number of COVID-19-related deaths
  • main affected sectors (education, tourism, agriculture, industry…)

You will also be requested to upload a text file describing at least one example of good practice that the Municipality has put in place in order to contain and fight the disease and the social and medical effects of it – highlighting, if possible, the cooperation that was established with the local Civil Society.

Let’s #stayEUnited and be resilient, together!

***

To have an overview of ALDA membership’s benefits, READ THE NEWS of the previous call for applications


ALDA's Bureau Meeting

Approximately a month has passed since ALDA’s General Assembly, live-streamed online from Brussels on October 9th and here we are announcing the first, yet important, milestone of ALDA’s new Bureau!

Indeed, on Friday November 13th, 2020, the new Bureau members, together with our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida and the Head of the Secretary General Office Francesco Pala, virtually met to follow up on the main issues brought up during the General Assembly.

Among the key topics of discussion, we highlight the preparation of the next Governing Board meeting, which will take place on December and the current situation of the LDAs network and its potential development.

To conclude, a relevant space was dedicated to a round table of shared thoughts and inputs on the new strategic views of ALDA: a complex yet complete document approved during the General Assembly whose implementation has already started by the whole team of the Association and which is supposed to bring ALDA to a whole new level by 2024.

***

Learn more about the composition of ALDA’s new Governing Board and Bureau by reading the dedicated news “Welcome to the new Governing Board of ALDA

Approximately a month has passed since ALDA’s General Assembly, live-streamed online from Brussels on October 9th and here we are announcing the first, yet important, milestone of ALDA’s new Bureau!

Indeed, on Friday November 13th, 2020, the new Bureau members, together with our Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida and the Head of the Secretary General Office Francesco Pala, virtually met to follow up on the main issues brought up during the General Assembly.

Among the key topics of discussion, we highlight the preparation of the next Governing Board meeting, which will take place on December and the current situation of the LDAs network and its potential development.

To conclude, a relevant space was dedicated to a round table of shared thoughts and inputs on the new strategic views of ALDA: a complex yet complete document approved during the General Assembly whose implementation has already started by the whole team of the Association and which is supposed to bring ALDA to a whole new level by 2024.

***

Learn more about the composition of ALDA’s new Governing Board and Bureau by reading the dedicated news “Welcome to the new Governing Board of ALDA

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Fostering participatory democracy in Eastern Europe: to be continued!

On Wednesday 7th October 2020, took place the final conference of the project “Empowering Local Authorities & Civil Society to Deliver Solutions with Participatory Democracy”, organised in Brussels and streamed online for all participants.

Officially kicked-off in April 2019 and carried out thanks to the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) programme, the project aimed at strengthening local authorities in Ukraine and Moldova, by empowering them to identify and deliver solutions using participatory methodologies, thus involving the whole community in the decision-making processes.

Despite the hybrid nature of the event, with speakers and participants both online and in presence, the conference enjoyed of a great vivacity and a high level of interaction. At first, the event was introduced by Denis Schrey, Head of Multinational Development Policy Dialogue (KAS) and Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA. This was followed by three presentations conducted by Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, David Mathews, President and CEO of the Kettering Foundation (USA) and Alexandru Coica, Project and Area Manager at ALDA.

During her speech, Ms Valmorbida not only described the main findings and the experiences in the four target cities, namely Dnipro and Mariupol in Ukraine, Cimislia and Comrat in Moldova. Most importantly, she presented the highlight and the major output of the project: a published book, titled “Participatory Democracy in Moldova and Ukraine – Empowering authorities and civil society to deliver solutions at the local level”. The book presents the research, the tools and the practical recommendations for local development and it is intended to be a guide and a source of inspiration for all communities interested in embarking in such a participatory journey, aimed at finding pragmatic and shared solutions to local issues.

"We would like to officially offer our heartfelt thanks to each of the members of the exiting Governing Board"

Later on, the floor was given to Borys Albertovich Filatov, mayor of Dnipro and to Sergiu Andronachi, mayor of Cimislia, who shared their grassroot experiences concerning the application of innovative methods of citizens engagement. Afterwards, the perspective switched from local to a broader perspective, thanks to the input of Mathieu Bousquet, Head of Unit DG NEAR. The conference ended with a debate on recommendations to improve the effectiveness of local participative democracy, moderated by Alexandru Coica, and led by Daniela Morari, Ambassador and Head of the Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the EU.

All in all, the successful results of the project made it clear the immense potential of such processes in terms of problem solving, social empowerment and economic development, as they generate new energies, ideas and contribute to fight against the sense of frustration and brain drain in countries.

By virtue of this, even though this was the last conference, we suspect that actions to foster participatory democracy in Ukraine and Moldova won’t stop here. Stay tuned to discover all follow-ups of this great project!

On Wednesday 7th October 2020, took place the final conference of the project “Empowering Local Authorities & Civil Society to Deliver Solutions with Participatory Democracy”, organised in Brussels and streamed online for all participants.

Officially kicked-off in April 2019 and carried out thanks to the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) programme, the project aimed at strengthening local authorities in Ukraine and Moldova, by empowering them to identify and deliver solutions using participatory methodologies, thus involving the whole community in the decision-making processes.

Despite the hybrid nature of the event, with speakers and participants both online and in presence, the conference enjoyed of a great vivacity and a high level of interaction. At first, the event was introduced by Denis Schrey, Head of Multinational Development Policy Dialogue (KAS) and Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA. This was followed by three presentations conducted by Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, David Mathews, President and CEO of the Kettering Foundation (USA) and Alexandru Coica, Project and Area Manager at ALDA.

During her speech, Ms Valmorbida not only described the main findings and the experiences in the four target cities, namely Dnipro and Mariupol in Ukraine, Cimislia and Comrat in Moldova. Most importantly, she presented the highlight and the major output of the project: a published book, titled “Participatory Democracy in Moldova and Ukraine – Empowering authorities and civil society to deliver solutions at the local level”. The book presents the research, the tools and the practical recommendations for local development and it is intended to be a guide and a source of inspiration for all communities interested in embarking in such a participatory journey, aimed at finding pragmatic and shared solutions to local issues.

"We would like to officially offer our heartfelt thanks to each of the members of the exiting Governing Board"

Later on, the floor was given to Borys Albertovich Filatov, mayor of Dnipro and to Sergiu Andronachi, mayor of Cimislia, who shared their grassroot experiences concerning the application of innovative methods of citizens engagement. Afterwards, the perspective switched from local to a broader perspective, thanks to the input of Mathieu Bousquet, Head of Unit DG NEAR. The conference ended with a debate on recommendations to improve the effectiveness of local participative democracy, moderated by Alexandru Coica, and led by Daniela Morari, Ambassador and Head of the Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the EU.

All in all, the successful results of the project made it clear the immense potential of such processes in terms of problem solving, social empowerment and economic development, as they generate new energies, ideas and contribute to fight against the sense of frustration and brain drain in countries.

By virtue of this, even though this was the last conference, we suspect that actions to foster participatory democracy in Ukraine and Moldova won’t stop here. Stay tuned to discover all follow-ups of this great project!


Welcome to the new Governing Board of ALDA

On Friday October 9th, just after the Extraordinary General Assembly, the 12 candidates to the Governing Board were unanimously elected: an unprecedent situation justified by the number of candidates, being 12 as the positions available, and the excellence of each of them.

Thus, each candidate briefly introduced himself/herself and the ALDA-member organization they represent, highlighting the motivations to become part of the Board.

Afterwards, we all assisted to the proclamation of the new Governing Board of ALDA, officially composed by:

Mr Maurizio Camin, Association “Trentino con i Balcani” (Italy)

Mr Emir Coric, Municipality of Centar (North Macedonia)

Mr Didier Duboisset, Pays Vichy Auvergne (France)

Ms Shorena Khukhua, Kutaisi Municipality (Georgia)

Mr Roger Lawrence, individual member (United Kingdom)

Mr Dobrica Milovanovic, individual member (Serbia)

Mr Bartek Ostrovski, Merkury Foundation (Poland)

Mr Oriano Otočan, Istria Region (Croatia)

Mr Alessandro Perelli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (Italy)

Mr Andrea Rilievo, Social Cooperative “Studio Progetto” (Italy)

Ms Natasa Vuckovic, Center for Democracy Foundation (Serbia) – Mr Francesco Zarzana, Association “Progettarte” (Italy)

In addition to the elected members, three statutory members make also part of the Board: a representative of the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe or his representative and, finally, a representative of the LDAs network.

"We would like to officially offer our heartfelt thanks to each of the members of the exiting Governing Board"

On the same day of the elections, right after the appointment, the first meeting of the new Governing Board of ALDA took place, online as the rest of the events. This first internal meeting was particularly relevant not only as one of the first moments the newly elected members had to get to know each other better, but also as the designation field of the new Bureau of ALDA, composed as follows:

Mr Oriano Otocan, ALDA President

Mr Alessandro Perelli, ALDA Vice President

Mr Francesco Zarzana, ALDA Vice President

Mr Bartek Ostrowski, ALDA Vice President

Mr Roger Lawrence, ALDA Treasurer

 

We wish all of them good luck for the next four years of work and engagement in ALDA Governing Board, and we would like to offer our particular congratulations and appreciations to Mr Oriano Otočan, re-elected President of ALDA, to Mr Alessandro Perelli, reconfirmed Vice President, to Mr. Francesco Zarzana already a member of the Board and elected as Vice President of ALDA, and to Mr Roger Lawrence, also renewed as ALDA’s Treasurer.

On behalf of the whole Association, we are extremely proud to be guided and represented by such a Governing Board, composed of qualified and experienced people, representing the geographical and cultural diversity which are among the core values promoted by ALDA.

On Friday October 9th, just after the Extraordinary General Assembly, the 12 candidates to the Governing Board were unanimously elected: an unprecedent situation justified by the number of candidates, being 12 as the positions available, and the excellence of each of them.

Thus, each candidate briefly introduced himself/herself and the ALDA-member organization they represent, highlighting the motivations to become part of the Board.

Afterwards, we all assisted to the proclamation of the new Governing Board of ALDA, officially composed by:

Mr Maurizio Camin, Association “Trentino con i Balcani” (Italy)

Mr Emir Coric, Municipality of Centar (North Macedonia)

Mr Didier Duboisset, Pays Vichy Auvergne (France)

Ms Shorena Khukhua, Kutaisi Municipality (Georgia)

Mr Roger Lawrence, individual member (United Kingdom)

Mr Dobrica Milovanovic, individual member (Serbia)

Mr Bartek Ostrovski, Merkury Foundation (Poland)

Mr Oriano Otočan, Istria Region (Croatia)

Mr Alessandro Perelli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (Italy)

Mr Andrea Rilievo, Social Cooperative “Studio Progetto” (Italy)

Ms Natasa Vuckovic, Center for Democracy Foundation (Serbia) – Mr Francesco Zarzana, Association “Progettarte” (Italy)

In addition to the elected members, three statutory members make also part of the Board: a representative of the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe or his representative and, finally, a representative of the LDAs network.

"We would like to officially offer our heartfelt thanks to each of the members of the exiting Governing Board"

On Friday October 9th, just after the Extraordinary General Assembly, the 12 candidates to the Governing Board were unanimously elected: an unprecedent situation justified by the number of candidates, being 12 as the positions available, and the excellence of each of them.

Thus, each candidate briefly introduced himself/herself and the ALDA-member organization they represent, highlighting the motivations to become part of the Board.

Afterwards, we all assisted to the proclamation of the new Governing Board of ALDA, officially composed by:

Mr Maurizio Camin, Association “Trentino con i Balcani” (Italy)

Mr Emir Coric, Municipality of Centar (North Macedonia)

Mr Didier Duboisset, Pays Vichy Auvergne (France)

Ms Shorena Khukhua, Kutaisi Municipality (Georgia)

Mr Roger Lawrence, individual member (United Kingdom)

Mr Dobrica Milovanovic, individual member (Serbia)

Mr Bartek Ostrovski, Merkury Foundation (Poland)

Mr Oriano Otočan, Istria Region (Croatia)

Mr Alessandro Perelli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region (Italy)

Mr Andrea Rilievo, Social Cooperative “Studio Progetto” (Italy)

Ms Natasa Vuckovic, Center for Democracy Foundation (Serbia) – Mr Francesco Zarzana, Association “Progettarte” (Italy)

In addition to the elected members, three statutory members make also part of the Board: a representative of the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe or his representative and, finally, a representative of the LDAs network.