ALDA’s 20-year celebrations at their finest during the General Assembly

After having been reported several times due to the global sanitary emergency, on Friday 9th October 2020 took finally place in Brussels the ALDA General Assembly, broadcasted online, so that each member of ALDA as well as the whole staff could participate, in accordance with rules related to anti-COVID-19 spreading. It was a very significant day, which marked an essential appointment in the ALDA annual calendar and saw the participation of special guests and keynote speakers.

The all-day long General Assembly was officially opened by Mr Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA, followed by Mr Gilles Pelayo, Head of Unit of the programme Europe for Citizens, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) and Mr Xavier Cadoret, Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, who both expressed their greetings and best wished for ALDA’s present and future achievements.

This introduction was followed by a statutory part, during which a number of important internal documents underwent the members’ approval. Afterwards, the Extraordinary General Assembly began, and the members had been asked to express their opinions on a series of major decisions.

Among the highlights of the Assembly was the renewal of ALDA Governing Board with the consequent elections of its twelve new components (which will be presented in a separate article).

An eventful ALDA Assembly: statutory changes and relevant decisions, keynote speakers and the election of a new Governing Board

The afternoon was fully aimed at celebrating the 20 years of ALDA, through the launch of the recent Activity Report, the new Strategic Views 2020-2024 and the presentation of ALDA’s flagship initiatives, introduced by Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, with the interventions of the following keynote speakers:

Mr Paolo Ciccarelli, Head of the European Commission’s DG DEVCO, intervened on the “European Support to Local Democracy”

Mr Oriano Otočan, ALDA President, presented the “Balkan network for Local Democracy”

Mr Denis Schrey, Head of the Multinational Development Policy Dialogue of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, for the “Local Democracy solving Local problems”, a very recent output of the project “Empowering Local Authorities & Civil Society to Deliver Solutions with Participatory Democracy”.

Keeping our tradition, the annual General Assembly ended with the presentation of the new members of ALDA, cheered with an ad-hoc “ALDA-member” certificate, which will be sent to each of them as welcome gift and acknowledgement of their presence in the wide network of ALDA!

After having been reported several times due to the global sanitary emergency, on Friday 9th October 2020 took finally place in Brussels the ALDA General Assembly, broadcasted online, so that each member of ALDA as well as the whole staff could participate, in accordance with rules related to anti-COVID-19 spreading. It was a very significant day, which marked an essential appointment in the ALDA annual calendar and saw the participation of special guests and keynote speakers.

The all-day long General Assembly was officially opened by Mr Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA, followed by Mr Gilles Pelayo, Head of Unit of the programme Europe for Citizens, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) and Mr Xavier Cadoret, Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, who both expressed their greetings and best wished for ALDA’s present and future achievements.

This introduction was followed by a statutory part, during which a number of important internal documents underwent the members’ approval. Afterwards, the Extraordinary General Assembly began, and the members had been asked to express their opinions on a series of major decisions.

Among the highlights of the Assembly was the renewal of ALDA Governing Board with the consequent elections of its twelve new components (which will be presented in a separate article).

An eventful ALDA Assembly: statutory changes and relevant decisions, keynote speakers and the election of a new Governing Board

The afternoon was fully aimed at celebrating the 20 years of ALDA, through the launch of the recent Activity Report, the new Strategic Views 2020-2024 and the presentation of ALDA’s flagship initiatives, introduced by Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, with the interventions of the following keynote speakers:

Mr Paolo Ciccarelli, Head of the European Commission’s DG DEVCO, intervened on the “European Support to Local Democracy”

Mr Oriano Otočan, ALDA President, presented the “Balkan network for Local Democracy”

Mr Denis Schrey, Head of the Multinational Development Policy Dialogue of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, for the “Local Democracy solving Local problems”, a very recent output of the project “Empowering Local Authorities & Civil Society to Deliver Solutions with Participatory Democracy”.

Keeping our tradition, the annual General Assembly ended with the presentation of the new members of ALDA, cheered with an ad-hoc “ALDA-member” certificate, which will be sent to each of them as welcome gift and acknowledgement of their presence in the wide network of ALDA!


Learn about practices of inclusive tourism... Go to GATE!

Interested in inclusive tourism? This fall 2020, starting from November 4th, a series of five workshops will take place within the context of the GATE project  – Granting Accessible Tourism for Everyone where ALDA serves as a consultant, in presentation of the outcomes of the project as well as of a number of other best practices for all to adopt in the field.

In order to allow everyone to attend despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the workshops will take place online, maintaining however a highly interactive structure so to encourage active participation and knowledge exchanges among the audience. Each event, held either in English or in Italian, will consist in a 45-50 minute presentation by a GATE project partner and by other expert guests, followed by an allotted time for questions, answers, and other contributions.

While the workshops will be particularly helpful for all those who are specifically involved in the field of tourism, everyone is invited to join and guaranteed to gain useful insights on inclusion and accessibility! The series will unfold as follows:

  1. [ENGLISH] November 4th, 3pm CEST | Accessible tourism: four case-studies
  2. [ENGLISH] November 18th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilities & inclusion
  3. [ITALIAN] November 25th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilità & inclusione
  4. [ENGLISH] December 2nd, 3pm CEST | Best practices on inclusive tourism
  5. [ITALIAN] December 9th, 3pm CEST | Buone pratiche di turismo inclusivo

Have a look at the AGENDA and don’t forget to register to as many workshops as you want through this link!

All workshops are free upon registration. Click above to book your chance to learn more and discuss about accessible, inclusive tourism for everyone… and invite friends!

The GATE project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Interreg V-A Italy-Austria 2014-2020 with the aim to collaborate on a cross-border level to make sure that inclusive tourism is no longer just the “highlight” of certain alpine and pre-alpine areas, but rather expands all over, becoming a true strength and an inspiration for further practices of inclusion everywhere. Get to know the GATE project partners here

Interested in inclusive tourism? This fall 2020, starting from November 4th, a series of five workshops will take place within the context of the GATE project  – Granting Accessible Tourism for Everyone where ALDA serves as a consultant, in presentation of the outcomes of the project as well as of a number of other best practices for all to adopt in the field.

In order to allow everyone to attend despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the workshops will take place online, maintaining however a highly interactive structure so to encourage active participation and knowledge exchanges among the audience. Each event, held either in English or in Italian, will consist in a 45-50 minute presentation by a GATE project partner and by other expert guests, followed by an allotted time for questions, answers, and other contributions.

While the workshops will be particularly helpful for all those who are specifically involved in the field of tourism, everyone is invited to join and guaranteed to gain useful insights on inclusion and accessibility! The series will unfold as follows:

  1. [ENGLISH] November 4th, 3pm CEST | Accessible tourism: four case-studies
  2. [ENGLISH] November 18th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilities & inclusion
  3. [ITALIAN] November 25th, 3pm CEST | Handicap, disabilità & inclusione
  4. [ENGLISH] December 2nd, 3pm CEST | Best practices on inclusive tourism
  5. [ITALIAN] December 9th, 3pm CEST | Buone pratiche di turismo inclusivo

Have a look at the AGENDA and don’t forget to register to as many workshops as you want through this link!

All workshops are free upon registration. Click above to book your chance to learn more and discuss about accessible, inclusive tourism for everyone… and invite friends!

The GATE project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Interreg V-A Italy-Austria 2014-2020 with the aim to collaborate on a cross-border level to make sure that inclusive tourism is no longer just the “highlight” of certain alpine and pre-alpine areas, but rather expands all over, becoming a true strength and an inspiration for further practices of inclusion everywhere. Get to know the GATE project partners here


Is the EU antidemocratic or under lobbyists’ thumbs?

The EU benefits of all the characteristics a representative democracy may have: a government (the European Commission) proposing laws to a Parliament (the European Parliament, representing directly the EU citizens) and a Council of Europe, composed of all ministries of the Member States.

The EU benefits of all the characteristics a representative democracy may have: a government (the European Commission) proposing laws to a Parliament (the European Parliament, representing directly the EU citizens) and a Council of Europe, composed of all ministries of the Member States.


Is the EU antidemocratic or under lobbyists’ thumbs?

The European Parliament is elected every 5 years directly by the EU citizens.

Since the Lisbon treaty in 2007, the legislative ordinary procedure imposes that the Parliament and the Council of Europe decide together of directives. Only the EU Member states ministers and the European deputies can decide of the EU legislation.

The European Parliament is elected every 5 years directly by the EU citizens.

Since the Lisbon treaty in 2007, the legislative ordinary procedure imposes that the Parliament and the Council of the Europe decide together of directives. Only the EU Member states ministers and the European deputies can decide of the EU legislation.


Is the EU antidemocratic or under lobbyists’ thumbs?

The European Union is a major actor on the implementation of participative democracy.

Indeed, the EU developed public consultations, the European Citizens Initiatives (a means for citizens to present legislative proposals to the EU Commission), the obligation to inform the transparency register and the implementation of dialogue between citizens and EU representatives.

It was a great experience of intercultural promotion, collective caring for common issues, and an important occasion to stimulate young people’s active citizenship in Strasbourg. As it insisted on the fundamental role of youth in becoming “actors of change”, in addition, the project contributed to the achievement of some of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities; SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12 – Sustainable Consumption and Production; and SDG 13 – Measures relating to the fight against climate change.

Funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs through FONJEP, ECO-CHANGE was coordinated by ALDA together with Stamtish, a Strasbourg-based NGO whose mission is to promote the integration of people with migrant background through culinary and eco-responsible events. 

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Is Europe antisocial?

The European Union seeks to be social. Social protection and equal opportunity are really two values that are anchored at the heart of the European project.

The European Union seeks to be social. Social protection and equal opportunity are really two values that are anchored at the heart of the European project.


On participatory democracy in Eastern Europe

On September 29th and 30th, 2020, a conference was held respectively in Moldova and in Ukraine under the joint partnership of ALDA, the Kettering Foundation and KAS – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on the topic of “Empowering local authorities and civil society to deliver solutions with participative democracy: implementation in Moldova and Ukraine”.

Both online events saw the participation of ALDA Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida and of Eastern Partnership Coordinator, Alexandru Coica and his colleague Viorica Bulat, as well as of the delegates of the local LDAs and of a selected number of key stakeholders involved in the research project behind the matter at discussion.

It was a small project, but with great results […] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future” commented the Mayor of Cimislia (Moldova), Mr Sergiu Andronachi; “The report aptly shows the current situation, it is well-prepared and well thought out and we are waiting to have Ms. Antonella as a guest again“. The representative of the Comrat Town Hall, Ms. Irina Cara took the occasion to congratulate the work as well: “Thank you for this project: it was a wonderful workshop in Comrat, we received a lot of information“.

The Deputy of the Dnipro City Council, Mr Artiom Pavlov, similarly expressed his enthusiasm, highlighting that the cooperation with ALDA is extremely important for the Dnipropetrovosk region and remarking that “We appreciate this fruitful cooperation and hope to demonstrate a closer approximation of the local government in Ukraine to the high European standards in the nearest future“.

"It was a small project, but with great results [...] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future!"

On ALDA’s side, it was highlighted that local public administrations must engage all citizens even if they seem like a weak link, as this creates the critical mass for cooperation that is necessary to produce change; and encouragement was provided as per the immense work that can be done together for the better of both local authorities and citizens.

All in all, the events were fruitful and satisfactory: in the words of Alexandru Coica, “The most important thing for us was to hear that the comprehensive research work that was done is useful for local authorities and grassroot civil society. I was delighted to hear that all engaged stakeholders will use the recommendations to improve their work“.

We’re very much looking forward to continuing these wonderful collaborations in the Eastern Partnership!

On September 29th and 30th, 2020, a conference was held respectively in Moldova and in Ukraine under the joint partnership of ALDA, the Kettering Foundation and KAS – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on the topic of “Empowering local authorities and civil society to deliver solutions with participative democracy: implementation in Moldova and Ukraine”.

Both online events saw the participation of ALDA Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida and of Eastern Partnership Coordinator, Alexandru Coica and his colleague Viorica Bulat, as well as of the delegates of the local LDAs and of a selected number of key stakeholders involved in the research project behind the matter at discussion.

It was a small project, but with great results […] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future” commented the Mayor of Cimislia (Moldova), Mr Sergiu Andronachi; “The report aptly shows the current situation, it is well-prepared and well thought out and we are waiting to have Ms. Antonella as a guest again“. The representative of the Comrat Town Hall, Ms. Irina Cara took the occasion to congratulate the work as well: “Thank you for this project: it was a wonderful workshop in Comrat, we received a lot of information“.

The Deputy of the Dnipro City Council, Mr Artiom Pavlov, similarly expressed his enthusiasm, highlighting that the cooperation with ALDA is extremely important for the Dnipropetrovosk region and remarking that “We appreciate this fruitful cooperation and hope to demonstrate a closer approximation of the local government in Ukraine to the high European standards in the nearest future“.

"It was a small project, but with great results [...] and we invite you to make such projects again in the future!"

On ALDA’s side, it was highlighted that local public administrations must engage all citizens even if they seem like a weak link, as this creates the critical mass for cooperation that is necessary to produce change; and encouragement was provided as per the immense work that can be done together for the better of both local authorities and citizens.

All in all, the events were fruitful and satisfactory: in the words of Alexandru Coica, “The most important thing for us was to hear that the comprehensive research work that was done is useful for local authorities and grassroot civil society. I was delighted to hear that all engaged stakeholders will use the recommendations to improve their work“.

We’re very much looking forward to continuing these wonderful collaborations in the Eastern Partnership!


"I fiori d'Europa": la street art per l'inclusione sociale

Nell’ottica di promuovere l’inclusione sociale tra i più giovani, la creatività, la coesione e la contaminazione tra culture diverse e forme artistiche atipiche, giovedì 1° ottobre 2020 si è tenuto ad Arcugnano in Piazza Rumor il laboratorio artistico di pittura “I fiori di Europa” come attività del progetto STAR.

L’evento ha riscontrato un ottimo successo, con la partecipazione di circa trenta bambini, di età compresa tra i tre e i dieci anni e provenienti da tutte le scuole del Comune, che si sono dilettati con le attività ludiche proposte. A disposizione dei partecipanti al laboratorio, una grande tela orizzontale di 160mq realizzata dall’artista Jerico, filippino d’origine e romano di adozione. Dopo un primo momento di esplorazione della tela, guidati da Jerico i bambini presenti hanno giocato con vivida immaginazione ed hanno poi dipinto utilizzando i colori dell’artista ed i loro stessi corpi per dipingere.

Coinvolti anche gli adulti presenti, dal momento che nell’occasione sono stati inoltre raccolti 27 questionari di indagine cittadina al fine di trovare un’intesa sul luogo in cui realizzare il murales che sarà l’output del progetto STAR.

Al termine dell’evento, la grande tela di Jerico è stata ritagliata in 14 pezzi suddivisi in regalo tra i partner di progetto, il Comune e le sue scuole; mentre sabato 3 ottobre si è poi tenuta l’inaugurazione della mostra temporaneaI fiori di Europa”, introdotta da un discorso del sindaco di Arcugnano e aperta al pubblico fino al 10 ottobre p.v.

Una manifestazione unica per celebrare la STreet ARt.. con una tela di 160mq!

Il progetto STAR – STreet ARt, nel cui ambito è stato organizzato l’evento, ha l’intento di promuovere l’amore per l’inclusione e di trasmettere ai più giovani i valori dell’unione e della solidarietà. Co-finanziato dal programma dell’Unione europea “Europa per i cittadini”, il Comune di Arcugnano ne è capofila, accompagnato nel consorzio da organizzazioni e Comuni europei appartenenti a 14 paesi tra cui Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Repubblica Ceca, Francia, Germania, Italia, Kosovo, Lettonia, Polonia, Portogallo, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia e Paesi Bassi. 

Nell’ottica di promuovere l’inclusione sociale tra i più giovani, la creatività, la coesione e la contaminazione tra culture diverse e forme artistiche atipiche, giovedì 1° ottobre 2020 si è tenuto ad Arcugnano in Piazza Rumor il laboratorio artistico di pittura “I fiori di Europa” come attività del progetto STAR.

L’evento ha riscontrato un ottimo successo, con la partecipazione di circa trenta bambini, di età compresa tra i tre e i dieci anni e provenienti da tutte le scuole del Comune, che si sono dilettati con le attività ludiche proposte. A disposizione dei partecipanti al laboratorio, una grande tela orizzontale di 160mq realizzata dall’artista Jerico, filippino d’origine e romano di adozione. Dopo un primo momento di esplorazione della tela, guidati da Jerico i bambini presenti hanno giocato con vivida immaginazione ed hanno poi dipinto utilizzando i colori dell’artista ed i loro stessi corpi per dipingere.

Coinvolti anche gli adulti presenti, dal momento che nell’occasione sono stati inoltre raccolti 27 questionari di indagine cittadina al fine di trovare un’intesa sul luogo in cui realizzare il murales che sarà l’output del progetto STAR.

Al termine dell’evento, la grande tela di Jerico è stata ritagliata in 14 pezzi suddivisi in regalo tra i partner di progetto, il Comune e le sue scuole; mentre sabato 3 ottobre si è poi tenuta l’inaugurazione della mostra temporaneaI fiori di Europa”, introdotta da un discorso del sindaco di Arcugnano e aperta al pubblico fino al 10 ottobre p.v.

Una manifestazione unica per celebrare la STreet ARt.. con una tela di 160mq!

Il progetto STAR – STreet ARt, nel cui ambito è stato organizzato l’evento, ha l’intento di promuovere l’amore per l’inclusione e di trasmettere ai più giovani i valori dell’unione e della solidarietà. Co-finanziato dal programma dell’Unione europea “Europa per i cittadini”, il Comune di Arcugnano ne è capofila, accompagnato nel consorzio da organizzazioni e Comuni europei appartenenti a 14 paesi tra cui Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Repubblica Ceca, Francia, Germania, Italia, Kosovo, Lettonia, Polonia, Portogallo, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia e Paesi Bassi. 


Get free ALDA membership - A call for municipalities

In its 20 years of activity, ALDA – the European Association of Local Democracy has strenuously supported good governance and empowered local communities all over Europe and in neighbouring countries by sharing best practices in order to encourage a resilient approach to new challenges. In these unprecedented times, dismayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all aware that local authorities are confronted by significant defies. For this reason and in line with its mission, ALDA wants to offer everything that is in its power to support and assist particularly affected municipalities, and to share new tools to overcome these challenges as well as respond effectively to the needs of their communities.

 CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: in order to support Local Authorities heavily affected by the Covid-19 crisis, ALDA is selecting a group of 30 municipalities, that are not yet members, which are creating impact in severely affected communities and providing services to people that have been adversely touched.

ALDA will offer the selected candidates a one-year free membership that will give the municipalities access to a number of services in order to assist the new members in the recovery process with ad-hoc information on specific funding programmes, free training and capacity-building opportunities, invitations to events and networking occasions.

ALDA’S BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS: being a member of ALDA already normally offers a scope of opportunities such as information exchange, participation in international events, opportunities to join EU consortia and transnational projects, assistance in finding the proper funding opportunities (we regularly monitor 400 public and private funding programmes), searches for international partners, and visibility and promotion of the member’s activities within our network.

"A one-year free membership for the municipalities most affected by the pandemia"

In addition to that, ALDA has launched a few new activities that are member-specific to celebrate its 20th Anniversary:

  1. The ALDATalks, monthly webinars on a specific topic of interest involving the Association’s members as speakers, with a chance for them to showcase their projects;
  2. Two free trainings per year, including a presentation of the main funding opportunities for the new programming period (2021-2027) and new tools to face the consequences of the covid-19;
  3. Weekly visibility on our social media to one of our members;
  4. Coming soon: a new dedicated section for members within our website.

Interested in joining us for free and receiving the support from our big network?

HOW TO APPLY: municipalities wishing to apply to this call are requested to fill in the registration form by October 31st, 2020including 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.

Be one of those 30 and take advantage of the benefits of ALDA membership… contact us before 31st October 2020!

In its 20 years of activity, ALDA – the European Association of Local Democracy has strenuously supported good governance and empowered local communities all over Europe and in neighbouring countries by sharing best practices in order to encourage a resilient approach to new challenges. In these unprecedented times, dismayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all aware that local authorities are confronted by significant defies. For this reason and in line with its mission, ALDA wants to offer everything that is in its power to support and assist particularly affected municipalities, and to share new tools to overcome these challenges as well as respond effectively to the needs of their communities.

 CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: in order to support Local Authorities heavily affected by the Covid-19 crisis, ALDA is selecting a group of 30 municipalities, that are not yet members, which are creating impact in severely affected communities and providing services to people that have been adversely touched.

ALDA will offer the selected candidates a one-year free membership that will give the municipalities access to a number of services in order to assist the new members in the recovery process with ad-hoc information on specific funding programmes, free training and capacity-building opportunities, invitations to events and networking occasions.

ALDA’S BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS: being a member of ALDA already normally offers a scope of opportunities such as information exchange, participation in international events, opportunities to join EU consortia and transnational projects, assistance in finding the proper funding opportunities (we regularly monitor 400 public and private funding programmes), searches for international partners, and visibility and promotion of the member’s activities within our network.

"A one-year free membership for the municipalities most affected by the pandemia"

In addition to that, ALDA has launched a few new activities that are member-specific to celebrate its 20th Anniversary:

  1. The ALDATalks, monthly webinars on a specific topic of interest involving the Association’s members as speakers, with a chance for them to showcase their projects;
  2. Two free trainings per year, including a presentation of the main funding opportunities for the new programming period (2021-2027) and new tools to face the consequences of the covid-19;
  3. Weekly visibility on our social media to one of our members;
  4. Coming soon: a new dedicated section for members within our website.

Interested in joining us for free and receiving the support from our big network?

HOW TO APPLY: municipalities wishing to apply to this call are requested to fill in the registration form by October 31st, 2020including 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.

Be one of those 30 and take advantage of the benefits of ALDA membership… contact us before 31st October 2020!