Sarajevo-Aleppo, 20 years after

The conference on “Sarajevo-Aleppo, 20 years after” took place in Torino at Polo del ‘900, on Friday 18 November, organised by the Embassy of the LDA Zavidovići ONLUS.
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The event, moderated by William Bonapace, offered an important occasion to discuss about the two conflicts, guided by the expertise of Maria Perino (member of ALDA’s Advisory Board and Researcher at the Department of Social Research of the University of Eastern Piedmont), Agostino Zanotti (Embassy of the LDA Zavidovići ONLUS), Monica Cerutti, Christian Costamagna, Enrico Da Vià and Simona Sordo.
The conference aimed at analysing and comparing the conflict of early ’90 in the Balkans and the one experienced in these days in Syria, with a particular attention to the welcoming of refugees, the humanitarian aid, and the approach of European Institutions, local authorities, civil society organisations and citizens towards the issue. The Embassy of the LDA Zavidovići, has always been directly involved in activities of solidarity regarding the Balkans, and in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina. After 20 years, the crucial values that still need to be defended are the same: activism, decentralised cooperation, grass root engagement, humanitarian corridors, wide welcoming, involvement of local authorities, international twinning activities, the concept of community, and many more.
A shared commitment was experienced through all activities run 20 years ago, starting by the engagement of citizens and involving the whole Europe. And now? How did we change, how our approach changed, and which is the European welcoming approach towards refugees today?
Further analysis followed in the discussion, trying to define the historical and political reasons that brought to the current situation, and how local authorities and civil society organisations can work together to let welcomed and welcoming people meet together, in order to know each other and facilitate the inclusion in personal, social and working life, helped by a civic and linguistic education and support.
Knowing each other is a sensitive moment, in which unexpected phobias can pop up. The result of the meeting is a patchwork of feeling – How do I perceive the other? How do I describe the other? Do I tend to build a bridge or a wall between me and the other? But also, how much am I responsible for the situation affecting the other?
A very participative conference, where lot of questions, answers and reflections raised. And conflicts, phobias, urgencies apart, there is maybe a quote that can make us more flexible and sensitive to the issue of reception and welcoming:
“There seems to be in the man, as in the bird, a need for migration, a vital need to feel elsewhere.”
Margurite Yourcenar
The need of moving and being somewhere else is natural and commonly shared by all human beings. When it is done for an external need or urgency, that affects human dignity and human life itself, it deserves even more to be helped and facilitated.

The conference on “Sarajevo-Aleppo, 20 years after” took place in Torino at Polo del ‘900, on Friday 18 November, organised by the Embassy of the LDA Zavidovići ONLUS.
***
The event, moderated by William Bonapace, offered an important occasion to discuss about the two conflicts, guided by the expertise of Maria Perino (member of ALDA’s Advisory Board and Researcher at the Department of Social Research of the University of Eastern Piedmont), Agostino Zanotti (Embassy of the LDA Zavidovići ONLUS), Monica Cerutti, Christian Costamagna, Enrico Da Vià and Simona Sordo.
The conference aimed at analysing and comparing the conflict of early ’90 in the Balkans and the one experienced in these days in Syria, with a particular attention to the welcoming of refugees, the humanitarian aid, and the approach of European Institutions, local authorities, civil society organisations and citizens towards the issue. The Embassy of the LDA Zavidovići, has always been directly involved in activities of solidarity regarding the Balkans, and in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina. After 20 years, the crucial values that still need to be defended are the same: activism, decentralised cooperation, grass root engagement, humanitarian corridors, wide welcoming, involvement of local authorities, international twinning activities, the concept of community, and many more.
A shared commitment was experienced through all activities run 20 years ago, starting by the engagement of citizens and involving the whole Europe. And now? How did we change, how our approach changed, and which is the European welcoming approach towards refugees today?
Further analysis followed in the discussion, trying to define the historical and political reasons that brought to the current situation, and how local authorities and civil society organisations can work together to let welcomed and welcoming people meet together, in order to know each other and facilitate the inclusion in personal, social and working life, helped by a civic and linguistic education and support.
Knowing each other is a sensitive moment, in which unexpected phobias can pop up. The result of the meeting is a patchwork of feeling – How do I perceive the other? How do I describe the other? Do I tend to build a bridge or a wall between me and the other? But also, how much am I responsible for the situation affecting the other?
A very participative conference, where lot of questions, answers and reflections raised. And conflicts, phobias, urgencies apart, there is maybe a quote that can make us more flexible and sensitive to the issue of reception and welcoming:
“There seems to be in the man, as in the bird, a need for migration, a vital need to feel elsewhere.”
Margurite Yourcenar
The need of moving and being somewhere else is natural and commonly shared by all human beings. When it is done for an external need or urgency, that affects human dignity and human life itself, it deserves even more to be helped and facilitated.


“URGENT: Urban Re-Generation: European Network of Towns”

Dans le cadre du projet
“URGENT: Urban Re-Generation: European Network of Towns”
ALDA – l’Association européenne pour la démocratie locale, en partenariat avec la Ville et l’Eurométropole de Strasbourg, vous invite à participer à la conférence internationale “Immigration et dialogue interculturel, du global au local”. L’évènement se déroulera à Strasbourg, le 28 novembre 2016, et réunira les représentants de plusieurs autorités locales, institutions européennes, associations, universités et experts de 10 pays différents afin de partager leur expérience et un ensemble de bonnes pratiques sur la promotion de l’intégration des migrants dans les espaces urbains.
Cette conférence s’inscrit dans le cadre du projet “URGENT: Urban Re-Generation: European Network of Towns”, cofinancé par le programme “Europe pour les Citoyens”. Cette initiative vise à promouvoir le dialogue interculturel au sein des environnements urbains européens et de favoriser leur échange sur ce thème.
Pour plus d’informations veuillez contacter :
Jean Conte
ALDA – Association européenne pour la démocratie locale
Tel : +33 3 90 21 45 93

Dans le cadre du projet
“URGENT: Urban Re-Generation: European Network of Towns”
ALDA – l’Association européenne pour la démocratie locale, en partenariat avec la Ville et l’Eurométropole de Strasbourg, vous invite à participer à la conférence internationale “Immigration et dialogue interculturel, du global au local”. L’évènement se déroulera à Strasbourg, le 28 novembre 2016, et réunira les représentants de plusieurs autorités locales, institutions européennes, associations, universités et experts de 10 pays différents afin de partager leur expérience et un ensemble de bonnes pratiques sur la promotion de l’intégration des migrants dans les espaces urbains.
Cette conférence s’inscrit dans le cadre du projet “URGENT: Urban Re-Generation: European Network of Towns”, cofinancé par le programme “Europe pour les Citoyens”. Cette initiative vise à promouvoir le dialogue interculturel au sein des environnements urbains européens et de favoriser leur échange sur ce thème.
Pour plus d’informations veuillez contacter :
Jean Conte
ALDA – Association européenne pour la démocratie locale
Tel : +33 3 90 21 45 93


ALDA in mourning after the death of our friend and colleague David Tumanyan

David Tumanyan left us on Sunday, after several months of illness. We all lose a very good friend and a extremely competent colleague.
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David worked with Communities Finance Officers Association (CFOA) and was a pillar of our intense work in the Subgroup for Local Government and Public Administration Reform of the Civil Society Forum. He had a strong and endless competence on local government and decentralization issues in Armenia and shared with enthusiasm his vision with his colleagues in the whole Eastern Partnership countries and Europe.
He deeply loved his country, and was open to everyone’s else point of view. He was both an academic and a practitioner. We will miss him a lot. David and I met 20 years ago, starting our engagement in local democracy when things were are the very beginning. To his family and close friends go all our, and especially mine, deepest condolences.
Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA – The European Association for Local Democracy
Coordinator of the Subgroup of Local Government and Public Administration Reform of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership

David Tumanyan left us on Sunday, after several months of illness. We all lose a very good friend and a extremely competent colleague.
***
David worked with Communities Finance Officers Association (CFOA) and was a pillar of our intense work in the Subgroup for Local Government and Public Administration Reform of the Civil Society Forum. He had a strong and endless competence on local government and decentralization issues in Armenia and shared with enthusiasm his vision with his colleagues in the whole Eastern Partnership countries and Europe.
He deeply loved his country, and was open to everyone’s else point of view. He was both an academic and a practitioner. We will miss him a lot. David and I met 20 years ago, starting our engagement in local democracy when things were are the very beginning. To his family and close friends go all our, and especially mine, deepest condolences.
Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA – The European Association for Local Democracy
Coordinator of the Subgroup of Local Government and Public Administration Reform of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership


Women, resources, business: ALDA launches its first project in Morocco!

From 14 to 17 November, Mohamed Salhi, member of ALDA Governing Board, and Anne-Laure Joedicke, coordinator for the Med area, were in Morocco to launch the first project that will be implemented by ALDA in the country, in partnership with ARDES – l’Association Régionale de Développement Economique et Social (ARDES, The Regional Association for Economic and Social Development).

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This one-year project called “Associations Villageoises d’Epargne et Crédit (AVEC) pour l’Autonomisation économique et sociale des femmes vulnérables” (Villages Associations of Savings and Loans for the Economic and social empowerment of vulnerable women) is co-funded by the Raja Foundation (France).

The project aims at promoting the empowerment and the socio-economic integration of vulnerable women in the Tiddas region of Morocco through the institutionalization of a form of mutual assistance based on solidarity and adapted to the poorest households. The 100 women selected for this project will benefit from a training that will allow the setting up of 5 Village Associations of Savings and Loans (AVEC, according to its acronym in French). These women will then be trained by two field workers to create and manage Income Generating Activities in order to develop small profitable and enduring businesses.

The official launching ceremony was held in the region of Khémisset on 16 November and was the occasion to meet 20 women who will benefit from this project and to present them the project itself. The day before, Mohamed Salhi and Anne-Laure Joedicke went to Aït Ichaq in order to meet the beneficiaries of a similar project that just ended. The ALDA team was glad to hear that these women managed to save enough money to create a cooperative of olive oil extraction. This is a strong encouragement for the 100 women who will take part to the AVEC project.

The ALDA team seized also the opportunity of this mission to Morocco to attend the COP 22 in Marrakech, where ALDA had a stand. It was the occasion to meet a lot of African actors active in the field of sustainable development.

ALDA is looking forward to a stronger cooperation and more numerous activities in the country and this fruitful mission and launch of the AVEC project are for sure a good starting point, also paving the way for a future LDA Morocco.

From 14 to 17 November, Mohamed Salhi, member of ALDA Governing Board, and Anne-Laure Joedicke, coordinator for the Med area, were in Morocco to launch the first project that will be implemented by ALDA in the country, in partnership with ARDES – l’Association Régionale de Développement Economique et Social (ARDES, The Regional Association for Economic and Social Development).

***

This one-year project called “Associations Villageoises d’Epargne et Crédit (AVEC) pour l’Autonomisation économique et sociale des femmes vulnérables” (Villages Associations of Savings and Loans for the Economic and social empowerment of vulnerable women) is co-funded by the Raja Foundation (France).

The project aims at promoting the empowerment and the socio-economic integration of vulnerable women in the Tiddas region of Morocco through the institutionalization of a form of mutual assistance based on solidarity and adapted to the poorest households. The 100 women selected for this project will benefit from a training that will allow the setting up of 5 Village Associations of Savings and Loans (AVEC, according to its acronym in French). These women will then be trained by two field workers to create and manage Income Generating Activities in order to develop small profitable and enduring businesses.

The official launching ceremony was held in the region of Khémisset on 16 November and was the occasion to meet 20 women who will benefit from this project and to present them the project itself. The day before, Mohamed Salhi and Anne-Laure Joedicke went to Aït Ichaq in order to meet the beneficiaries of a similar project that just ended. The ALDA team was glad to hear that these women managed to save enough money to create a cooperative of olive oil extraction. This is a strong encouragement for the 100 women who will take part to the AVEC project.

The ALDA team seized also the opportunity of this mission to Morocco to attend the COP 22 in Marrakech, where ALDA had a stand. It was the occasion to meet a lot of African actors active in the field of sustainable development.

ALDA is looking forward to a stronger cooperation and more numerous activities in the country and this fruitful mission and launch of the AVEC project are for sure a good starting point, also paving the way for a future LDA Morocco.


Paving the way to the future Local Democracy Agency in Cimișlia, Moldova

On 15 November, ALDA, CALM (the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova), and the municipality of Cimișlia organised the successful preparatory meeting with the potential partners of the future Local Democracy Agency (LDA) in Moldova.

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The event gathered international and local partners that committed themselves for the future activities dedicated to local governance and citizens participation in south of Moldova. “I am confident that the future Local Democracy Agency in Cimișlia will be a crucial point for the development of our region, greatly benefitting our communities. We are keen to become a platform for international and European programmes thanks to fruitful cooperation between local authorities and civil society groups”, said the Mayor of Cimișlia, Mr. Gheorghe Raileanu.

Among the potential partners of the future LDA, the Polish Region of Kujawsko-Pomorskie and the city of Iasi, in Romania. At the local level, the partnership has been already established with the programme of Nexus, working on migration and with an office in the municipality of Cimișlia. At the event, representatives of local authorities from the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia were also present.
The Secretary General of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida, is glad to witness progresses in the conditions for the opening of the Local Democracy Agency in Moldova, which according to the timeframe might be inaugurated in the first months of 2017 in order to become soon fully operational, and support local authorities and civil society that expressed their need and goodwill to cooperate with it. The action plan and the priorities of the future Agency are now being discussed by the parnters involved. ALDA officially thanked CALM and its President, Tatiana Badan, who attended this important event and promised support to the project. Also the Executive Director of CALM, Viorel Furdui and Alexandru Osadci, also Governing Board member of ALDA, participated in the event.
On the occasion of its visit in Moldova, ALDA also took part in the Congress event and coordination meeting, for the support to citizens’ participation at the local level, as part of the joint programme with the European Union supporting Eastern Partnership countries. Together with Mrs Valmorbida, ALDA EaP Coordinator Nino Tvaldvadze, and Lusine Aleksadryan, LDA Armenia Delegate, were present.

On 15 November, ALDA, CALM (the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova), and the municipality of Cimișlia organised the successful preparatory meeting with the potential partners of the future Local Democracy Agency (LDA) in Moldova.

***
The event gathered international and local partners that committed themselves for the future activities dedicated to local governance and citizens participation in south of Moldova. “I am confident that the future Local Democracy Agency in Cimișlia will be a crucial point for the development of our region, greatly benefitting our communities. We are keen to become a platform for international and European programmes thanks to fruitful cooperation between local authorities and civil society groups”, said the Mayor of Cimișlia, Mr. Gheorghe Raileanu.

Among the potential partners of the future LDA, the Polish Region of Kujawsko-Pomorskie and the city of Iasi, in Romania. At the local level, the partnership has been already established with the programme of Nexus, working on migration and with an office in the municipality of Cimișlia. At the event, representatives of local authorities from the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia were also present.
The Secretary General of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida, is glad to witness progresses in the conditions for the opening of the Local Democracy Agency in Moldova, which according to the timeframe might be inaugurated in the first months of 2017 in order to become soon fully operational, and support local authorities and civil society that expressed their need and goodwill to cooperate with it. The action plan and the priorities of the future Agency are now being discussed by the parnters involved. ALDA officially thanked CALM and its President, Tatiana Badan, who attended this important event and promised support to the project. Also the Executive Director of CALM, Viorel Furdui and Alexandru Osadci, also Governing Board member of ALDA, participated in the event.
On the occasion of its visit in Moldova, ALDA also took part in the Congress event and coordination meeting, for the support to citizens’ participation at the local level, as part of the joint programme with the European Union supporting Eastern Partnership countries. Together with Mrs Valmorbida, ALDA EaP Coordinator Nino Tvaldvadze, and Lusine Aleksadryan, LDA Armenia Delegate, were present.


"Training of Trainers" in youth social entrepreneurship education, Sisak

During the last week, four people from Sisak participated in an international Training of Trainers on social entrepreneurship for enabling young people to take active role in planning their professional development.
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Representatives of the Local Democracy Agency Sisak – ALDA Operating partner – who participated in the Training for Trainers on social entrepreneurship, confirmed that a lifelong learning is very important in today’s fast-growing society. It is always required to develop new competences on permanent basics.
The intensive education event, held from 1-9 November 2016 in Durres (Albania), gathered future trainers who will work with youngsters on raising awareness and building capacities for their active involvement in planning of not only professional lives, but also their communities. There were 32 participants from 8 countries: Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Romania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Greece. This education event is a part of the European project “RAISE: Raising the Advantages of Youth through Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship“, where LDA Sisak is partnering.
The main aim of the project is to improve employability and competences of young people in partner organisations, using youth work and non-formal educational learning methods. Participants learned how to turn ideas into actions, be creative and innovative, take risk, plan and manage social projects, and how to be a good trainer who will transfer knowledge to others.
Doris Brala and Antonela Gajdek, Lahorka Zec from Sisak Technical School and Zvonimir Rajković from Sisak Tourist Board, participated on behalf of the LDA Sisak. During their stay in Albania, they visited the Ministry of Innovation in Tirana, which is open to anyone with innovative ideas. Delegates will pass the new knowledge to interested youngsters at the various workshops, in Sisak Technical School and Sisak associations. Additionally, to give young people a chance to learn more about entrepreneurship, the five LDA Sisak representatives are participating on a youth exchange in Durres, Albania, as a part of the RAISE project.  The RAISE project is funded by the European Union and Erasmus Plus programme.

During the last week, four people from Sisak participated in an international Training of Trainers on social entrepreneurship for enabling young people to take active role in planning their professional development.
****
Representatives of the Local Democracy Agency Sisak – ALDA Operating partner – who participated in the Training for Trainers on social entrepreneurship, confirmed that a lifelong learning is very important in today’s fast-growing society. It is always required to develop new competences on permanent basics.
The intensive education event, held from 1-9 November 2016 in Durres (Albania), gathered future trainers who will work with youngsters on raising awareness and building capacities for their active involvement in planning of not only professional lives, but also their communities. There were 32 participants from 8 countries: Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Romania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Greece. This education event is a part of the European project “RAISE: Raising the Advantages of Youth through Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship“, where LDA Sisak is partnering.
The main aim of the project is to improve employability and competences of young people in partner organisations, using youth work and non-formal educational learning methods. Participants learned how to turn ideas into actions, be creative and innovative, take risk, plan and manage social projects, and how to be a good trainer who will transfer knowledge to others.
Doris Brala and Antonela Gajdek, Lahorka Zec from Sisak Technical School and Zvonimir Rajković from Sisak Tourist Board, participated on behalf of the LDA Sisak. During their stay in Albania, they visited the Ministry of Innovation in Tirana, which is open to anyone with innovative ideas. Delegates will pass the new knowledge to interested youngsters at the various workshops, in Sisak Technical School and Sisak associations. Additionally, to give young people a chance to learn more about entrepreneurship, the five LDA Sisak representatives are participating on a youth exchange in Durres, Albania, as a part of the RAISE project.  The RAISE project is funded by the European Union and Erasmus Plus programme.


Engaging citizens in the transition to circular economy - We-NET seminar in Brussels

The final international seminar on circular economy at the local level in the framework of the project We-NET took place on 14-16 November in Brussels.

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The work started with a high level conference hosted by the Committee of the Regions, with welcome speeches by Roby BIWER, Member of the Commission ENVE of the CoR; Gilles PELAYO, Head of Unit, Europe for Citizens; Andrea ZORZAN, Councillor for Environment, City of Thiene (IT); Ms Malgorzata Golebiewska, Policy Officer, DG ENV; and Oriano OTOĆAN, President of ALDA.

Heart of the discussions was how to effectively engage citizens in the transition from a linear to circular economy, essential for a sustainable economy. Citizens play a key role, as individual behaviours and consumers’ preferences can make the difference and improve the living conditions in local communities. By bringing together project partners, local authorities, civil society organisations and experts, the seminar was a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and good practice on the topic.

The event took place in the framework of the project WE-NET – Working for Environmentally Educated Towns. The project, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens programme, brings together local authorities and civil society associations from 8 countries in wider Europe and aims at establishing a self-sustainable platform of dialogue and exchange to develop effective local policies and practices promoting the implementation of the circular economy model at the local level. Lead partner of the project is the City of Thiene, from north-eastern Italy, a particularly Europe-driven and participative municipality. Participants from Thiene took advantage of their presence in Brussels for the event to meet with representatives of the European institutions and discuss the challenges faced by their community.

Prof. Distante, President of ISBEM – long-time member of ALDA and project partner – took the floor at the end of the event and said: “We should congratulate Thiene and ALDA for transforming this little project into a huge platform. The achievements of this project show the possibilities we have when we work in a network, share know-how, and capitalise on that”.

The final international seminar on circular economy at the local level in the framework of the project We-NET took place on 14-16 November in Brussels.

***
The work started with a high level conference hosted by the Committee of the Regions, with welcome speeches by Roby BIWER, Member of the Commission ENVE of the CoR; Gilles PELAYO, Head of Unit, Europe for Citizens; Andrea ZORZAN, Councillor for Environment, City of Thiene (IT); Ms Malgorzata Golebiewska, Policy Officer, DG ENV; and Oriano OTOĆAN, President of ALDA.

Heart of the discussions was how to effectively engage citizens in the transition from a linear to circular economy, essential for a sustainable economy. Citizens play a key role, as individual behaviours and consumers’ preferences can make the difference and improve the living conditions in local communities. By bringing together project partners, local authorities, civil society organisations and experts, the seminar was a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and good practice on the topic.

The event took place in the framework of the project WE-NET – Working for Environmentally Educated Towns. The project, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens programme, brings together local authorities and civil society associations from 8 countries in wider Europe and aims at establishing a self-sustainable platform of dialogue and exchange to develop effective local policies and practices promoting the implementation of the circular economy model at the local level. Lead partner of the project is the City of Thiene, from north-eastern Italy, a particularly Europe-driven and participative municipality. Participants from Thiene took advantage of their presence in Brussels for the event to meet with representatives of the European institutions and discuss the challenges faced by their community.

Prof. Distante, President of ISBEM – long-time member of ALDA and project partner – took the floor at the end of the event and said: “We should congratulate Thiene and ALDA for transforming this little project into a huge platform. The achievements of this project show the possibilities we have when we work in a network, share know-how, and capitalise on that”.


The first meeting of Sisak volunteers

Local Democracy Agency Sisak – ALDA Operational partner – organised the first meeting of Sisak volunteers, called VOLONTERski vriSaK – translated as “volunteer’ scream”, playing with the words “volunteer” and “Sisak”. The meeting took place on the 27th of October 2016 in the LDA Sisak premises, as a part of the “Sisak volunteer’ network” project.
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The purpose of the meeting, the first ever in Sisak of this kind, is aimed towards voluntary support system. It gathered volunteers currently working in different organisations all over the town. Volunteers got to know each other and had a great opportunity to expand their knowledge regarding the Law on Volunteering. It is often not very familiar to volunteers, but it is an integral part of each organised voluntary engagement and comprehends both volunteers and organisers of volunteering.
The Meeting was moderated by Paula Raužan, president of the LDA Sisak. She pointed out rights and duties of volunteers, possibilities of volunteering in Sisak and how to search information regarding volunteering.
“I would like to be informed on all news and voluntary actions in Sisak more often” – says Daša Milić, law student volunteering in Citizens Rights Project association.
“It would be great to have a place with the list of all associations and institutions who need volunteers on local level” – says Ana-Maria Lisinski, long-term volunteer in Sisak Tourist Board.
Participants opened many questions relevant for raising awareness of importance of volunteering, especially benefits of developing skills and competences through volunteering. Conclusion is that volunteering is not just altruism but also a choice to work on yourself. It is very important to approach volunteering in a serious matter and get not only familiar with the legislation, also but to work more on validation of voluntary work at local level.
The meeting gave volunteers an opportunity to “release their voice” and give suggestions for future meetings’ topics, like exchange of bad practice and others. Therefore, volunteer’ mingles are to continue in upcoming months, working on recognition of values and complexity of volunteering.

Local Democracy Agency Sisak – ALDA Operational partner – organised the first meeting of Sisak volunteers, called VOLONTERski vriSaK – translated as “volunteer’ scream”, playing with the words “volunteer” and “Sisak”. The meeting took place on the 27th of October 2016 in the LDA Sisak premises, as a part of the “Sisak volunteer’ network” project.
***
The purpose of the meeting, the first ever in Sisak of this kind, is aimed towards voluntary support system. It gathered volunteers currently working in different organisations all over the town. Volunteers got to know each other and had a great opportunity to expand their knowledge regarding the Law on Volunteering. It is often not very familiar to volunteers, but it is an integral part of each organised voluntary engagement and comprehends both volunteers and organisers of volunteering.
The Meeting was moderated by Paula Raužan, president of the LDA Sisak. She pointed out rights and duties of volunteers, possibilities of volunteering in Sisak and how to search information regarding volunteering.
“I would like to be informed on all news and voluntary actions in Sisak more often” – says Daša Milić, law student volunteering in Citizens Rights Project association.
“It would be great to have a place with the list of all associations and institutions who need volunteers on local level” – says Ana-Maria Lisinski, long-term volunteer in Sisak Tourist Board.
Participants opened many questions relevant for raising awareness of importance of volunteering, especially benefits of developing skills and competences through volunteering. Conclusion is that volunteering is not just altruism but also a choice to work on yourself. It is very important to approach volunteering in a serious matter and get not only familiar with the legislation, also but to work more on validation of voluntary work at local level.
The meeting gave volunteers an opportunity to “release their voice” and give suggestions for future meetings’ topics, like exchange of bad practice and others. Therefore, volunteer’ mingles are to continue in upcoming months, working on recognition of values and complexity of volunteering.


Special initiative of LADDER: environmental and sustainable development of the Danube Region

On 2-3 November 2016, the Special Initiative “Working towards sustainable development: Civil Society, Local Actors and EU Strategies” of the LADDER project Environmental & Sustainable Development Path was successfully held in Bratislava.

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The Special Initiative was organised by Foster l'Europe in cooperation with the partners of the EUSDR Danube Participation Days, the Plenipotentiary for Civil Society Development in Slovakia, the Council of Danube Cities and Regions, and ARGE Donauländer. The event had a high participation with around 180-200 participants and a great visibility.

The 2-days event brought together experts and high level representatives of regional organisations, institutions and networks representing civil society, academia, cities and regions. During the first day the resilient sustainable development as an issue of participative multi-level governance in the Danube Region was taken into account.
The event was opened by a session regarding Sustainable Development in Politics and Society in which Gisela Erler (State Counsellor for Civil Society and Civic Participation, Baden Württemberg, Germany), Franz Fischler (President European Forum Alpbach, Austria) & Irene Lucius (WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme, Austria) discussed and shared their perspectives and expertise about the topic. After this first panel, 6 different workshops regarding several subjects, such as Open Government Partnership, Energy and Environment, Social Innovation, Impact of Consumer and Producer Behaviour, DEAR-Turning Local Ideas into Global Solutions, Infrastructure and Participation were developed.
The second day of the event was instead dedicated to the role and the potentiality of local actors in making sustainable development in the Danube Region possible, gathering together some other high level speakers such as Karl-Heinz Lambertz (First Vice-President, European Committee of the Regions, Belgium), Stefana Greavu (Regional Cooperation Council, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Ugo Poli (Central European Initiative, Italy), and Dragana Pejović (Institute “Jaroslav Černi”, Belgrade).
This Special Initiative represented a great opportunity to pursue the discussion on sustainable development and applied it to a concrete context which is the one of the Danube Strategy. In addition, it remarked the importance of LAs and CSOs’ cooperation. As highlighted by Corina Cretu (European Commission for Regional Policy) “Civil Society Organisations (including NGOs) are vital partners for decision-makers, as they are best placed to know people’s development needs. In both EU and non-EU countries, we need to strengthen the involvement of Civil Society Organisations in the draft making and implementation of development policies. […] The civil society is becoming more and more involved in the implementation of the different Priority Areas of the Danube Strategy. This is essential to bring our Strategy’s thematic focuses closer to citizens”.Useful Links:

 
Photo Gallery
Other pictures from the event
Website of the event
Report from the Workshop on DEAR – Turning Local Ideas into Global Solutions (the report of the other workshops can be found in the website aforementioned)
Agenda of the event

On 2-3 November 2016, the Special Initiative “Working towards sustainable development: Civil Society, Local Actors and EU Strategies” of the LADDER project Environmental & Sustainable Development Path was successfully held in Bratislava.

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The Special Initiative was organised by Foster l'Europe in cooperation with the partners of the EUSDR Danube Participation Days, the Plenipotentiary for Civil Society Development in Slovakia, the Council of Danube Cities and Regions, and ARGE Donauländer. The event had a high participation with around 180-200 participants and a great visibility.

The 2-days event brought together experts and high level representatives of regional organisations, institutions and networks representing civil society, academia, cities and regions. During the first day the resilient sustainable development as an issue of participative multi-level governance in the Danube Region was taken into account.
The event was opened by a session regarding Sustainable Development in Politics and Society in which Gisela Erler (State Counsellor for Civil Society and Civic Participation, Baden Württemberg, Germany), Franz Fischler (President European Forum Alpbach, Austria) & Irene Lucius (WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme, Austria) discussed and shared their perspectives and expertise about the topic. After this first panel, 6 different workshops regarding several subjects, such as Open Government Partnership, Energy and Environment, Social Innovation, Impact of Consumer and Producer Behaviour, DEAR-Turning Local Ideas into Global Solutions, Infrastructure and Participation were developed.
The second day of the event was instead dedicated to the role and the potentiality of local actors in making sustainable development in the Danube Region possible, gathering together some other high level speakers such as Karl-Heinz Lambertz (First Vice-President, European Committee of the Regions, Belgium), Stefana Greavu (Regional Cooperation Council, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Ugo Poli (Central European Initiative, Italy), and Dragana Pejović (Institute “Jaroslav Černi”, Belgrade).
This Special Initiative represented a great opportunity to pursue the discussion on sustainable development and applied it to a concrete context which is the one of the Danube Strategy. In addition, it remarked the importance of LAs and CSOs’ cooperation. As highlighted by Corina Cretu (European Commission for Regional Policy) “Civil Society Organisations (including NGOs) are vital partners for decision-makers, as they are best placed to know people’s development needs. In both EU and non-EU countries, we need to strengthen the involvement of Civil Society Organisations in the draft making and implementation of development policies. […] The civil society is becoming more and more involved in the implementation of the different Priority Areas of the Danube Strategy. This is essential to bring our Strategy’s thematic focuses closer to citizens”.Useful Links:

 
Photo Gallery
Other pictures from the event
Website of the event
Report from the Workshop on DEAR – Turning Local Ideas into Global Solutions (the report of the other workshops can be found in the website aforementioned)
Agenda of the event


La participation citoyenne: un outil essentiel de la démocratie locale

Local Democracy is essentially not a legislative and institutional process. It has its anchorage in local elections, decentralisation processes and public administration reform, of course, but it must be accompanied with a full understanding and involvement of citizens that will experience the laws and these structural process and who will be able to use them and be engaged. Without participative and aware citizens, laws and structure are useless boxes and non-realistic instruments. For this reason, our efforts in building good institutional frameworks, must include, since the very beginning awareness raising and capacities within both the elected bodies and administration and civil society group and citizens. Improvements of local and national situation will be the results of this joint work.

Local Democracy is essentially not a legislative and institutional process. It has its anchorage in local elections, decentralisation processes and public administration reform, of course, but it must be accompanied with a full understanding and involvement of citizens that will experience the laws and these structural process and who will be able to use them and be engaged. Without participative and aware citizens, laws and structure are useless boxes and non-realistic instruments. For this reason, our efforts in building good institutional frameworks, must include, since the very beginning awareness raising and capacities within both the elected bodies and administration and civil society group and citizens. Improvements of local and national situation will be the results of this joint work.