ALDA General Assembly 2024: Local Democracy for Global Impact

Mai 14, 2024


On May 13, 2024, ALDA’s annual General Assembly convened in the lively city of Barcelona, Spain, marking a significant milestone for the Association. Taking place in the picturesque framework of El Born Cultural Center, this gathering held profound importance as it served as a platform for engaging discussions and crucial decisions. 

The event was not only an opportunity for members, partners and friends to gather and exchange ideas but also a moment of transition as new leadership was elected. As the network of the Association engaged in insightful conversations with keynote speakers, they also participated in the democratic process of electing the new ALDA Governing Board and ALDA’s president.

The Assembly started with the opening words of its outgoing president, Oriano Otočan and ALDA’s Secretary General, Antonella Valmordìbida, who was followed by an amazing speech on the importance of democracy in challenging contexts carried out by the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, Maria Eugenia Gay

The outgoing President proposed to the audience Dzenana Dedic, Director of the Local Democracy Agency Mostar, as President of the Assembly, and the people present accepted. 

Afterwards, the first panel entitled “Local Democracy, engaging globally: the European perspective” took place. We had the pleasure to engage in insightful discussions magistrally moderated by Dorothee Fischer, Senior Communications Expert and CEO Legado Sharpe & Fischer, and held by Tunc Soyer, President of the Chamber of Regions, Congress of the Council of Europe, Patrick Molinoz, Chair of the CIVEX Committee of the European Committee of the Regions, Vice-President of the Region Franche-Comté, Zana Vokopola, Executive Director of the Urban Research Institute of Albania, and Albert Castellanos i Maduell, Secretary for Enterprise and Competitiveness of the Ministry of Business and Labour of the Government of Catalonia, President of the AER. The discussion was soon followed by a second panel, which focused instead on a more international perspective, rather than a European one. 

This second panel saw the participation of Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of United Cities of Local Governments, Vadim Boichenko, Mayor of Mariupol, representative of the Association of Ukrainian Cities, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Member of the European Parliament, President of the Union of European Federalists and Vice President of the European Movement International, and Senén Florensa i Palau, Executive President, European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). This discussion was also opened by a video message by Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships. 

Following the initial proceedings of the General Assembly, a defining moment emerged for our Association: the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between ALDA and the European Committee of the Regions. With ALDA President, Oriano Otočan, and Patrick Molinoz at the forefront, this ceremonial act solidified a profound alliance, marking an important step forward in our shared journey towards unity and progress.

The morning of the General Assembly closed on the words of Maddalena Alberti, ALDA Advisory Board Member and Director of the ADL Zavidovici Association, on the Paweł Adamowicz Award 2023, assigned to the Association in January. This moment was also marked by a heartful video on the importance of this prize and of the story of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz, a dear friend of ALDA.

Amidst the backdrop of Barcelona’s cultural richness, the General Assembly underscored ALDA’s commitment to fostering collaboration, dialogue, and democratic principles

The afternoon session commenced with the approval of several important documents crucial to the Association’s trajectory, including the 4-year Strategy of ALDA 2024-2028, the Programme and Budget document, and the comprehensive Report of activities for 2023, among others.

Following this more procedural phase, the atmosphere intensified as ALDA members present at the event participated in the elections of the Governing Board for the 2024-2028 mandate. This crucial juncture marked a significant transition for the Association, as the newly elected Governing Board will guide ALDA’s path for the next four years, shaping its direction until 2028.

During the counting of votes, Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, took the occasion to thank the outgoing President Oriano Otočan for his hard work during his 12 years of presidency and shared with the audience an emotional video containing very important memories that date back to 2012. 

The General Assembly came to its closure with the election of the new Governing Board for 2024-2028, which will be composed of Nataša Vučković (ALDA President), Emir Coric (ALDA Vice President), Maurizio Camin (ALDA Vice President), Roger Lawrence (ALDA Vice President), Oriano Otočan (ALDA treasurer) and by the following members: Andrea Rilievo, Maddalena Alberti, Inna Volkova, Núria Parlón Gil, Thibaut Guignard, Marta Sys, Mario Žuliček, Kerim Medjedovic (representing the Local Democracy Agencies) and Irina Sahakyan Vetter (representing the Congress of the Council of Europe).

Amidst the backdrop of Barcelona’s cultural richness, the General Assembly underscored ALDA’s commitment to fostering collaboration, dialogue, and democratic principles. With the election of new leadership, the Association embarks on a new chapter, poised to continue its mission of promoting local democracy and active citizenship across Europe and beyond.

As ALDA moves forward under the guidance of its newly elected leadership, the spirit of cooperation and dedication to advancing democratic values remains resolute.