PARTICIPATION AND INTERCULTURAL GOVERNANCE AT LOCAL LEVEL IN THE BALKANS: CHALLENGES AND EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES. FINAL CONFERENCE CARDS’ PROJECT. MOSTAR 30th March - 2nd April 2011

The final conference of the Cards’ project, “Regional partnerships for intercultural exchange“ will be held in Mostar (Hotel Ero) from 30th of March to 2nd of April.
It is a two year regional project co-financed by the European Commission which consist of a set of events involving local authorities, civil society organisation and citizens which aims at enhancing networking and best practices among some South Eastern European municipalities.
The main aim of the project is to support diversity management in multiethnic communities such as Mostar, Osijek and Subotica, to improve the participation and inclusion of ethnic minorities as well as to highlight the richness of the several regional cultural traditions.

 

The leading applicant of the project is the city administration of Subotica; ALDA, the LDAs of Subotica, Mostar and Osijek and the Lighthouse Media centre of Wolverhampton (UK) are the partners of the project, equally involved.
The final conference will give an overview of the activities implemented over the past two years and provide space for interaction and debate of representatives of cso-s and local self-governments from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and with their counterparts in EU on some key concepts and practices related with democratic participation and good local governance. In the opening session the key-note speakers are Mr. Ljubo Beslic, Mayor of Mostar, Mr. Slavko Parac, President of City Assembly Subotica, Mr. Jovan Jelic, Deputy Prefect of Osijek Baranja County, Ms. Natalia Dianiskova, Head of Operations Section, Social Development, Civil Society and CBC, EU Delegation to BiH and� Ms. Suzan Arslan, DG Enlargement � Regional Programmes, CSF Project manager.

During the introductory session, Project team members will give an overview of project activities and some of its main achievements, while during the two days’ programme five thematic panels will be organized with the participation of panelists coming from the three countries included in the project, but also from municipalities from Italy, UK, Norway, Hungary and Moldova.
The collection of written contributions will be presented during the conference, while the thematic panels are designed as the presentation of diverse local practices and the debate on the following issues:

Minorities and participation at local level (facilitated by Mr. Owen Masters, CoE Confidence building measures programme expert)
From multicultural coexistence to intercultural governance (facilitated by Mr. Gunnar Mandt, European Wergeland Centre, Oslo)
BE-ME perspective film documentaries (facilitated by Mr. Frank Challenger, Light House media centre, Wolverhampton)
Municipal service provision in culturally diverse communities (facilitated by Ms. Jlenia Destito, Ipres Centre, region Puglia)
Civil society as an actor of a new dialogue and reconciliation in the region (facilitated by Mr. Vehid Sehic, Citizens Forum Tuzla)
Opportunities for Civil society and local self-governments in cross-border /regional co-operation programmes (facilitated by Ms. Stanka Parac Damjanovic, ALDA)

Around seventy participants are expected in Mostar conference, while the hosts � Local Democracy Agency Mostar and the city administration Mostar will organize a study visit and the sightseeing tour on Saturday 2nd April. In addition a joint cultural programme linking the young performers from three cities included in the project � Mostar, Osijek and Subotica, will be organized in Mostar Youth Theatre.

The final conference of the Cards’ project, “Regional partnerships for intercultural exchange“ will be held in Mostar (Hotel Ero) from 30th of March to 2nd of April.
It is a two year regional project co-financed by the European Commission which consist of a set of events involving local authorities, civil society organisation and citizens which aims at enhancing networking and best practices among some South Eastern European municipalities.
The main aim of the project is to support diversity management in multiethnic communities such as Mostar, Osijek and Subotica, to improve the participation and inclusion of ethnic minorities as well as to highlight the richness of the several regional cultural traditions.

 

The leading applicant of the project is the city administration of Subotica; ALDA, the LDAs of Subotica, Mostar and Osijek and the Lighthouse Media centre of Wolverhampton (UK) are the partners of the project, equally involved.
The final conference will give an overview of the activities implemented over the past two years and provide space for interaction and debate of representatives of cso-s and local self-governments from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and with their counterparts in EU on some key concepts and practices related with democratic participation and good local governance. In the opening session the key-note speakers are Mr. Ljubo Beslic, Mayor of Mostar, Mr. Slavko Parac, President of City Assembly Subotica, Mr. Jovan Jelic, Deputy Prefect of Osijek Baranja County, Ms. Natalia Dianiskova, Head of Operations Section, Social Development, Civil Society and CBC, EU Delegation to BiH and� Ms. Suzan Arslan, DG Enlargement � Regional Programmes, CSF Project manager.

During the introductory session, Project team members will give an overview of project activities and some of its main achievements, while during the two days’ programme five thematic panels will be organized with the participation of panelists coming from the three countries included in the project, but also from municipalities from Italy, UK, Norway, Hungary and Moldova.
The collection of written contributions will be presented during the conference, while the thematic panels are designed as the presentation of diverse local practices and the debate on the following issues:

Minorities and participation at local level (facilitated by Mr. Owen Masters, CoE Confidence building measures programme expert)
From multicultural coexistence to intercultural governance (facilitated by Mr. Gunnar Mandt, European Wergeland Centre, Oslo)
BE-ME perspective film documentaries (facilitated by Mr. Frank Challenger, Light House media centre, Wolverhampton)
Municipal service provision in culturally diverse communities (facilitated by Ms. Jlenia Destito, Ipres Centre, region Puglia)
Civil society as an actor of a new dialogue and reconciliation in the region (facilitated by Mr. Vehid Sehic, Citizens Forum Tuzla)
Opportunities for Civil society and local self-governments in cross-border /regional co-operation programmes (facilitated by Ms. Stanka Parac Damjanovic, ALDA)

Around seventy participants are expected in Mostar conference, while the hosts � Local Democracy Agency Mostar and the city administration Mostar will organize a study visit and the sightseeing tour on Saturday 2nd April. In addition a joint cultural programme linking the young performers from three cities included in the project � Mostar, Osijek and Subotica, will be organized in Mostar Youth Theatre.


FROM LISBON TREATY MORE VOICE TO CITIZENS IN EUROPE In Thiene (IT), a conference organized by Municipality, Urban Center, and ALDA (10th of February)

A more democratic and transparent Europe, strengthening the role of the EU and national Parliaments, and giving the people more opportunities to make their voices heard.
These are the most expected aspects of the Lisbon Treaty realization.
Its coming into force (December 2009) was only the start of a course of discovery and implementation that will give concrete results if it will involve, in the years to come, all European citizens to make them closer to institutions, at present perceived as far away, and make them active and participatory.
The Municipality of Thiene (IT), the Urban Center and ALDA promoted an info-day about the� Lisbon Treaty and the perspectives it will open on participation.

 

The event is scheduled for the 10th of February (Meeting hall of the City Library, starting at 9:30).
In the morning Meps Mara Bizzotto and Debora Serracchiani, Mr Matteo Fornara, EC Office in Milano, Mrs Maria Rita Busetti, Mayor of Thiene and Mrs Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Director, moderated by the journalist Antonio Di Lorenzo, will explore the opportunities for citizens by the Treaty.
In the afternoon two workshops will take place, where participants will discuss about decision making process and civil society participation, and the role of the local authorities in Europe after the Treaty.
There are already many ways in which European citizens can find out about and take part in the political process of the EU. The newest of these is the citizens’ initiative, whereby people will be able to ask the Commission to present a proposal in any of the EU’s areas of responsibility. The practical details of this initiative will be worked out once the Treaty of Lisbon takes effect.
The treaty also recognises the importance of consultation and dialogue with associations, civil society, workers and employers, churches and other non-denominational organisations.

A more democratic and transparent Europe, strengthening the role of the EU and national Parliaments, and giving the people more opportunities to make their voices heard.
These are the most expected aspects of the Lisbon Treaty realization.
Its coming into force (December 2009) was only the start of a course of discovery and implementation that will give concrete results if it will involve, in the years to come, all European citizens to make them closer to institutions, at present perceived as far away, and make them active and participatory.
The Municipality of Thiene (IT), the Urban Center and ALDA promoted an info-day about the� Lisbon Treaty and the perspectives it will open on participation.

 

The event is scheduled for the 10th of February (Meeting hall of the City Library, starting at 9:30).
In the morning Meps Mara Bizzotto and Debora Serracchiani, Mr Matteo Fornara, EC Office in Milano, Mrs Maria Rita Busetti, Mayor of Thiene and Mrs Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Director, moderated by the journalist Antonio Di Lorenzo, will explore the opportunities for citizens by the Treaty.
In the afternoon two workshops will take place, where participants will discuss about decision making process and civil society participation, and the role of the local authorities in Europe after the Treaty.
There are already many ways in which European citizens can find out about and take part in the political process of the EU. The newest of these is the citizens’ initiative, whereby people will be able to ask the Commission to present a proposal in any of the EU’s areas of responsibility. The practical details of this initiative will be worked out once the Treaty of Lisbon takes effect.
The treaty also recognises the importance of consultation and dialogue with associations, civil society, workers and employers, churches and other non-denominational organisations.


NEW PERSPECTIVES IN COOPERATION BETWEEN ALDA AND SUBOTICA (SRB) AUTHORITIES

New perspectives and possibilities in the field of international and regional cooperation have emerged from a meeting between ALDA Staff and local authorities in Subotica. This meeting took place in Subotica City Hall on Friday, 28th of January.
The meeting was attended by City of Subotica representatives: Mr. Sasa Vucinic (Mayor of Subotica), Mr. Slavko Parac (City Assembly Chairman), Mrs. Erika Kudlik and Melinda Nagy-Kiseresmiss (representatives of International and regional cooperation department); Mrs. Antonella Valmobrida (ALDA Director) and Mrs. Stanka Parac (Partnership manager) and representatives of LDA Subotica and LDA CSS: Sasa Marinkov LDACSS Delegate as well as Olga Perusic and Milan Bosnjak form LDA Subotica.

 

City of Subotica is the first city supported establishing a Local Democracy Agency. LDA Subotica started activities in 1993 and in the beginning of 2000 LDA Subotica and City of Subotica were first active member and partner of ALDA. As such, City of Subotica enjoys special treatment in ALDA network. Therefore this meeting was a really good opportunity for all sides to determine new perspectives and possibilities in the field of international and regional cooperation. Main aim of the meeting was to enhance and ensure connections and cooperation between actors involved in the meeting.

New perspectives and possibilities in the field of international and regional cooperation have emerged from a meeting between ALDA Staff and local authorities in Subotica. This meeting took place in Subotica City Hall on Friday, 28th of January.
The meeting was attended by City of Subotica representatives: Mr. Sasa Vucinic (Mayor of Subotica), Mr. Slavko Parac (City Assembly Chairman), Mrs. Erika Kudlik and Melinda Nagy-Kiseresmiss (representatives of International and regional cooperation department); Mrs. Antonella Valmobrida (ALDA Director) and Mrs. Stanka Parac (Partnership manager) and representatives of LDA Subotica and LDA CSS: Sasa Marinkov LDACSS Delegate as well as Olga Perusic and Milan Bosnjak form LDA Subotica.

 

City of Subotica is the first city supported establishing a Local Democracy Agency. LDA Subotica started activities in 1993 and in the beginning of 2000 LDA Subotica and City of Subotica were first active member and partner of ALDA. As such, City of Subotica enjoys special treatment in ALDA network. Therefore this meeting was a really good opportunity for all sides to determine new perspectives and possibilities in the field of international and regional cooperation. Main aim of the meeting was to enhance and ensure connections and cooperation between actors involved in the meeting.


We need remembrance for a peaceful future

On January 27th, 1945, 66 years ago, the German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz‐ Birkenau was liberated by the Russian Army, giving name to the International Holocaust Memorial Day on that date every year.

A new Europe has been built on the ruins of war and hatred, with the conviction that something like the Shoah should never be allowed to happen again.
Against such a back‐ground Local Democracy Agencies were established in the wake of the conflict leading to the break‐up of the former Yugoslavia with the objective of helping to build a society founded on democratic principles, rule of law and respect for human and minority rights.

On January 27th, 1945, 66 years ago, the German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz‐ Birkenau was liberated by the Russian Army, giving name to the International Holocaust Memorial Day on that date every year.

A new Europe has been built on the ruins of war and hatred, with the conviction that something like the Shoah should never be allowed to happen again.
Against such a back‐ground Local Democracy Agencies were established in the wake of the conflict leading to the break‐up of the former Yugoslavia with the objective of helping to build a society founded on democratic principles, rule of law and respect for human and minority rights.


ALDA IS SEARCHING FOR 2 VOLUNTEERS (FRENCH OR RESIDENTS IN FRANCE)

ALDA is preparing a proposal for the “Youth in Action. Action 2 – European Voluntary Service” whose deadline is the 1st of February. The proposal (entitled “VOICE”) consists of group exchanges of volunteers between several European Structures and South Eastern Europe organizations.

 

ALDA holds an accreditation as Coordinating and Sending organization inside the European Voluntary service (EVS). It will coordinate “VOICE” and send volunteers towards two of the project’s partners.

ALDA’s staff would like to select 2 volunteers that will be sent as EVS, one in Serbia (city of Nis) for a period of 6 months, one in the Republic of Macedonia (city of Prilep) for a period of 9 months.

 

The starting period of the exchange should be beginning 2012.

ALDA is preparing a proposal for the “Youth in Action. Action 2 – European Voluntary Service” whose deadline is the 1st of February. The proposal (entitled “VOICE”) consists of group exchanges of volunteers between several European Structures and South Eastern Europe organizations.

 

ALDA holds an accreditation as Coordinating and Sending organization inside the European Voluntary service (EVS). It will coordinate “VOICE” and send volunteers towards two of the project’s partners.

ALDA’s staff would like to select 2 volunteers that will be sent as EVS, one in Serbia (city of Nis) for a period of 6 months, one in the Republic of Macedonia (city of Prilep) for a period of 9 months.

 

The starting period of the exchange should be beginning 2012.