The International Forum “Partnership as key for Local Democracy – Rethinking the cooperation between local authorities and civil society” organised by the European Association for Local Democracy – ALDA Skopje took place on the 11th and 12th June 2019 at the Hotel “Best Western” in Skopje.

This international event gathered 80 participants representing local authorities, the civil society sector and international organisations from North Macedonia, the Balkans and the EU. The Forum has been a unique opportunity to exchange best practices and rethink the cooperation between local authorities and civil society.

Four different panels on good practices have been held during the event on various topics. The first session on effective partnerships between the civil society and the local authorities was moderated by Ivan Vejvoda from the Center for Democracy Foundation of Serbia. The second included panellists from various CSOs and tackled the issue of the support to civil society organisations. Katica Janeva from ALDA Skopje moderated the third round of discussion on the new and traditional forms of citizen participation. Finally, the participant had the chance to discuss international cooperation related aspects of local partnerships.

The main message that came across during the Forum was that civil society is crucial in the process of democratisation and is especially effective on the local level. Municipalities shared their positive results on cooperation with civil society organisation to support this premise and stimulate other local authorities to replicate it in their communities.

Another point that was agreed among participants was that in the current political climate in Europe civil society needs to readapt and reinvent itself because it has become a constitutional piece of the construction and maintenance of democracy. The decentralised process engaging a multi-stakeholder partnership and international cooperation were identified as the best way to achieve it.

The Forum was organised in the framework of the project “Civil society organisations for making local democracy work” supported by the European Union and the Central European Initiative (CEI) and implemented by ALDA Skopje, Association of Finance Officers of Local Governments & Public Enterprises Veles and European Movement North Macedonia.

The International Forum “Partnership as key for Local Democracy – Rethinking the cooperation between local authorities and civil society” organised by the European Association for Local Democracy – ALDA Skopje took place on the 11th and 12th June 2019 at the Hotel “Best Western” in Skopje.

This international event gathered 80 participants representing local authorities, the civil society sector and international organisations from North Macedonia, the Balkans and the EU. The Forum has been a unique opportunity to exchange best practices and rethink the cooperation between local authorities and civil society.

Four different panels on good practices have been held during the event on various topics. The first session on effective partnerships between the civil society and the local authorities was moderated by Ivan Vejvoda from the Center for Democracy Foundation of Serbia. The second included panellists from various CSOs and tackled the issue of the support to civil society organisations. Katica Janeva from ALDA Skopje moderated the third round of discussion on the new and traditional forms of citizen participation. Finally, the participant had the chance to discuss international cooperation related aspects of local partnerships.

The main message that came across during the Forum was that civil society is crucial in the process of democratisation and is especially effective on the local level. Municipalities shared their positive results on cooperation with civil society organisation to support this premise and stimulate other local authorities to replicate it in their communities.

Another point that was agreed among participants was that in the current political climate in Europe civil society needs to readapt and reinvent itself because it has become a constitutional piece of the construction and maintenance of democracy. The decentralised process engaging a multi-stakeholder partnership and international cooperation were identified as the best way to achieve it.

The Forum was organised in the framework of the project “Civil society organisations for making local democracy work” supported by the European Union and the Central European Initiative (CEI) and implemented by ALDA Skopje, Association of Finance Officers of Local Governments & Public Enterprises Veles and European Movement North Macedonia.