THE SOUTH EAST EUROPE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ASK THE EU TO BE INVOLVED IN A REALISTIC ROADMAP OF INTEGRATION

The local governments of the South East Europe countries want to be involved in a realistic roadmap of integration.

In a declaration signed on the 10th of March, mayors and elected representatives of the local and regional governments of south-east Europe, meeting in occasion of NEXPO, the NALAS international Municipal Fair, that was held in Sarajevo, ask the EU to include the local government dimension in its strategic and operational planning for EU enlargement, and to involve them, in particular via their national associations, in relevant consultation and dialogue.

“Countries and people of South East Europe –says the declaration- need to take their proper place very soon, within the European Union. This will mark another major step towards unifying our continent and thereby enhancing our common goals of peace, stability and sustainable prosperity”.

But to maintain the prospect of EU membership a credible attractive for the citizens, the EU needs to set out a clear, realistic target timetable and roadmap for each State, taking its situation into due account, also on the basis that the necessary steps must be taken in a timely manner to fulfill the criteria for membership, and each country needs to take all necessary steps with each level of government playing its part, the mayors say.

“At present – the declaration underlines – it seems as if  the EU’s institutions are under-estimating the essential role of the region’s local governments in preparing for EU integration”.

On the basis of these considerations, in their document mayors and representatives call on the EU’s Institutions to include the local government dimension in its strategic and operational planning for EU enlargement, to involve them in relevant consultations and dialogue and to ensure that relevant accession-related financing programmes are available to assist local government in preparing for accession and achieving a high quality development.

Mayors and representatives ask their national governments to complete and adequate the processes of decentralisation, with the transfer of the necessary competences, financial and human resources, involving local government associations at all stages in the processes of decentralisation, financial decision-making and preparation for EU membership.

Download the declaration here

The local governments of the South East Europe countries want to be involved in a realistic roadmap of integration.

In a declaration signed on the 10th of March, mayors and elected representatives of the local and regional governments of south-east Europe, meeting in occasion of NEXPO, the NALAS international Municipal Fair, that was held in Sarajevo, ask the EU to include the local government dimension in its strategic and operational planning for EU enlargement, and to involve them, in particular via their national associations, in relevant consultation and dialogue.

“Countries and people of South East Europe –says the declaration- need to take their proper place very soon, within the European Union. This will mark another major step towards unifying our continent and thereby enhancing our common goals of peace, stability and sustainable prosperity”.

But to maintain the prospect of EU membership a credible attractive for the citizens, the EU needs to set out a clear, realistic target timetable and roadmap for each State, taking its situation into due account, also on the basis that the necessary steps must be taken in a timely manner to fulfill the criteria for membership, and each country needs to take all necessary steps with each level of government playing its part, the mayors say.

“At present – the declaration underlines – it seems as if  the EU’s institutions are under-estimating the essential role of the region’s local governments in preparing for EU integration”.

On the basis of these considerations, in their document mayors and representatives call on the EU’s Institutions to include the local government dimension in its strategic and operational planning for EU enlargement, to involve them in relevant consultations and dialogue and to ensure that relevant accession-related financing programmes are available to assist local government in preparing for accession and achieving a high quality development.

Mayors and representatives ask their national governments to complete and adequate the processes of decentralisation, with the transfer of the necessary competences, financial and human resources, involving local government associations at all stages in the processes of decentralisation, financial decision-making and preparation for EU membership.

Download the declaration here


TWENTY YEARS AFTER THE FIRST LANDING OF ALBANIANS FLEEING TOWARDS FREEDOM, THREE DAYS OF EXHIBITIONS AND REFLECTIONS IN BRINDISI, HOSPITABLE CITY

With three days of exhibitions, debates and concerts, the city of Brindisi has commemorated the first landing of Albanian citizens fleeing towards freedom. From 11th to 13th of March was held the exhibition “The hospitable city: Albania – Brindisi twenty years later”.
It was March 7th, in 1991, when thousands of Albanians fleeing from a country devastated by a severe economic and political crisis landed in the port of Brindisi.

Twenty years have passed and the city of Brindisi recovered the memory of this historical page, still current.
The program, developed through an extensive course of action, has decreased the city in an atmosphere of reflection and commemoration. Moments of entertainment and discussion, including art installations, events of the narrative, allegorical band marches through the streets of the historic center, documentaries and special interest, conference-seminar on immigration and the concert of an artist of great appeal, have read, with the lens of history, those days of March that shook nationally and internationally the public attention.�

“The City hospitable” proposed to rediscover a dramatic period in the history of the Balkan country and also the great welcome offered by citizens and institutions in Brindisi, which was able to alleviate the suffering of countless lives embarked on an adventurous journey, revealing an extraordinary spirit of cohesion.

 

Twenty years later, today those people are integrated and vital into the civil society of the city.
Download the programme here�

With three days of exhibitions, debates and concerts, the city of Brindisi has commemorated the first landing of Albanian citizens fleeing towards freedom. From 11th to 13th of March was held the exhibition “The hospitable city: Albania – Brindisi twenty years later”.
It was March 7th, in 1991, when thousands of Albanians fleeing from a country devastated by a severe economic and political crisis landed in the port of Brindisi.

Twenty years have passed and the city of Brindisi recovered the memory of this historical page, still current.
The program, developed through an extensive course of action, has decreased the city in an atmosphere of reflection and commemoration. Moments of entertainment and discussion, including art installations, events of the narrative, allegorical band marches through the streets of the historic center, documentaries and special interest, conference-seminar on immigration and the concert of an artist of great appeal, have read, with the lens of history, those days of March that shook nationally and internationally the public attention.�

“The City hospitable” proposed to rediscover a dramatic period in the history of the Balkan country and also the great welcome offered by citizens and institutions in Brindisi, which was able to alleviate the suffering of countless lives embarked on an adventurous journey, revealing an extraordinary spirit of cohesion.

 

Twenty years later, today those people are integrated and vital into the civil society of the city.
Download the programme here�


MORE THAN 1000 PARTICIPANTS AT NEXPO 2011, INCLUDING ALDA AND LOCAL DEMOCRACY AGENCIES FROM THE REGION

Local authorities from all countries of South East Europe gathered in Sarajevo on 10 and 11 March 2011 at the NEXPO 2011 � NALAS International Municipal Fair. The event was organized by the Network of Associations of Local Authorities (NALAS) in co-operation with the FBiH and RS Association of municipalities and cities. This is the first regional expo of this kind, where all participants (not only municipalities and cities, but also development organizations, NGO�s and investors) presented their strategies, innovations and approaches.

 

ALDA�s President Mr. Per Vinther addressed the public as one of the speakers on the conference Good Governance and EU Integration, contributing in development of the NALAS Declaration on good governance and the role of local authorities in EU integration.
The presence of ALDA was also visible at the official expo area, presenting the latest activities and projects on local governance and active citizenship. This was also an opportunity for the Local Democracy Agencies from Mostar, Zavidovici and Prijedor to contact their colleagues from the region and discuss their programmes and activities.

NEXPO 2011 gathered around 200 mayors and 1000 participants willing to cooperate and innovate in order to strengthen their existing relations and establish new ones. That makes NEXPO 2011 a successful event connecting cities and organizations from the whole SEE region.
The Executive Director of NALAS, Mr. KelmendZajazi,thanked all participants for their contribution and stated: NEXPO 2011 in Sarajevo laid a solid ground to intensify networking among local governments in the region which will make them play a key role in EU integration in the years to come.

Local authorities from all countries of South East Europe gathered in Sarajevo on 10 and 11 March 2011 at the NEXPO 2011 � NALAS International Municipal Fair. The event was organized by the Network of Associations of Local Authorities (NALAS) in co-operation with the FBiH and RS Association of municipalities and cities. This is the first regional expo of this kind, where all participants (not only municipalities and cities, but also development organizations, NGO�s and investors) presented their strategies, innovations and approaches.

 

ALDA�s President Mr. Per Vinther addressed the public as one of the speakers on the conference Good Governance and EU Integration, contributing in development of the NALAS Declaration on good governance and the role of local authorities in EU integration.
The presence of ALDA was also visible at the official expo area, presenting the latest activities and projects on local governance and active citizenship. This was also an opportunity for the Local Democracy Agencies from Mostar, Zavidovici and Prijedor to contact their colleagues from the region and discuss their programmes and activities.

NEXPO 2011 gathered around 200 mayors and 1000 participants willing to cooperate and innovate in order to strengthen their existing relations and establish new ones. That makes NEXPO 2011 a successful event connecting cities and organizations from the whole SEE region.
The Executive Director of NALAS, Mr. KelmendZajazi,thanked all participants for their contribution and stated: NEXPO 2011 in Sarajevo laid a solid ground to intensify networking among local governments in the region which will make them play a key role in EU integration in the years to come.


THE EU SUPPORTS THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES BUT DOES NOT LEAVE EAST COUNTRIES APART

Support and solidarity with citizens of southern Mediterranean Countries is proclaimed unanimously by the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership in a letter to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Baroness Catherine Margaret Ashton.
On behalf of the CSF, the co-chair of the Steering Committee, Ulad Vialichka and Antonella Valmorbida, proclaimed support and solidarity with civil societies of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries of the Southern Neighborhood, which are striving for democracy and better life.
The statement is the expression of the deep grieve about all victims of the violent confrontation with the forces opposing the democratic changes, and the particular concern about the people in disgrace and immigrants in great need.

 

The Civil Society Forum calls the EU to provide them with necessary support in order to confirm the real values of solidarity on which the EU is funded.
The respect for the fundamental human rights and democracy are considered by the CSV among the fundamental basis for prosperity and welfare of all countries all over the world.

Ulad Vialichka and Antonella Valmorbida welcomed the changes in the North Africa region with a hope for a better future for this region.
“Therefore � says the statement � it is so important for the EU to find a proper balance between its engagement in the East and in the South. Both directions are equally important for the future security of the EU borders and Europe as a continent even though they are facing different challenges and problems. However, we would like to strongly recommend having a look at the two great political dimensions of the European neighborhood policy � the East and the South � as a two sides of the same coin, that need to be treated equally in terms of political and financial attention. All actions undertaken by the European Union in regard to the Mediterranean Region should not be made on the account of the Eastern Partnership. This would be in contradiction with the goals of the European neighborhood policy”.
The reference is to the letter by the Foreign Ministers of France, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Slovenia that suggests shifting funds from the East to the South.�

“We understand � the statement says � that the dynamics and scale of the North African developments need an appropriate and fast reaction of the EU. At the same time we recommend that the decisions on how to support the democratic changes in the concerned countries must take into consideration wider aspects of the European Neighborhood Policy and should not undermine the commitments already made by the Union in the Eastern Partnership policy. We, at the Civil Society Forum, a community of hundreds of civil society organizations from the EU member states and EaP partner countries, express our readiness to share existing experience with civil society organizations from Northern Africa and Middle East and to contribute to the discussion about the lessons learnt from the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy”.

In this respect, the Civil Society Forum of EaP� will take the contact with the Civil Society organizations and coordination in the South and recommend inviting some of their representatives to take part in the future CSF meeting which will take place in Poznan this year.
The statement also recommends the European Union to take in due count the role of civil society in the next actions in the future Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean.

Support and solidarity with citizens of southern Mediterranean Countries is proclaimed unanimously by the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership in a letter to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Baroness Catherine Margaret Ashton.
On behalf of the CSF, the co-chair of the Steering Committee, Ulad Vialichka and Antonella Valmorbida, proclaimed support and solidarity with civil societies of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries of the Southern Neighborhood, which are striving for democracy and better life.
The statement is the expression of the deep grieve about all victims of the violent confrontation with the forces opposing the democratic changes, and the particular concern about the people in disgrace and immigrants in great need.

 

The Civil Society Forum calls the EU to provide them with necessary support in order to confirm the real values of solidarity on which the EU is funded.
The respect for the fundamental human rights and democracy are considered by the CSV among the fundamental basis for prosperity and welfare of all countries all over the world.

Ulad Vialichka and Antonella Valmorbida welcomed the changes in the North Africa region with a hope for a better future for this region.
“Therefore � says the statement � it is so important for the EU to find a proper balance between its engagement in the East and in the South. Both directions are equally important for the future security of the EU borders and Europe as a continent even though they are facing different challenges and problems. However, we would like to strongly recommend having a look at the two great political dimensions of the European neighborhood policy � the East and the South � as a two sides of the same coin, that need to be treated equally in terms of political and financial attention. All actions undertaken by the European Union in regard to the Mediterranean Region should not be made on the account of the Eastern Partnership. This would be in contradiction with the goals of the European neighborhood policy”.
The reference is to the letter by the Foreign Ministers of France, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Slovenia that suggests shifting funds from the East to the South.�

“We understand � the statement says � that the dynamics and scale of the North African developments need an appropriate and fast reaction of the EU. At the same time we recommend that the decisions on how to support the democratic changes in the concerned countries must take into consideration wider aspects of the European Neighborhood Policy and should not undermine the commitments already made by the Union in the Eastern Partnership policy. We, at the Civil Society Forum, a community of hundreds of civil society organizations from the EU member states and EaP partner countries, express our readiness to share existing experience with civil society organizations from Northern Africa and Middle East and to contribute to the discussion about the lessons learnt from the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy”.

In this respect, the Civil Society Forum of EaP� will take the contact with the Civil Society organizations and coordination in the South and recommend inviting some of their representatives to take part in the future CSF meeting which will take place in Poznan this year.
The statement also recommends the European Union to take in due count the role of civil society in the next actions in the future Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean.


Black sea regional policy conference in Batumi, Adjara, Georgia

On April 5th and 6th, 2011 the Association of European Regions (AER) will hold its Second
Black Sea Regional Policy Conference in Batumi, Adjara, Georgia.
The Objectives of the conference are to: raise awareness about current political discussions
on the Black Sea, inform about possibilities of interregional cooperation in the framework of
EU programmes and develop first joint projects of interregional cooperation in the Black Sea
area.

As far as the Expected Outcomes are concerned, they are:
Intelligence gathering: Latest information on European policies in the Black Sea area
Networking and finding new partners;
Concrete project proposals which can be submitted to the EU – CBC Black Sea programme.
The working languages at the conference will be: English, French, German, Turkish and
Georgian. Registration for the conference is open until March 18, 2011.
Please find more information about the conference, the agenda and registration form here:

http://www.aer.eu/events/standing-committee-on-institutional-affairs/2011/second-aer-black-
sea-regional-policy-conference.html (http://www.aer.eu/events/standing-committee-on-
institutional-affairs/2011/second-aer-black-sea-regional-policy-conference.html)

On April 5th and 6th, 2011 the Association of European Regions (AER) will hold its Second
Black Sea Regional Policy Conference in Batumi, Adjara, Georgia.
The Objectives of the conference are to: raise awareness about current political discussions
on the Black Sea, inform about possibilities of interregional cooperation in the framework of
EU programmes and develop first joint projects of interregional cooperation in the Black Sea
area.

As far as the Expected Outcomes are concerned, they are:
Intelligence gathering: Latest information on European policies in the Black Sea area
Networking and finding new partners;
Concrete project proposals which can be submitted to the EU – CBC Black Sea programme.
The working languages at the conference will be: English, French, German, Turkish and
Georgian. Registration for the conference is open until March 18, 2011.
Please find more information about the conference, the agenda and registration form here:

http://www.aer.eu/events/standing-committee-on-institutional-affairs/2011/second-aer-black-
sea-regional-policy-conference.html (http://www.aer.eu/events/standing-committee-on-
institutional-affairs/2011/second-aer-black-sea-regional-policy-conference.html)


Training and first steering committee meeting of goal project in Strasbourg

To promote citizens’ participation in the construction of a tighter-knit, democratic, world-
oriented and united Europe, tackling the challenge of immigration as an “opportunity” to

develop active citizenship and sense of ownership of the EU, whilst enhancing tolerance,
solidarity and mutual understanding.
These are the objectives of GOAL (Granting Opportunities for Active Learning) – an ALDA
project whose first activity is taking place in Strasbourg (8th-10th March).

This activity mainly consists of a Training Course addressed to Citizens’ Panels Activators,
those people who will be in charge of setting up the local citizens’ panels on immigration that
are the crucial point of the project. During the training, methods and contents of the future
panels will be discussed.
The first steering committee meeting of the project also takes place during these days.
Immigration and immigrants’ participation represent vivid issues at the EU level and
particularly affect citizen’s daily life in the addressed countries.
The project presents a set of activities that allow citizens the chance to interact both at
the local and at the European level and offers them the occasion to “work” together
towards a common aim.
GOAL specific aim is to further improve the methodology of “citizens’ panels” adding the
“component” of immigration.
It represents an unbiased platform where citizens and other stakeholders gather information
(with a bottom-up approach), debate, collect individual and collective opinions, formulate
their views (duly guided and supported) and draft them in the form of recommendations for
policy makers at the European level in the field of “immigration”.
The ACTION foresees 9 steps, having an impact both at the local and at the European level.
Following the partnership building phase and the selection of the theme, the process is
planned as follows: 1. Training for citizens’ panels activators 2. Set-up of local citizens’
panels 3. Local workshops 4. International meeting of citizens’ panels 5. Open days at the
local level 6. Production phase 7. International final workshop 8. Final publication 9.
Evaluation and follow-up.
The partners of the project are civil society organizations, local and regional authorities and
associations of local authorities coming from 6 different countries, old and new EU Member
States and pre-accession countries, where immigration represents one of the most vivid
issues on the national and European agenda.

To promote citizens’ participation in the construction of a tighter-knit, democratic, world-
oriented and united Europe, tackling the challenge of immigration as an “opportunity” to

develop active citizenship and sense of ownership of the EU, whilst enhancing tolerance,
solidarity and mutual understanding.
These are the objectives of GOAL (Granting Opportunities for Active Learning) – an ALDA
project whose first activity is taking place in Strasbourg (8th-10th March).

This activity mainly consists of a Training Course addressed to Citizens’ Panels Activators,
those people who will be in charge of setting up the local citizens’ panels on immigration that
are the crucial point of the project. During the training, methods and contents of the future
panels will be discussed.
The first steering committee meeting of the project also takes place during these days.
Immigration and immigrants’ participation represent vivid issues at the EU level and
particularly affect citizen’s daily life in the addressed countries.
The project presents a set of activities that allow citizens the chance to interact both at
the local and at the European level and offers them the occasion to “work” together
towards a common aim.
GOAL specific aim is to further improve the methodology of “citizens’ panels” adding the
“component” of immigration.
It represents an unbiased platform where citizens and other stakeholders gather information
(with a bottom-up approach), debate, collect individual and collective opinions, formulate
their views (duly guided and supported) and draft them in the form of recommendations for
policy makers at the European level in the field of “immigration”.
The ACTION foresees 9 steps, having an impact both at the local and at the European level.
Following the partnership building phase and the selection of the theme, the process is
planned as follows: 1. Training for citizens’ panels activators 2. Set-up of local citizens’
panels 3. Local workshops 4. International meeting of citizens’ panels 5. Open days at the
local level 6. Production phase 7. International final workshop 8. Final publication 9.
Evaluation and follow-up.
The partners of the project are civil society organizations, local and regional authorities and
associations of local authorities coming from 6 different countries, old and new EU Member
States and pre-accession countries, where immigration represents one of the most vivid
issues on the national and European agenda.


Announced legal action to recover loans from European associations Asael’s partners in many projects. The European Commission investigates. ASAEL: the governing board members will personally pay off debts It's a moral issue that might have affect the local and regional elections in Aragon

The members of the Governing Board of Asael, the Association of municipalities of Aragon
Region (Spain) that was dissolved in late 2009 swept away by a scandal, former President
Jesus Alone in the head, will be liable personally for debts left.
ALDA, with its other partners, decided to take legal action on the basis of the Spanish Law
on Associations (the “Ley Orgnica 1 / 2002, de 22 de marzo, reguladora del Derecho de
Asociacin).

“We are forced to choose the legal way -said Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA-
because all our efforts to resolve the issue amicably have not been successful. The Aragon

institutions we questioned, as Asael was an association of local authorities, ignored our calls
or answered that the issue does not concern them. A rubber wall has been raised around
Asael and its administrators that were all mayors of Aragon towns”.
But the Spanish Law on Associations is clear and says that administrators are responsible of
debts of their Association debts, caused by malicious reasons, and also for culpable
negligence, and that they have to pay with their personal assets.
“It’s clear-stated the Director of Alda, AntonellaValmorbida- that during the Sol
management of Asael, in recent years none of the administratos has exercised effective
control, to avoid accumulating debts and that European funds were not used for the purpose
for which they were assigned to Asael, to support project activities”.
The projects were developed in the years 2008-2009 and were Bandair,Emanzipar and
Eclau. The other ALDA members partners of the project managed by Asael were the
province of Reggio Emilia (Italy), the City of Bydgoszcz (Poland), Baltisfem (Lithuania), the
Local Councils’ Association, Association of Municipalities (Malta), the Institute of
Enterpreneurship, an NGO (Greece), the Association for the development of mountain
communities (Bulgaria).
The credit of ALDA and its partners amounts around to 115.000  (ALDA 30,180, City of
Bydgoszcz 31,000, Baltifem, 24,000, Institute of Enterpreuneurship, 9,700, Province of
Reggio Emilia 9,000, Association for Development of Mountain Municipalities, 9,000, Local
Councils’Association, 1,800).
This is an amount of money that Asael has to pay to its partners for activities under the
project, personal taxes, social contributions. Some of them could have lots of serious
financial difficulties if they will not be paid.

“We believethatthesituationhasbeenlargelyoverlookedbyeveryonehereinAragon –
stillsaystheDirectorofALDA, AntonellaValmorbida-by the risk thatit mayhaveinrelationswith
the European Community. TheCommission’srepresentative officein Madridisawareof
whathappenedandsharesour position. TheCommission’s anti-fraud
officeisinvestigatingpossibleembezzlementofwhich has been discussedinnewspapersin the
region.Wearewillingtogoall the wayto guarantee ourrights,andwebelievethatit’ll be hard that
any other European project could have partnersentitiessuch astheAragoneseFamcp,
oneofwhichvicepresident is thecurrentPresidentofAsael, whoseresponsibilities,
ifnotforSol’smanagement facts, is nowduetoeludeanyresponse. “
Asael’sformerpartnersdo not understandhowinstitutionsandpolitical forcesin Aragon do not
exerciseall is in their powertosuccessfullyresolvetheissue, which also includesformer
employeesofAsaelremainedwithoutpayment.
“We know that the formerpresidentofAsael, JesusSol, wasvery closetothe President
ofPAR, JosAngelBiel, whoisvice presidentandspokesman oftheregional government, and
thatthe majorityofmembersofMunicipality member ofAsaelwereledbymayorsof thePAR.

CanthePAR, whichwill celebrateitscongress in the next days -stillsaysAntonellaValmorbida-
ignorethemoral issueinternally? And do theotherparties ingovernmentandin the

oppositionnothave the heart tosafeguard the imageof the regionofAragonin Europe? Andhow
dothey believe that, at theupcomingMay elections,theycannominate again those outgoing
mayors responsible for thisfailure? “
These are questions which the public of the region should demand answers, because the
ethics of elected representatives and the institutions they governedhas been called into
question.
“We regret being forced to give public evidence of this situation – concluded the Director of
ALDA, AntonellaValmorbida-but silence would be complicit in unlawful conduct. And we are
even more regretful for the thirty years of historyof Asael, its efficient staff and the president
himself Sol, who we always had, until these facts have emerged, a very good account on.
Asael was our partner and Sol was a member of our Board. It’s a real shame that things
have had this outcome.”

The members of the Governing Board of Asael, the Association of municipalities of Aragon
Region (Spain) that was dissolved in late 2009 swept away by a scandal, former President
Jesus Alone in the head, will be liable personally for debts left.
ALDA, with its other partners, decided to take legal action on the basis of the Spanish Law
on Associations (the “Ley Orgnica 1 / 2002, de 22 de marzo, reguladora del Derecho de
Asociacin).

“We are forced to choose the legal way -said Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA-
because all our efforts to resolve the issue amicably have not been successful. The Aragon

institutions we questioned, as Asael was an association of local authorities, ignored our calls
or answered that the issue does not concern them. A rubber wall has been raised around
Asael and its administrators that were all mayors of Aragon towns”.
But the Spanish Law on Associations is clear and says that administrators are responsible of
debts of their Association debts, caused by malicious reasons, and also for culpable
negligence, and that they have to pay with their personal assets.
“It’s clear-stated the Director of Alda, AntonellaValmorbida- that during the Sol
management of Asael, in recent years none of the administratos has exercised effective
control, to avoid accumulating debts and that European funds were not used for the purpose
for which they were assigned to Asael, to support project activities”.
The projects were developed in the years 2008-2009 and were Bandair,Emanzipar and
Eclau. The other ALDA members partners of the project managed by Asael were the
province of Reggio Emilia (Italy), the City of Bydgoszcz (Poland), Baltisfem (Lithuania), the
Local Councils’ Association, Association of Municipalities (Malta), the Institute of
Enterpreneurship, an NGO (Greece), the Association for the development of mountain
communities (Bulgaria).
The credit of ALDA and its partners amounts around to 115.000  (ALDA 30,180, City of
Bydgoszcz 31,000, Baltifem, 24,000, Institute of Enterpreuneurship, 9,700, Province of
Reggio Emilia 9,000, Association for Development of Mountain Municipalities, 9,000, Local
Councils’Association, 1,800).
This is an amount of money that Asael has to pay to its partners for activities under the
project, personal taxes, social contributions. Some of them could have lots of serious
financial difficulties if they will not be paid.

“We believethatthesituationhasbeenlargelyoverlookedbyeveryonehereinAragon –
stillsaystheDirectorofALDA, AntonellaValmorbida-by the risk thatit mayhaveinrelationswith
the European Community. TheCommission’srepresentative officein Madridisawareof
whathappenedandsharesour position. TheCommission’s anti-fraud
officeisinvestigatingpossibleembezzlementofwhich has been discussedinnewspapersin the
region.Wearewillingtogoall the wayto guarantee ourrights,andwebelievethatit’ll be hard that
any other European project could have partnersentitiessuch astheAragoneseFamcp,
oneofwhichvicepresident is thecurrentPresidentofAsael, whoseresponsibilities,
ifnotforSol’smanagement facts, is nowduetoeludeanyresponse. “
Asael’sformerpartnersdo not understandhowinstitutionsandpolitical forcesin Aragon do not
exerciseall is in their powertosuccessfullyresolvetheissue, which also includesformer
employeesofAsaelremainedwithoutpayment.
“We know that the formerpresidentofAsael, JesusSol, wasvery closetothe President
ofPAR, JosAngelBiel, whoisvice presidentandspokesman oftheregional government, and
thatthe majorityofmembersofMunicipality member ofAsaelwereledbymayorsof thePAR.

CanthePAR, whichwill celebrateitscongress in the next days -stillsaysAntonellaValmorbida-
ignorethemoral issueinternally? And do theotherparties ingovernmentandin the

oppositionnothave the heart tosafeguard the imageof the regionofAragonin Europe? Andhow
dothey believe that, at theupcomingMay elections,theycannominate again those outgoing
mayors responsible for thisfailure? “
These are questions which the public of the region should demand answers, because the
ethics of elected representatives and the institutions they governedhas been called into
question.
“We regret being forced to give public evidence of this situation – concluded the Director of
ALDA, AntonellaValmorbida-but silence would be complicit in unlawful conduct. And we are
even more regretful for the thirty years of historyof Asael, its efficient staff and the president
himself Sol, who we always had, until these facts have emerged, a very good account on.
Asael was our partner and Sol was a member of our Board. It’s a real shame that things
have had this outcome.”


March

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ENGFRAITARUS