JUNE 2012: MONTENEGRO HAS OFFICIALLY STARTED NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE EU

One more important step toward the European future of the Balkans has been made by Montenegro, the smallest country that gained its independence in 2006. Since 2003, when the Thessaloniki Agenda was adopted, the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has remained a top priority of both governments and citizens in these countries. Intensified monitoring over the progress made particularly with regard to respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic institutions has brought forward deep structural reforms in societies that have only recently closed, perhaps one of the most tragic page in their history.

Despite the raging crisis in Eurozone and the so called “enlargement fatigue”, the Western Balkan remains to be incorporated sooner or later into the EU. The process of harmonization with the EU standards has in the meantime become a clearly regulated set of procedures which all the candidate countries must comply with. Accession negotiations last as long as it is necessary, or as long as the criteria set in the accession chapters are fulfilled.

Each and every country, including certainly Croatia thus may become an excellent learning opportunity for others.  Montenegro starts with the most complex chapters – human rights and the rule of law, more as an indication of substantial problems in these areas. The negotiation date has thus become an important date for all the citizens, but even more for the politicians who received more than a clear signal that reforms are necessary and urgent.

Moreover, the negotiation date is an exceptional opportunity for Civil society in Montenegro to intensify both issue based networking and advocacy actions for exerting their fundamental role – evaluation, monitoring and effective participation in the reform process marking an irreversible step into the future. It is them who could use this opportunity to the best of their capacity and also become a reliable partner so as to make the factual change happen.

As ALDA, also through our Local Democracy Agency in Niksic, which was established in 2001,  we will even closely follow, step by step, the process of this country toward the European future of the Balkans.

One more important step toward the European future of the Balkans has been made by Montenegro, the smallest country that gained its independence in 2006. Since 2003, when the Thessaloniki Agenda was adopted, the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has remained a top priority of both governments and citizens in these countries. Intensified monitoring over the progress made particularly with regard to respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic institutions has brought forward deep structural reforms in societies that have only recently closed, perhaps one of the most tragic page in their history.

Despite the raging crisis in Eurozone and the so called “enlargement fatigue”, the Western Balkan remains to be incorporated sooner or later into the EU. The process of harmonization with the EU standards has in the meantime become a clearly regulated set of procedures which all the candidate countries must comply with. Accession negotiations last as long as it is necessary, or as long as the criteria set in the accession chapters are fulfilled.

Each and every country, including certainly Croatia thus may become an excellent learning opportunity for others.  Montenegro starts with the most complex chapters – human rights and the rule of law, more as an indication of substantial problems in these areas. The negotiation date has thus become an important date for all the citizens, but even more for the politicians who received more than a clear signal that reforms are necessary and urgent.

Moreover, the negotiation date is an exceptional opportunity for Civil society in Montenegro to intensify both issue based networking and advocacy actions for exerting their fundamental role – evaluation, monitoring and effective participation in the reform process marking an irreversible step into the future. It is them who could use this opportunity to the best of their capacity and also become a reliable partner so as to make the factual change happen.

As ALDA, also through our Local Democracy Agency in Niksic, which was established in 2001,  we will even closely follow, step by step, the process of this country toward the European future of the Balkans.


LDAs and ALDA joint statement on Bosnia and Herzegovina political situation

Local Democracy Agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Citizen Front of Others fully support the efforts of the European Union, all relevant international institutions as well as all associations and activists who advocate that the verdict of the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg in the Case of Sejdić-Finci be put into practice.

Equality of rights between the citizens is the corner stone of the relations the EU insists upon.

Local Democracy Agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Citizen Front of Others fully support the efforts of the European Union, all relevant international institutions as well as all associations and activists who advocate that the verdict of the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg in the Case of Sejdić-Finci be put into practice.

Equality of rights between the citizens is the corner stone of the relations the EU insists upon


LDAs AND ALDA JOINT STATEMENT ON BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA POLITICAL SITUATION

Local Democracy Agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Citizen Front of Others fully support the efforts of the European Union, all relevant international institutions as well as all associations and activists who advocate that the verdict of the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg in the Case of Sejdić-Finci be put into practice.

Equality of rights between the citizens is the cornerstone of the relations the EU insists upon.

Amendment of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution is necessary so to enable equality of all citizens of BiH in order for our country to become, after decades of conflict and political instability, a more just society and join the large European family.

We welcome the agreement between the European Commissioner Štefan Füle and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina who have unanimously accepted the Road Map to EU and submission of the request for EU candidacy status by 30 November 2012.

This agreement dictates Bosnia and Herzegovina fulfillment of certain obligations among which the implementation of the Strasbourg Court Decision fills a significant position.

Only when they are equal, citizens can mobilise all of their strengths and talents so to make the society they live in more democratic, prosperous and better. It is our wish that Bosnia and Herzegovina become such a place as soon as possible.

Local Democracy Agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Citizen Front of Others fully support the efforts of the European Union, all relevant international institutions as well as all associations and activists who advocate that the verdict of the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg in the Case of Sejdić-Finci be put into practice.

Equality of rights between the citizens is the cornerstone of the relations the EU insists upon.

Amendment of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution is necessary so to enable equality of all citizens of BiH in order for our country to become, after decades of conflict and political instability, a more just society and join the large European family.

We welcome the agreement between the European Commissioner Štefan Füle and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina who have unanimously accepted the Road Map to EU and submission of the request for EU candidacy status by 30 November 2012.

This agreement dictates Bosnia and Herzegovina fulfillment of certain obligations among which the implementation of the Strasbourg Court Decision fills a significant position.

Only when they are equal, citizens can mobilise all of their strengths and talents so to make the society they live in more democratic, prosperous and better. It is our wish that Bosnia and Herzegovina become such a place as soon as possible.


June 2012: Montenegro has officially started negotiations with the EU

One more important step toward the European future of the Balkans has been made by Crna Gora, the smallest country that gained its independence in 2006.

Since 2003, when the Thessaloniki Agenda was adopted, the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has remained a top priority of both governments and citizens in these countries. Intensified monitoring over the progress made particularly with regard to respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic institutions has brought forward deep structural reforms in societies that have only recently closed, perhaps one of the most tragic page in their history.

One more important step toward the European future of the Balkans has been made by Crna Gora, the smallest country that gained its independence in 2006.

Since 2003, when the Thessaloniki Agenda was adopted, the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has remained a top priority of both governments and citizens in these countries. Intensified monitoring over the progress made particularly with regard to respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic institutions has brought forward deep structural reforms in societies that have only recently closed, perhaps one of the most tragic page in their history.


July

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ALDA AT THE UNITED NATIONS EVENT ON DEVELOPMENT IN NEW YORK (6TH JULY 2012)

At the initiative of UNDP and the programme Art Gold, ALDA will be present at the United Nations event on Development  that will take place on the 5th and 6th of July 2012, in New York.
ALDA will be portrayed among Territorial Answers to Global Challenges – Innovative multi-level partnerships for development effectiveness (Friday, 6th of July), in the framework of the Third Biennial High Level Development Cooperation Forum.
ALDA started, with the programme Non State Actors/Local Authorities an important activity in promoting development based on the joint initiative of Local Authorities and Civil Society. The programmes are very much developed in Eastern Partnership countries like Belarus, Armenia and Georgia. In those last ones, ALDA is developing its methodology thanks to the Local Democracy Agencies. In Belarus, ALDA works with local partners with success, despite the difficulties.

A programme – WTD, Working Together for Development – has been launched last year, joining the efforts of 25 partners (local authorities and civil society networks) in promoting – jointly – initiatives for development and improved impact of cooperation actions.
Working locally, with local authorities and civil society, will be presented at the Side Event dedicated to innovative methodologies, at the UN conference, on the 6th of July, by the Director of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida. This event represents a further step of cooperation with UNDP and in particular with the Art Gold programme.

Territorial Answers to Global Challenges – Innovative multi-level partnerships for development effectiveness –  New York, 6th July 2012
An event organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the ART Initiative, in collaboration with the Forum of Global Association of Regions (ORU-FOGAR) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
Download the flyer here.

High-level Segment – New York, 2nd – 9th July 2012
Download the programme here.

At the initiative of UNDP and the programme Art Gold, ALDA will be present at the United Nations event on Development  that will take place on the 5th and 6th of July 2012, in New York.
ALDA will be portrayed among Territorial Answers to Global Challenges – Innovative multi-level partnerships for development effectiveness (Friday, 6th of July), in the framework of the Third Biennial High Level Development Cooperation Forum.
ALDA started, with the programme Non State Actors/Local Authorities an important activity in promoting development based on the joint initiative of Local Authorities and Civil Society. The programmes are very much developed in Eastern Partnership countries like Belarus, Armenia and Georgia. In those last ones, ALDA is developing its methodology thanks to the Local Democracy Agencies. In Belarus, ALDA works with local partners with success, despite the difficulties.

A programme – WTD, Working Together for Development – has been launched last year, joining the efforts of 25 partners (local authorities and civil society networks) in promoting – jointly – initiatives for development and improved impact of cooperation actions.
Working locally, with local authorities and civil society, will be presented at the Side Event dedicated to innovative methodologies, at the UN conference, on the 6th of July, by the Director of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida. This event represents a further step of cooperation with UNDP and in particular with the Art Gold programme.

Territorial Answers to Global Challenges – Innovative multi-level partnerships for development effectiveness –  New York, 6th July 2012
An event organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the ART Initiative, in collaboration with the Forum of Global Association of Regions (ORU-FOGAR) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
Download the flyer here.

High-level Segment – New York, 2nd – 9th July 2012
Download the programme here.


CIVICUS: ANTONELLA VALMORBIDA NEW CO-OPTED MEMBER OF CIVICUS BOARD

CIVICUS Board of Directors has formally communicated that Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA, has been welcomed as a new co-opted member of CIVICUS International Board.
CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world.
The term of Antonella Valmorbida Board membership will be one year and three months, until the Board meeting in September 2013, when all of the current Board members’ terms will expire.
Among the forthcoming engagements as member of CIVICUS Board is the attendance of the Board meeting in September during the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, 3-7 September 2012.

CIVICUS, World Alliance for Citizen Participation, is an international alliance of members and partners which constitutes an influential network of organisations at the local, national, regional and international levels, and spans the spectrum of civil society. CIVICUS includes the following in its definition of civil society: civil society networks and organisations; trade unions; faith-based networks; professional associations; NGO capacity development organisations; philanthropic foundations and other funding bodies.
CIVICUS has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS has a vision of a global community of active, engaged citizens committed to the creation of a more just and equitable world. This is based on the belief that the health of societies exists in direct proportion to the degree of balance between the state, the private sector and civil society.
CIVICUS provides a focal point for knowledge-sharing, common interest representation, global institution-building and engagement among these disparate sectors. It acts as an advocate for citizen participation as an essential component of governance and democracy worldwide. CIVICUS seeks to amplify the voices and opinions of ordinary people and it gives expression to the enormous creative energy of the burgeoning sector of civil society.

CIVICUS Board of Directors has formally communicated that Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA, has been welcomed as a new co-opted member of CIVICUS International Board.
CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world.
The term of Antonella Valmorbida Board membership will be one year and three months, until the Board meeting in September 2013, when all of the current Board members’ terms will expire.
Among the forthcoming engagements as member of CIVICUS Board is the attendance of the Board meeting in September during the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, 3-7 September 2012.

CIVICUS, World Alliance for Citizen Participation, is an international alliance of members and partners which constitutes an influential network of organisations at the local, national, regional and international levels, and spans the spectrum of civil society. CIVICUS includes the following in its definition of civil society: civil society networks and organisations; trade unions; faith-based networks; professional associations; NGO capacity development organisations; philanthropic foundations and other funding bodies.
CIVICUS has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS has a vision of a global community of active, engaged citizens committed to the creation of a more just and equitable world. This is based on the belief that the health of societies exists in direct proportion to the degree of balance between the state, the private sector and civil society.
CIVICUS provides a focal point for knowledge-sharing, common interest representation, global institution-building and engagement among these disparate sectors. It acts as an advocate for citizen participation as an essential component of governance and democracy worldwide. CIVICUS seeks to amplify the voices and opinions of ordinary people and it gives expression to the enormous creative energy of the burgeoning sector of civil society.