International Forum of Caen 2014 – Last days to apply

Izvršna European Youth Parliament (EYP) is organizing a very special European Forum, which is part of the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, from 29 May to 8 June 2014 – Caen, France.

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The application process will be divided into 3 steps:

• The online application, from the 24th February until the 28th March;

• The selection by EYP-France, from the 29th March to the 4th April;

• The results publication and confirmation of your registration by paying the participation fees from the 5th to the 18th of April.

We remind you that the deadline for the online application is on Friday 28th March, until midnight!

For other information, please send an e-mail to caen2014@pejfrance.org

For further information about the Forum, how to apply and the programme, please read the Call for Participants (.pdf).

Izvršna European Youth Parliament (EYP) is organizing a very special European Forum, which is part of the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, from 29 May to 8 June 2014 – Caen, France.

***

The application process will be divided into 3 steps:

• The online application, from the 24th February until the 28th March;

• The selection by EYP-France, from the 29th March to the 4th April;

• The results publication and confirmation of your registration by paying the participation fees from the 5th to the 18th April.

We remind you that the deadline for the online application is on Friday 28th March, until midnight!

For other information, please send an e-mail to: caen2014@pejfrance.org

For further information about the Forum, how to apply and the programme, please read the Call for Participants (.pdf).


International Forum of Caen 2014 – Last days to apply

Izvršna European Youth Parliament (EYP) is organizing a very special European Forum, which is part of the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, from 29 May to 8 June 2014 – Caen, France.

***

The application process will be divided into 3 steps:

• The online application, from the 24th February until the 28th March;

• The selection by EYP-France, from the 29th March to the 4th April;

• The results publication and confirmation of your registration by paying the participation fees from the 5th to the 18th of April.

We remind you that the deadline for the online application is on Friday 28th March, until midnight!

For other information, please send an e-mail to caen2014@pejfrance.org

For further information about the Forum, how to apply and the programme, please read the Call for Participants (.pdf).

Izvršna European Youth Parliament (EYP) is organizing a very special European Forum, which is part of the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, from 29 May to 8 June 2014 – Caen, France.

***

The application process will be divided into 3 steps:

• The online application, from the 24th February until the 28th March;

• The selection by EYP-France, from the 29th March to the 4th April;

• The results publication and confirmation of your registration by paying the participation fees from the 5th to the 18th April.

We remind you that the deadline for the online application is on Friday 28th March, until midnight!

For other information, please send an e-mail to: caen2014@pejfrance.org

For further information about the Forum, how to apply and the programme, please read the Call for Participants (.pdf).


New stage in the cooperation programme Lower Normandy / Macedonia

On March 25, 2014 Macedonian partners of the decentralised cooperation program between Lower Normandy and Macedonia met in Skopje. The national and local authorities, associations and different institutions involved in cooperation introduced the new phase of the program for the period of 2013-2016.

This meeting aimed to present the entire cooperation to the partners which integrated the new three year programme. The French Ambassador in Macedonia, Ms. Laurence Auer and Ms. Biljana Cvetanovska – Gugovska, State Secretary of the Ministry of Local Self-governance, honoured the participants by opening the meeting. Mrs. Auer, very involved in the program, stressed the importance of territorial development, in particular illustrated by the cooperation of the twinned towns and communities from Lower Normandy and Macedonia. Mrs Cvetanovska – Gugovska stressed the originality of this cooperation based on the wide range of actors involved in various areas of cooperation.

Since its beginnings in 2007, this cooperation produced excellent results due to involvement of different stakeholders and the originality of the approaches used. It continuously keeps contributing to the local development on both territories through exchanges on various themes. The diversification of actors, as well as the involvement of different levels of governance ensures the territorial anchoring of this cooperation.

Two important historical events mark this year 2014. The first is the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day in Normandy, and the second is the Centenary of the First World War and the Eastern Front in Macedonia. Given their impact on both territories, the current program has been designed around events and themes related to these commemorations: memory, peace and reconciliation, heritage and Human rights. Having these themes as a core, nine projects were selected as part of the annual call for projects 2013/2014. Also, contributed to this stage of the cooperation are the activities within youth mobility and institutional cooperation at a local and national level. Thus, a series of diverse and varied activities are planned for this year both in Macedonia and in Lower Normandy: study visits and training on the memory tourism, research and trainings on the issue of human Rights, exchange of traditional music, etc.

Driven by the motivation and the dynamics of partners, this meeting has presented not only a better understanding of the challenges in the cooperation, but it has also created opportunities for networking and partnership among the participants. The second meeting of partners is scheduled for June, around one of the main cultural summer events in Macedonia, the French Film Festival. This event is held for several years now, and it’s also supported by the Lower Normandy.

The decentralised cooperation programme between Lower Normandy and Macedonia it’s coordinated by ALDA. For further information please consult the website of the Cooperation programme www.bn-mk.org, or contact Ivana Dimitrovska (ivana.dimitrovska@aldaintranet.org).

On March 25, 2014 Macedonian partners of the decentralised cooperation program between Lower Normandy and Macedonia met in Skopje. The national and local authorities, associations and different institutions involved in cooperation introduced the new phase of the program for the period of 2013-2016.

This meeting aimed to present the entire cooperation to the partners which integrated the new three year programme. The French Ambassador in Macedonia, Ms. Laurence Auer and Ms. Biljana Cvetanovska – Gugovska, State Secretary of the Ministry of Local Self-governance, honoured the participants by opening the meeting. Mrs. Auer, very involved in the program, stressed the importance of territorial development, in particular illustrated by the cooperation of the twinned towns and communities from Lower Normandy and Macedonia. Mrs Cvetanovska – Gugovska stressed the originality of this cooperation based on the wide range of actors involved in various areas of cooperation.

Since its beginnings in 2007, this cooperation produced excellent results due to involvement of different stakeholders and the originality of the approaches used. It continuously keeps contributing to the local development on both territories through exchanges on various themes. The diversification of actors, as well as the involvement of different levels of governance ensures the territorial anchoring of this cooperation.

Two important historical events mark this year 2014. The first is the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day in Normandy, and the second is the Centenary of the First World War and the Eastern Front in Macedonia. Given their impact on both territories, the current program has been designed around events and themes related to these commemorations: memory, peace and reconciliation, heritage and Human rights. Having these themes as a core, nine projects were selected as part of the annual call for projects 2013/2014. Also, contributed to this stage of the cooperation are the activities within youth mobility and institutional cooperation at a local and national level. Thus, a series of diverse and varied activities are planned for this year both in Macedonia and in Lower Normandy: study visits and training on the memory tourism, research and trainings on the issue of human Rights, exchange of traditional music, etc.

Driven by the motivation and the dynamics of partners, this meeting has presented not only a better understanding of the challenges in the cooperation, but it has also created opportunities for networking and partnership among the participants. The second meeting of partners is scheduled for June, around one of the main cultural summer events in Macedonia, the French Film Festival. This event is held for several years now, and it’s also supported by the Lower Normandy.

The decentralised cooperation programme between Lower Normandy and Macedonia it’s coordinated by ALDA. For further information please consult the website of the Cooperation programme www.bn-mk.org, or contact Ivana Dimitrovska (ivana.dimitrovska@aldaintranet.org).


Dissemination event of the project COHEIRS in Oristano

The Patto Territoriale Soc. Cons. A.r.l. Oristano is going to launch its dissemination event of the project COHEIRS today, 27 March at 16.00 at the “Sala consiliare” of the Province of Oristano. The aim of the event is to disseminate the project COHEIRS and its outcomes to the local communities.

***

Particular focus will be put on presenting the final citizens’ recommendations on the topic of environment and health that will be submitted to the European institutions.

The recommendations have been adopted last 13-15 March in Mesagne as a tool to bring citizens’ voice into the decision making process in the field of environment and health. As many as 100 ordinary citizens and representatives of local communities in Mesagne as well as representatives of the 17 partner organisations coming from 12 different countries in wider Europe have been contributed to drafting the document. More than 25 local workshops have been organised throughout the project to collect citizens’ opinions on the topic through the methodology of citizens’ panels.

Environmental and health issues have been brought from the local level to Mesagne in order to make participants share common problems and exchange ideas and best practices. The outcome of the three day event has therefore been a list of recommendations on:

1. Enhancing citizen participation in the environment and health field;

2. Urban sustainable development, green spaces and public health;

3. Air pollution and public health;

4. Water pollution and public health;

5. Agriculture and public health;

6. Waste management and public health – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The dissemination event in Oristano will provide visibility to the recommendations and would involve the local communities to have their say and further contribute to the improvement of the document. Stay tuned and make your voice heard by giving your feedback.

The Patto Territoriale Soc. Cons. A.r.l. Oristano is going to launch its dissemination event of the project COHEIRS today, 27 March at 16.00 at the “Sala consiliare” of the Province of Oristano. The aim of the event is to disseminate the project COHEIRS and its outcomes to the local communities.

***

Particular focus will be put on presenting the final citizens’ recommendations on the topic of environment and health that will be submitted to the European institutions.

The recommendations have been adopted last 13-15 March in Mesagne as a tool to bring citizens’ voice into the decision making process in the field of environment and health. As many as 100 ordinary citizens and representatives of local communities in Mesagne as well as representatives of the 17 partner organisations coming from 12 different countries in wider Europe have been contributed to drafting the document. More than 25 local workshops have been organised throughout the project to collect citizens’ opinions on the topic through the methodology of citizens’ panels.

Environmental and health issues have been brought from the local level to Mesagne in order to make participants share common problems and exchange ideas and best practices. The outcome of the three day event has therefore been a list of recommendations on:

1. Enhancing citizen participation in the environment and health field;

2. Urban sustainable development, green spaces and public health;

3. Air pollution and public health;

4. Water pollution and public health;

5. Agriculture and public health;

6. Waste management and public health – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The dissemination event in Oristano will provide visibility to the recommendations and would involve the local communities to have their say and further contribute to the improvement of the document. Stay tuned and make your voice heard by giving your feedback.


France Balkans in the move: steering committee on 27th March in Paris

The France Balkans network has gathered again in Paris to discuss the state of affairs among the partners, representatives of local authorities and associations.

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The partnership has launched its new programme last October 2013 during the franco-balkan assises of decentralised cooperation. This meeting is an opportunity to take stock of the current developments in the note nine actions. ALDA is represented by Biljana Zasova Head of programme implementation based in Strasbourg.

The France Balkans network has gathered again in Paris to discuss the state of affairs among the partners, representatives of local authorities and associations.

***

The partnership has launched its new programme last October 2013 during the franco-balkan assises of decentralised cooperation. This meeting is an opportunity to take stock of the current developments in the note nine actions. ALDA is represented by Biljana Zasova Head of programme implementation based in Strasbourg.


Meeting with German delegation's representative at the Congress

The member of ALDA Governing board, Dobrica Milovanovic, and the Director of ALDA, met several members of the German Delegation to the Congress during the Plenary session in Strasbourg. The meeting was of high importance to share the experience of the Local Democracy Agencies, especially in Eastern Partnership Countries

The German representatives present were Mr Vohringer, M. Lammerskitten and Ms. Drees from the German Association of Municipalities.

The member of ALDA Governing board, Dobrica Milovanovic, and the Director of ALDA, met several members of the German Delegation to the Congress during the Plenary session in Strasbourg. The meeting was of high importance to share the experience of the Local Democracy Agencies, especially in Eastern Partnership Countries

The German representatives present were Mr Vohringer, M. Lammerskitten and Ms. Drees from the German Association of Municipalities.


Congress declaration against the annexation of Crimea by Russia

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a declaration against the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Long discussions and many requested amendments but the decision is there.

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The Bureau of the Congress, meeting in Strasbourg on 24 March 2014, decided to hold yesterday an urgent debate on Ukraine in the framework of its 26th session (25-27 March 2014). A statement on the situation in Ukraine presented by Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG) and adopted by the Bureau on 24 March will be submitted for adoption by the Congress.

This statement condemns ‘Russia’s annexation of Crimea in violation of international law.’ It stresses in particular that ‘the pseudo-consultation [organised 16 March] should on no account pave the way for a change of borders between Russia and Ukraine. It also recalls that ‘prior to this referendum Crimea enjoyed a broad degree of autonomy and that this could, if necessary, have been strengthened in consultation with the Ukrainian national authorities”.

The Bureau also decided that the next meetings of the monitoring and current affairs committees initially planned to take place in Russia – Ulyanovsk and Kazan respectively – will be held in another member state. It considered that, in the current situation, the only Congress meetings that may be held in Russia should focus on political dialogue leading to the resolution of the crisis in the Crimea and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Website of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a declaration against the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Long discussions and many requested amendments but the decision is there.

****

The Bureau of the Congress, meeting in Strasbourg on 24 March 2014, decided to hold yesterday an urgent debate on Ukraine in the framework of its 26th session (25-27 March 2014). A statement on the situation in Ukraine presented by Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG) and adopted by the Bureau on 24 March will be submitted for adoption by the Congress.

This statement condemns ‘Russia’s annexation of Crimea in violation of international law.’ It stresses in particular that ‘the pseudo-consultation [organised 16 March] should on no account pave the way for a change of borders between Russia and Ukraine. It also recalls that ‘prior to this referendum Crimea enjoyed a broad degree of autonomy and that this could, if necessary, have been strengthened in consultation with the Ukrainian national authorities”.

The Bureau also decided that the next meetings of the monitoring and current affairs committees initially planned to take place in Russia – Ulyanovsk and Kazan respectively – will be held in another member state. It considered that, in the current situation, the only Congress meetings that may be held in Russia should focus on political dialogue leading to the resolution of the crisis in the Crimea and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Website of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe


Trainings for Local Self-Government started for Gyumri municipality staff

On the 20th and 21st of March 2014, the first phase of trainings for the employees of Gyumri municipality was held in Gyumri municipality conference room.

***

The Counterpart International Armenia, the LDA foundation Armenia, with ALDA and NGO Center support, were the organizers. Among the training topics there were “Local self-government legislation” and “Leadership and strategy planning”. The trainers were Irina Vanyan and Hrant Ayvazyan, accordingly invited from Yerevan and Vanadzor. With an opening speech, the Staff employer of Gyumri Municipality mentioned the importance of such training, hence within the last year there were essential amendments in the working staff conditioned with the change of the city mayor.

The training sessions are a great possibility for employees to learn more. Indeed, even though the new hired employees have all the relevant qualifications, sometimes they face lack of theory knowledge combined with practical tools. Moreover, in the middle of April, the employees of each department have to be submitted to certification exams, and the gained knowledge during these trainings will be very useful.

Proud of trainers and participants, the organizers describe this opportunity as an important moment of learning, sharing and producing. They all look forward to participating to the next phase of training.

On the 20th and 21st of March 2014, the first phase of trainings for the employees of Gyumri municipality was held in Gyumri municipality conference room.

***

The Counterpart International Armenia, the LDA foundation Armenia, with ALDA and NGO Center support, were the organizers. Among the training topics there were “Local self-government legislation” and “Leadership and strategy planning”. The trainers were Irina Vanyan and Hrant Ayvazyan, accordingly invited from Yerevan and Vanadzor. With an opening speech, the Staff employer of Gyumri Municipality mentioned the importance of such training, hence within the last year there were essential amendments in the working staff conditioned with the change of the city mayor.

The training sessions are a great possibility for employees to learn more. Indeed, even though the new hired employees have all the relevant qualifications, sometimes they face lack of theory knowledge combined with practical tools. Moreover, in the middle of April, the employees of each department have to be submitted to certification exams, and the gained knowledge during these trainings will be very useful.

Proud of trainers and participants, the organizers describe this opportunity as an important moment of learning, sharing and producing. They all look forward to participating to the next phase of training.


ALDA at the Spring session of the Congress: raising attention and support for LDAs

The Governing Board of ALDA, M. Dobrica Milovanovic, representing the city of Kragujevac in Serbia, and the Director of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida, are this week at the Plenary session of the Congress in Strasbourg. It is an important awareness raising meeting for all the Congress members on ALDA and LDAs activities. Many networking meetings are planed. In particular, it is possible to have a dialogue on our activities with the Delegations from Switzerland, from Germany and from Poland. The representatives of ALDA will work on collecting interest and  support for the Local Democracy Agencies.

26th Congress Session

The Governing Board of ALDA, M. Dobrica Milovanovic, representing the city of Kragujevac in Serbia, and the Director of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida, are this week at the Plenary session of the Congress in Strasbourg. It is an important awareness raising meeting for all the Congress members on ALDA and LDAs activities. Many networking meetings are planed. In particular, it is possible to have a dialogue on our activities with the Delegations from Switzerland, from Germany and from Poland. The representatives of ALDA will work on collecting interest and  support for the Local Democracy Agencies.

26th Congress Session


Interview to Professor Alberto Robol, Chairperson of the Peace Bell Foundation - Rovereto, Italy

The Peace Bell Foundation (Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti) is a long-date, fundamental member of ALDA, and with its “Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso” project, it became a key partner of our association for information and research.

***

Professor Alberto Robol, Chairperson of the Peace Bell Foundation, has been interviewed by the Communication Officer of ALDA, Irene Zanetti, discussing on specific issues about the crucial activity of the Foundation, the importance of the “Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso”, the values of citizens’ participation, democracy and peace, as well as actuality issues, such as the imminent elections of the European Parliament and the critical situation in Ukraine.

At last, Professor Robol remarked the importance of the relationship between the Peace Bell Foundation and ALDA, a crucial and precious collaboration to expand the international features of the Foundation.

 

***

Read the interview: 

 

Interview to Professor Alberto Robol, Chairperson of the Peace Bell Foundation – Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Rovereto (Italy)

19 March 2014

 

1. The work for peace is a strong link between the activities of your foundation, and ALDA’s. Why are your activities still crucial?

It would be easy to answer is still crucial because fear of the war, of violence, of a non-justice are crucial; until when these will be in the conscience of the history of humankind, all the movements for peace will be fundamental. The work of our Foundation is based upon a precise ethical philosophy of peace, on the line of Antonio Papisca’s – the positive peace, which implies reconciliation, coexistence among people and peoples.

2. The ‘Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso’ is an important project, and it represents a key partner for ALDA in the field of information, communication, and research. How did this experience start?

The Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso has been active for 15 years, as it was born in ’99, and has today a precise identity. During its first years, it was basically an observatory over the Balkans: it was the time of the war, then of the transition towards the peace, characterized by a variety of very sensitive situations for the territory. Over the years, the observatory enlarged its horizons and looked at the Caucasus.

There is no doubt the identity of the Osservatorio further strengthened in its 15 years activities: it is a very close-knit working group, both in journalism and historical research, which acquired a really high relevance in the field of peace research all across Europe. The Foundation received indeed several important recognitions – among those, in 2006 the partnership with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and in 2009 the status of Special Observer with the United Nations.

3. Active citizenship is a crucial topic for ALDA. In your point of view, what is the relation between citizens’ participation, democracy, and peace? 

On the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the first sound of the bell for the fallen people, Maria Dolens, the Commission “Active Citizenship, Peace Culture, Human rights” is instituted in Rovereto, with the support of the Council of Europe. Establishing in Rovereto the commission on human rights, peace, and coexistence, is an extremely important recognition of Strasburg to the history of the city and its Peace Bell. With its ninety flags from all over the world, Rovereto is also called ‘the little big ONU’.

On the other hand, peace develops in the communities. Peace is a universal principle, but is useless unless it is rooted in the territory and in the local communities. This is the only way for it to become the basis on which today’s community build tomorrow’s. We believe that the “Peace Memorandum” has to be signed by all local communities, and not only by the states.

4. Talking about current news, what do you hope for while looking at the forthcoming elections of the European Parliament?

I hope that Europeism will increase again, as in the last month I have perceived a decrease because the crisis weakened openness towards Europe. I also have the feeling we are starting reasoning about a different Europe. For us, this would be fundamental, by considering we have been among the principal actors since the very beginning of the concept of Europe. The ‘wide’ Europe has been conceived, invented, and funded by illuminated minds of the politics, such as De Gasperi. We need to restore the political spirit of Europe. After the excess of technocracy of the last years, I wish we will get back to the Europe of principles and democracy values.

5. What is your opinion on the situation in Ukraine?

(Note of the editor: interview taken on 19th March)

It is a particularly sensitive situation for Europe, and even more for Ukrainian citizens. I do not completely understand it, and the development of Crimea looks to me like a historical-conceptual stretching. I hope the situation will evolve differently, that it will be possible to stop and reason. Obviously we cannot imagine Europe with Russia as an opponent – we need to get to a debate.

6. The Peace Bell Foundation has been a member of ALDA for many years. Why is our relationship an important collaboration for you?

The relationship with ALDA is a long time one because we desired to expand the international feature of the Foundation, which is a constitutive objective of the Bell. We cannot understand Maria Dolens without taking into account its internationality, which is broader Europe –  it encompasses the entire world.

The Bell unifies all peoples – this was the wish, the theory; to be at the centre of the world for a permanent pacification. But how to realise this into practice? Strasbourg, the Council of Europe, the UN, the involvement of linguistic minorities, and today the Bell is the element unifying the whole while keeping everybody specificities. Therefore the connection with ALDA, Strasbourg, and Europe is key. I think it was a crucial decision from the beginning, and the more we continue our activities, the more it turns out to be decisive.

The Peace Bell Foundation (Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti) is a long-date, fundamental member of ALDA, and with its “Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso” project, it became a key partner of our association for information and research.

***

Professor Alberto Robol, Chairperson of the Peace Bell Foundation, has been interviewed by the Communication Officer of ALDA, Irene Zanetti, discussing on specific issues about the crucial activity of the Foundation, the importance of the “Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso”, the values of citizens’ participation, democracy and peace, as well as actuality issues, such as the imminent elections of the European Parliament and the critical situation in Ukraine.

At last, Professor Robol remarked the importance of the relationship between the Peace Bell Foundation and ALDA, a crucial and precious collaboration to expand the international features of the Foundation.

 

***

Read the interview: 

 

Interview to Professor Alberto Robol, Chairperson of the Peace Bell Foundation – Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Rovereto (Italy)

19 March 2014

 

1. The work for peace is a strong link between the activities of your foundation, and ALDA’s. Why are your activities still crucial?

It would be easy to answer is still crucial because fear of the war, of violence, of a non-justice are crucial; until when these will be in the conscience of the history of humankind, all the movements for peace will be fundamental. The work of our Foundation is based upon a precise ethical philosophy of peace, on the line of Antonio Papisca’s – the positive peace, which implies reconciliation, coexistence among people and peoples.

2. The ‘Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso’ is an important project, and it represents a key partner for ALDA in the field of information, communication, and research. How did this experience start?

The Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso has been active for 15 years, as it was born in ’99, and has today a precise identity. During its first years, it was basically an observatory over the Balkans: it was the time of the war, then of the transition towards the peace, characterized by a variety of very sensitive situations for the territory. Over the years, the observatory enlarged its horizons and looked at the Caucasus.

There is no doubt the identity of the Osservatorio further strengthened in its 15 years activities: it is a very close-knit working group, both in journalism and historical research, which acquired a really high relevance in the field of peace research all across Europe. The Foundation received indeed several important recognitions – among those, in 2006 the partnership with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and in 2009 the status of Special Observer with the United Nations.

3. Active citizenship is a crucial topic for ALDA. In your point of view, what is the relation between citizens’ participation, democracy, and peace? 

On the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the first sound of the bell for the fallen people, Maria Dolens, the Commission “Active Citizenship, Peace Culture, Human rights” is instituted in Rovereto, with the support of the Council of Europe. Establishing in Rovereto the commission on human rights, peace, and coexistence, is an extremely important recognition of Strasburg to the history of the city and its Peace Bell. With its ninety flags from all over the world, Rovereto is also called ‘the little big ONU’.

On the other hand, peace develops in the communities. Peace is a universal principle, but is useless unless it is rooted in the territory and in the local communities. This is the only way for it to become the basis on which today’s community build tomorrow’s. We believe that the “Peace Memorandum” has to be signed by all local communities, and not only by the states.

4. Talking about current news, what do you hope for while looking at the forthcoming elections of the European Parliament?

I hope that Europeism will increase again, as in the last month I have perceived a decrease because the crisis weakened openness towards Europe. I also have the feeling we are starting reasoning about a different Europe. For us, this would be fundamental, by considering we have been among the principal actors since the very beginning of the concept of Europe. The ‘wide’ Europe has been conceived, invented, and funded by illuminated minds of the politics, such as De Gasperi. We need to restore the political spirit of Europe. After the excess of technocracy of the last years, I wish we will get back to the Europe of principles and democracy values.

5. What is your opinion on the situation in Ukraine?

(Note of the editor: interview taken on 19th March)

It is a particularly sensitive situation for Europe, and even more for Ukrainian citizens. I do not completely understand it, and the development of Crimea looks to me like a historical-conceptual stretching. I hope the situation will evolve differently, that it will be possible to stop and reason. Obviously we cannot imagine Europe with Russia as an opponent – we need to get to a debate.

6. The Peace Bell Foundation has been a member of ALDA for many years. Why is our relationship an important collaboration for you?

The relationship with ALDA is a long time one because we desired to expand the international feature of the Foundation, which is a constitutive objective of the Bell. We cannot understand Maria Dolens without taking into account its internationality, which is broader Europe –  it encompasses the entire world.

The Bell unifies all peoples – this was the wish, the theory; to be at the centre of the world for a permanent pacification. But how to realise this into practice? Strasbourg, the Council of Europe, the UN, the involvement of linguistic minorities, and today the Bell is the element unifying the whole while keeping everybody specificities. Therefore the connection with ALDA, Strasbourg, and Europe is key. I think it was a crucial decision from the beginning, and the more we continue our activities, the more it turns out to be decisive.