On 11 and 12 June 2024, ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy actively participated in the Ukraine Recovery Conference held in Berlin (Germany). Representing the Association at this significant event were Secretary General, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, and ALDA Representative in Ukraine, Ms. Khrystyna Kvartsiana.

The conference, a major international effort to support Ukraine’s recovery, featured key addresses from Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The event underscored global solidarity with Ukraine and highlighted the critical role of local governance in the nation’s reconstruction efforts.

ALDA’s participation was further enriched by the presence of several notable members and partners, including: Mayor Vadym Boychenko of Mariupol, Mayor Serhiy Morhunov of Vinnytsia, Representatives from the cities of Poltava and Zelenodolsk, All-Ukrainian Association of Communities, Association of Amalgamated Territorial Communities, MitOst, Cities of Gdańsk and Wrocław, U-LEAD with Europe programme.

During the conference, ALDA vigorously promoted the Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) programme, which plans to establish 9 new LDAs in Ukraine, in addition to the existing ones in Odesa, in Mariupol and in the Dnipropetrovsk Region, as instruments of social cohesion and stakeholder engagement. This initiative, part of ALDA’s Flagship Initiative in Ukraine, is fundamental to strengthening local governance and community resilience. The LDA programme has been instrumental in fostering democratic principles and sustainable development at the local level, especially vital during the recovery period.


We are deeply committed to supporting Ukraine through this challenging period said Mrs. Valmorbida


We are deeply committed to supporting Ukraine through this challenging period,” said Mrs. Valmorbida, reaffirming ALDA’s unwavering dedication to the country and its people since the onset of Russia’s brutal invasion.

The conference also provided a platform for ALDA to collaborate with other stakeholders. We express our gratitude to the Committee of the Regions, with whom we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further strengthen our partnership, and to the Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine for providing ALDA with a space at the joint stand on the Recovery Forum.

As Ukraine continues to navigate its path to recovery, ALDA remains dedicated to its mission of fostering local democracy and supporting the rebuilding efforts in collaboration with local, national, and international partners.

🇮🇹 This article is written in Italian because it is addressed to Italian-speakers only. We apologise for the inconvenience.

ALDA – l’Associazione Europea per la Democrazia Locale è entusiasta di annunciare una nuova collaborazione con il Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato della provincia di Vicenza (CSV di Vicenza), socio di ALDA. Grazie a questa collaborazione, ALDA avrà una rubrica mensile dedicata su CSV Positive Radio, la web radio del CSV di Vicenza. Questa iniziativa rappresenta un passo significativo verso la promozione e il sostegno del volontariato e della democrazia locale in tutta la regione.


CSV Positive Radio: Un Canale di Solidarietà e Volontariato


CSV Positive Radio è un nuovo strumento creato dal CSV di Vicenza per promuovere la solidarietà vicentina. Questo canale innovativo si distingue per la sua missione di raccontare e presentare l’incredibile impegno dei volontari presenti sul territorio, evidenziando il loro lavoro a favore della comunità e dei suoi abitanti. Attraverso una vasta gamma di contenuti, tra cui informazioni, comunicazioni, interviste ed esperienze, la web radio si propone di creare una rete che unisce volontari, professionisti del settore profit e istituzioni pubbliche e private.

Uno degli obiettivi principali di CSV Positive Radio è quello di fare rete, promuovere, sostenere e raccontare le belle storie e i traguardi raggiunti dal volontariato locale. Il canale si impegna a condividere le azioni di solidarietà che fanno la differenza, mettendosi a disposizione della comunità e crescendo con essa. Questa piattaforma offre l’opportunità di dare voce a chi si impegna quotidianamente per il bene comune, creando un senso di appartenenza e collaborazione.


Un Nuovo Spazio per ALDA su CSV Positive Radio


La rubrica mensile di ALDA su CSV Positive Radio sarà un’importante vetrina per discutere temi legati alla democrazia locale, alla cittadinanza attiva e alla partecipazione civica. Gli ascoltatori avranno l’opportunità di conoscere meglio le attività e i progetti di ALDA, scoprendo come l’associazione lavora per promuovere la democrazia e il coinvolgimento civico in Europa. La rubrica presenterà interviste, approfondimenti e storie di successo, creando un ponte tra ALDA e la comunità locale di Vicenza.

In un’epoca in cui il consumo di contenuti è sempre più flessibile, CSV Positive Radio si propone come una soluzione facilmente accessibile e versatile. Essendo una web radio, è ascoltabile online attraverso vari dispositivi, permettendo agli ascoltatori di sintonizzarsi nei momenti più convenienti della loro giornata. Questo approccio innovativo garantisce che le storie di volontariato e solidarietà raggiungano un pubblico ampio e diversificato, accompagnando le giornate di molti volontari della provincia di Vicenza con un sottofondo musicale e informativo.

In conclusione, la collaborazione tra ALDA e il CSV di Vicenza rappresenta un’importante opportunità per rafforzare il volontariato e la partecipazione civica. La nuova rubrica mensile sarà un mezzo prezioso per diffondere conoscenza, ispirare azioni positive e costruire una comunità più unita e solidale.

Cliccate sul bottone sottostante e scoprite CSV Positive Radio! 👇

Oppure inquadrate il QR Code cliccando su questa locandina!

On 5 June 2024, the final event of the EU4Accountability project took place in Chișinău (Moldova), marking a significant milestone in Moldova’s efforts to strengthen civic participation and accountability on its path to EU accession. The Civic Engagement Conference, organised by the EU4Accountability project and funded by the European Union, focused on the challenges of civic engagement and the role of citizen participation in decision-making processes at both national and local levels.

The EU4Accountability project, implemented across 10 districts of the Republic of Moldova, supported the capacity development of local authorities and CSO staff. It empowered 59 CSOs to conduct small-scale projects in civic engagement, participatory budgeting, and policymaking. This project exemplifies the cooperation between civil society and local public authorities aimed at improving the social accountability of local and central public authorities by strengthening the capacities of civil society organisations (CSOs).

“Citizens should know that the EU means stability, prosperity, and transparency, and the EU is ready to continue supporting Moldova’s efforts on the European integration path. We support community empowerment in Moldova, and I urge you to remain active and involved in implementing and monitoring public policies. Increasing the transparency of central and local government is crucial because the future and the power are in your hands.”

EU Ambassador, Mr. Janis Mazeiks

“A lot has happened in the last two years. We could say that the project has managed to reflect the realities here in Moldova and the region. We have shown that through local democracy, which is a concrete way of addressing and solving problems, the EU4Accountability initiatives allow our local communities to have European visions. We hope to continue benefiting from this.”

ALDA Secretary General, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida

The conference featured two pivotal panel discussions. The first panel focused on the implementation of access to information laws. The second panel addressed current challenges in decision-making, identified priority actions, and established cooperation strategies between authorities and CSOs. Key participants included representatives from the Government, local authorities, and civil society. Key discussion points included the difficult access of local NGOs to national decision-making processes, lack of representativity, an outdated transparency law, and the obstacles that hinder the effectiveness of new cooperation platforms.

Speakers addressed key challenges in Moldova’s decision-making processes. Participants highlighted obstacles such as scarce resources, a lack of direct communication with policymakers, and insufficient recognition of their role, which hampers their ability to influence policies that affect their communities. Another critical point discussed was the lack of representation in decision-making bodies. Panellists emphasised the mismatch between governing institutions and the diverse population, leading to decisions that neglect the needs of marginalised groups and smaller communities, thus amplifying their voices in governance discussions.

The EU4Accountability project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by a consortium comprising the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), and the Czech organisation People in Need. The event was organised in cooperation with the think tank Centre for Policies and Reforms (CPR Moldova).

AT A GLANCE

The project aims to build public awareness of the Charter and its value, and the capacity of key stakeholders for its broader application. The consortium, consisting of five European organisations will implement a transnational project focused on (a) building media capacity to showcase Charter Impact (b) fostering expert discourse around Charter application, (c) enabling Charter use at sub-national level, and (d) supporting participatory engagement with Charter by young people. The select groups – journalists; practitioner experts, local authorities, CSOs and young people have been selected specifically based on current gaps and the potential for amplification and sustainability of action. Overall FOCUS is expected to result at least 60 capacity building events, with 1800 direct participants from at least 22 EU MS, and over 170 publications with a total reach of over 120,000. Throughout delivery, the project will draw on innovative programmatic approaches (e.g. Pop-up newsrooms, Youth Rights labs, expert blog symposia etc), and will mainstream the issues of gender and the focus on migrants and youth throughout delivery

OBJECTIVES

The FOCUS project aims to build public awareness of the Charter and its value, and the capacity of key stakeholders for its broader application, and to raise awareness on the applicability of the Charter for everyday citizens.

“More than ever, it is time to exercise our right to vote. Let’s make our voices heard. Let’s not let others decide our future. Let us encourage our members and networks to do the same. Let us remind every citizen of the incredible power they hold through the simple act of voting.“

Read the statement made by our President, Nataša Vučković, and by the whole Governing Board on the upcoming European Elections.

Join us on this new episode of ALDA Podcast “Shades of Democracy” as we discuss EU enlargement, and developments in Ukraine. 
Our distinguished guests, Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General and Marta Barandiy, founder of Promote Ukraine, share their perspectives on the situation in Ukraine, its links with the EU, and ALDA’s role in supporting democratic values in the region.

Tune in for more knowledge on the topic! 

Useful links:
ALDA Flagship Initiative in Ukraine ➡️ https://bit.ly/4aQo94l
Promote Ukraine website  ➡️ https://bit.ly/4bXDssi

PRESS RELEASE – On 21 June 2024, civil society organisations and climate defenders will meet at the “Democracy and Inclusion in Times of Climate Crisis” event at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Rue Belliard 99/101, in Brussels.

Participants will debate on how to best answer the climate crisis from the perspective of marginalised voices. Partners of the EU24–Engage for the Planet project will present the main results of the “(Un)heard Voices” campaign.

The event is free and open to anyone, with special attention to people from marginalised backgrounds. This is the moment to have your voice heard on climate issues.

* * *

Through a series of compelling video interviews, “(Un)heard Voices” brought to light the perspectives and experiences of individuals underrepresented in political discourse. Migrants, women, young and senior people, members of the LGBTQ+ community, they advocate for equality and recognition. Each story is a testament to the rich tapestry of identities and struggles that define our continent in times of climate crisis.

“(Un)heard Voices” goes beyond mere storytelling. It’s a call to action, urging citizens to confront their own biases, expand their understanding of social issues, and actively engage with marginalised communities in the democratic process. By amplifying these voices, we want to foster empathy, solidarity, and meaningful change in the political landscape of Europe.

For Monika, a disabled woman from Poland, the biggest challenge is to be heard: “Disability, climate crisis and environmental problems are closely related to each other,” she argues. “Two of the most common reasons for disability are environmental issues and climate change. We are a vulnerable group, the first to experience the consequences of this crisis.”

That is why the right to vote becomes essential in ensuring that voices of all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances, are heard and represented in the democratic process.

Voting is simply a duty as well as a right,” claims Karim, a man with a migrant background from France. “Voting is a right acquired over time with great sacrifices and social struggles. Continuing to vote and having a say in political decisions and choices will remain, for me, the essential difference between being a citizen and being subjected to politics.

As the European elections draw near, the urgency of addressing the climate crisis and amplifying the voices of marginalised communities has never been more pronounced. Against the backdrop of unprecedented environmental challenges, it is imperative to ensure that the concerns of all citizens, especially those from marginalised groups, are heard and addressed in the policymaking process.

The upcoming European elections present a crucial moment for fostering inclusivity and environmental justice in decision-making.


Recognizing this, the EU24–Engage for the Planet consortium launched “(Un)heard Voices” to empower marginalised people and elevate climate concerns on the European agenda.


For more information on the “Democracy and Inclusion in Times of Climate Crisis” event of 21 June in Brussels (Belgium), visit the website by clicking on the right.

For more information about EU24 Engage for the Planet and its initiatives, please visit engage4theplanet.com and engage4theplanet.com/unheard-voices-campaign.

Context

The EU24 Engage for the Planet project aims at decreasing the democratic participation gap of young citizens, citizens of diverse backgrounds, mobile union citizens in a gender-balanced way, by showing them their voices matter. While the turnout in the last EU election was the highest in 25 years, citizens of diverse backgrounds and mobile union citizens remain underrepresented among active EU voters, as well as democratic engagement. Climate change is the biggest threat to humanity today and needs transnational and multinational solutions.

AT A GLANCE

SpeakUP aims to revitalize the public sphere as an arena where individuals can come together to discuss and identify societal problems and work towards consensus building through rational debate. The aim is to nurture proactive debate culture, enhance understanding of participatory democracy, and promote active citizen engagement in socially polarizing topics by creating a network of debate clubs across Romania, Cyprus and Hungary. Importantly, the project also aspires to embed advocacy and participation at its core. Debate club members will be encouraged to spearhead community-focused advocacy campaigns and be active at the local level.

OBJECTIVES

SPEAK UP main objective is to leverage structured debate to enhance youth political participation and democratic involvement by creating a network of resilient debate clubs in Romania, Cyprus, and Hungary, specifically targeting marginalized and fringe youth groups at risk of radicalization.


From 13 to 15 May 2024, ALDA’s General Assembly and Festival hosted a significant panel discussion on “Local Democracy & Participatory Democracy” which explored the Defense of Democracy Package, civil society’s role, and local participatory initiatives within the European Union.


ALDA’s General Assembly and Festival 2024: Spotlight on Democracy in the EU


Key stakeholders from diverse sectors gathered to assess the current state and future of democracy within the European Union (EU).

Defense of Democracy Package: An Overview

Vincent Vandersmissen, representing the Belgian Presidency of the EU, detailed the Defense of Democracy Package (DoDP), designed to protect democratic processes across member states and at the European level. The proposal underscores the necessity of transparency, especially in interest representation, to counteract foreign interference in EU and national policymaking. Vandersmissen stressed the directive’s focus on safeguarding democracy, despite concerns from member states about its implementation.

The directive has ignited debate due to its resemblance to “foreign agents” laws in countries like Georgia, Hungary, and Russia, which have been used to stigmatise NGOs receiving foreign funding. Vandersmissen noted that while 15 EU member states maintain transparency registers, none specifically target foreign organisations. This has raised fears of unjustly labeling NGOs as “foreign agents,” leading to potential discrimination. These concerns are under active discussion at Coreper, with the Belgian presidency acting as an “honest broker.”

The DoDP also includes recommendations to boost democratic participation by increasing funding for civil society organizations (CSOs) and promoting inclusive electoral processes, particularly for mobile citizens.

Civil Society’s Concerns

Gabriela Civico, Director of the European Volunteer Centre and President of Civil Society Europe, shared critical insights from the civil society perspective through a video message. She criticised the directive on interest representation for its vague definitions, potentially affecting around 1,000 organisations. Civico warned that these organisations might be forced to register or lose funding from international sources, exacerbating current concerns about shrinking civic space within the EU.

Civico called for enhanced support from the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) program to strengthen civil society in an increasingly challenging environment. Her message highlighted the indispensable role of civil society in maintaining democratic health and the need for supportive policies.

Participatory Democracy: Practical Insights and Models

José Manuel Ribeiro, Mayor of Valongo, shared practical experiences in implementing participatory democracy at the local level. He acknowledged the traditional resistance of mayors towards participatory democracy, often viewed as a challenge. However, Ribeiro argued that participatory democracy can transform local governance by fostering better relationships between citizens and authorities.

In Valongo, initiatives such as youth and senior participatory budgets have been successful. Despite low participation rates, the impact on participants is profound, fostering a sense of community and belonging. The city also introduced an internal participatory budget for civil servants and urban planning projects involving children aged 10 to 15, showcasing the potential of participatory democracy to enhance local governance and civic engagement.

Mathis Dippon, Programme Manager for the European Capital of Democracy, presented this initiative, allowing any city to apply for the title. Once selected, the city hosts a year-long democracy festival, showcasing best practices in participatory democracy. This initiative aims to create a network of exemplary democratic practices for other cities to emulate.

Barcelona, the current European Capital of Democracy, serves as a model with its various democratic processes and citizen assemblies. Dippon emphasised the importance of targeted approaches to engage different audiences and ensuring that citizens’ recommendations have tangible consequences. This approach not only broadens participation but also strengthens the democratic fabric by making citizens feel their contributions matter.


In March 2024, ALDA launched a call for proposals to fund ALDA members willing to support impactful initiatives that promote a sense of belonging to the European Union in the year of the EU elections.

In order to promote good governance and citizen participation at the local level in Europe and beyond, ALDA leads a wide range of actions supporting local, national and international stakeholders in achieving their goals in the fields of European integration, decentralisation, human rights, social inclusion, sustainable development, civic initiatives and much more. As its core element, ALDA supports citizens and groups of citizens in their initiatives aimed at improving their local context, building bridges with local authorities in order to make the change real. In this framework, ALDA works through a participatory approach and the method of multilateral decentralised cooperation, always focusing on strong partnerships between local authorities and civil society organisations.


ALDA works with and for local resilient communities, to address the future challenges from a democratic, environmental, social and economic point of view


The call was aimed at supporting local and grass-root initiatives in the field of EU values and policies, in order to promote both a sense of belonging to the EU in view of the 2024 EU elections, and a sense of “local ownership” and engagement in the local community. This way the funded projects were able to pave the way for further activities in this sense and ensure the capitalisation of the results.

The call was addressed to ALDA members based in the EU which presented their own projects focused on increasing public knowledge, awareness and interest about the EU policies, values and strategies.

These organisations will implement different strategies at local level targeting different vulnerable groups in areas such as: education, citizens engagement, health, climate action, gender equality among others.

ALDA received many interesting and qualitative applications. After the evaluation was carried out by an appointed Selection Committee (SeC), 11 organisations from 6 different countries were selected.

These organisations will implement different strategies at local level targeting different vulnerable groups in areas such as: education, citizens engagement, health, climate action, gender equality among others.

These 11 beneficiaries of the regranting programme are:

Name of the project: Forward EU (FEU)

City of implementation: Brussels, Belgium

The project aims to empower young people and promote active engagement in civic activities by integrating creative methodologies (interactive quizzes, treasure hunts and digital tools), varied events, and inclusive engagement strategies and collaborations with diverse stakeholders.

Name of the project: VISTA: Voices for Integration, Solidarity, and Trust in Action

City of implementation: Naples, Turin, Parma, Italy

The main objective of the project is to promote participation, integration, solidarity, and trust of young people, including some refugees. The project will also develop tools, key messages, and community initiatives that empower participants to become advocates for positive change, foster meaningful connections within and across their communities, and inspire collective action towards more inclusive and resilient societies, in line with fundamental EU values. 

Name of the project: Amplifying Youth Voices in Mental Health at EU level: Advancing Participatory Platforms and Policy Trackers for Actionable Change

City of implementation: Barcelona, Spain

The project aims to influence policy decisions in the field of mental health at local, national, and European level through workshops, webinars and integrating arts-based methods with digital participation platforms.

Name of the project: I VOTE, WE WIN. Together against inequalities

City of implementation: Brescia, Italy

The main goal of the project is to promote within the citizens – especially among young and new voters – a sense of belonging to the EU as well as to enhance people’s awareness, engagement and social participation with respect to EU rights and value. To achieve this, a seminar on the functioning of the EU elections and varied public events will be organised.

Name of the project: SARAJEVO – BARCELONA: LEARNING FROM 30 YEARS OF LOCAL COOPERATION

City of implementation: Barcelona, Spain – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The main goal of the project is to strengthen local democracy and citizen participation, while also facilitating knowledge exchange and cooperation between cities, particularly Sarajevo and Barcelona. This will be achieved through a series of activities (organisation of a book presentation, a photo exhibition and conferences, participation in a campaign and workshop) designed to promote dialogue, reconciliation and civic engagement.

Name of the project: Democratic Action of Refugees in Europe (DARE)

City of implementation: Brussels, Belgium.

The project aims to promote the participation of first time voters with refugee backgrounds, who have recently obtained citizenship in an EU country. The project envisions a webinar to raise awareness about EU elections; workshops to co-create messages to encourage participation in the elections; a meeting between newly elected progressive Members European Parliament (MEPs) and a small group of community leaders with refugee background; and a closing webinar.

Name of the project: EmpowerEU: Youth Multipliers for Democracy

City of implementation: Lisbon, Portugal

The project seeks to actively engage young people in discussions regarding the EU impact on their lives, raising awareness of EU decision-making processes, and encouraging their participation in shaping Europe’s future, especially concerning EU elections. To achieve this, the project will implement an intensive bootcamp and academy, providing participants with in-depth knowledge and skills related to EU policies, institutions, and democratic processes.

Name of the project: “Empowering European Citizens” Seminar

City of implementation: Nocera Umbra (PG), Italy

The main goal of the project is to empower young European citizens by fostering their knowledge, understanding, and engagement with the European Union. The Seminar consists of a totally free week of study-vacation, which combines lectures and group discussion with recreational activities.

Name of the project: Your Voice, Your Europe!

Country of implementation: Spain, Slovenia, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium

The project aims to connect and engage youth and other groups from various countries, with different social backgrounds, and from different local environments, to raise awareness about the importance of European Parliament elections. The methodology will integrate artistic expression (organisation and implementation of 12 street art intervention), social media activities, interactive discussions, cross-cultural exchange, and reflections.

Name of the project: TAKE A STEP! Sustainable Territory & European Participation

City of implementation: Vicenza, Italy

The main goal of the project is to promote the education, empowerment and participation of the target groups (broad citizenship, including youths and vulnerable groups) concerning the environmental crisis and the climate change adaptation and mitigation. The activities involve round tables with local and non-local experts and activists, theatre and music performances.

Name of the project: ENGAGE EU (Empowering New Generations through Artistic Group Experiences Europe)

City of implementation: Marseille, France

The project will start with “L’Europe à la Barre” which is an immersive theatrical production that plunges the audience into a fictitious trial of the European Union, inviting the public to judge the EU itself. Through lively debates, the play stimulates deep reflection on the future of Europe, and urges the participants to embrace their European citizenship. Then, the project continues with the “ENGAGE” workshop, an initiative aimed at promoting creative reflection on democracy and its integration into the daily lives of participants.

AT A GLANCE

Data is crucial for governance and economic growth, yet local authorities in Central Europe often struggle to use it effectively. Meanwhile, the private sector and civil society are advancing rapidly in digitalisation, making extensive use of Open Data and IoT (Internet of Things), but their potential in solving urban and social issues remains underutilised.

The EnCLOD project aims to enhance governance in five Central European territories by promoting the use of Open Data and IoT sensor networks. This initiative strengthens multi-level governance, engages civil society, and fosters public-private collaboration, driving innovation and economic prosperity.

Objectives:

The project is carried out by a consortium of 10 partners, including local authorities, universities, and technological SMEs, from five Central European countries: Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Hungary.

The project aims to significantly enhance the awareness and knowledge of policy actors and decision-makers from pilot territories and beyond regarding the potential of Open Data (OD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) for territorial governance. This will be achieved through the collection of case studies, targeted education, and capacity-building activities.

Additionally, the project will generate tangible, visible, and lasting impacts in five Central European pilot areas (Vicenza, Italy; Olomouc, Czech Republic; Debrecen, Hungary; Zilina, Slovakia; and Nova Gorica, Slovenia). This will be accomplished through the development of local Action Plans that leverage OD and IoT opportunities for effective territorial governance and city-region planning. Furthermore, five Pilot Actions will be implemented to address specific challenges related to mobility/transport, the environment, or climate change in each area.

In all instances, special emphasis will be placed on fostering active engagement from citizens and economic operators through the organisation of hackathons, public events, and the provision of all generated data under an Open Data commons license.

Be the next External Evaluator for the TALE Project! ALDA invites you to seize an exciting opportunity as the External Evaluator for our TALE – TAke the Lead in the EU Elections project, co-funded by the European Parliament.

About the TALE Project

The TALE project is dedicated to fostering active participation among European youth across seven Member States. Through comprehensive training, dynamic communication campaigns, and engaging participatory workshops, we aim to bridge gaps in voter turnout and empower young citizens to shape the future of European democracy.

Your Role as an External Evaluator

As the External Evaluator, you will play a pivotal role in providing impartial and objective assessments of our project’s progress and impact. Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting comprehensive surveys during and after project implementation.
  • Collaborating with partners and beneficiaries to monitor project outcomes.
  • Producing a final evaluation report with actionable recommendations.

Eligibility Criteria

We are seeking experienced evaluators with:

  • A background in conducting external evaluations for similar projects.
  • Expertise in participatory evaluation methodologies.
  • Familiarity with European youth engagement and democratic processes.

Application Process

Interested in joining us? Send your CV and a methodology proposal to Dafne Sgarra at dafne@aldaintranet.org, mentioning “TALE evaluator” in the email subject, by June 11, 2024, at 17:00.

For more details about the application procedure, click here.

Join us in empowering European youth and shaping a vibrant European democracy! We look forward to receiving your proposals and working together to ensure the success and impact of the TALE project.

ALDA+ is excited to disseminate the CERV-2024-CITIZENS-TOWN-TT call for proposals, focusing on Town Twinning initiatives. This programme offers a unique opportunity for municipalities and local communities to engage in international exchanges that celebrate the rich diversity and shared heritage of the European Union. Through these exchanges, citizens can gain practical experiences that foster mutual understanding, friendship, and a stronger sense of European identity.

The Town Twinning programme aims to promote exchanges between citizens from different countries, providing them with practical experiences of the EU’s common heritage. It seeks to enhance mutual understanding and tolerance, foster a sense of European belonging and identity, support peaceful relations and active local participation, encourage cooperation and the exchange of best practices between municipalities, and reinforce the role of local and regional authorities in European integration.

Projects under this call should focus on intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, reflection on a new narrative for Europe that is citizen-oriented and forward-looking, debates on the EU’s achievements and current challenges, and addressing themes like solidarity, inclusion, and the EU’s response to societal challenges. 

Eligible activities include workshops, seminars, and conferences, training activities and expert meetings, cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions, awareness-raising activities, development and dissemination of good practices, and the use of social media and communication tools.

Are you interested in the call? Apply! 

Why Apply Through ALDA+?

ALDA+, the Benefit Corporation of ALDA, offers extensive support to ensure your project’s success:

  • Expert Guidance: it provides strategic advice on project design, ensuring alignment with EU priorities and funding requirements.
  • Application Support: it offers professional assistance in drafting and submitting your application, maximizing your chances of securing funding.
  • Project Implementation: From project management to dissemination activities, it ensures that your project runs smoothly and achieves its objectives.
  • Training and Capacity Building: Benefit from tailored training sessions to enhance your team’s capabilities in managing EU-funded projects.

By working with ALDA+, you gain access to a wealth of expertise and resources that can significantly enhance your project’s impact and sustainability.

The application process is detailed and requires careful preparation. To begin, read the call documentation, model grant agreement, and guidelines available on the EU Funding & Tenders Portal. Prepare your proposal to ensure alignment with the call’s objectives, themes, and activities, and submit your proposal electronically through the Funding & Tenders Portal by the deadline of September 19, 2024, at 17:00 CET. 

Sounds complicated? 

ALDA+ can provide you with the expertise you need to submit a successful application.

Key dates to keep in mind include the submission deadline on September 19, 2024, the evaluation period from September 2024 to February 2025, results announcement in March 2025, and grant agreement signature in June 2025. The available budget for this call is €4,000,000.

To begin your journey towards securing this exciting funding opportunity, apply now and let ALDA+ guide you towards a successful Town Twinning project!

Don’t miss this opportunity to foster cross-border friendships and strengthen the European spirit within your community.


If interested, contact us by sending a message to service@aldaplus.it


AT A GLANCE

E- VOICE is a project reflecting on the impact of the COVID-19 in 7 European countries: Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain, Belgium and France involving 9 institutions.

It is a project for institutions that want to build resilient communities across Europe for the post pandemic era. Voice targets young people, CSOs, educational authorities, local governments, and families. The process of building democratic and resilient societies of the future must involve young people whose voice must be heard. The participation of the young people to the decision making for the future of their communities and of the EU partners cannot take place unless obstacles that the COVID-19 pandemic have both created and worsened are removed. Partners have identified 4 issues: mental health problems, educational poverty, unhealthy habits, unemployment to research the best existing practices to generate a list of recommendations for the partnership.

OBJECTIVES

  • Connect communities to build a solidarity network focusing on the exchange and transfer of the best practices acquired during the pandemic, reduce Covid19 induced health and economic issues, create a protection to save lives and livelihoods, reduce poverty and inequalities which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and strengthen bottom-up solidarity initiatives planned and conducted by CSOs in 7 Countries of Europe.
  • Explore the potential of youth participation in the projects at the local, national, and cross-national levels, make it possible for young people to make their voices heard and shape the communities they live in.
  • Take advantage of experiences highlighting the conditions that favour youth participation, which is the ground on which civic participation may thrive and the future of Europe can be shaped.
  • In view of the Conference on the Future of Europe, create a debate around the measures adopted following the pandemic (the Next Generation EU plan, the reinforcement to the MFF, etc.) and how the 6 priorities of the European Commission can shape our lives.

RELATED NEWS

Citizens Participation as an essential element to face climate challenges

On May 14th 2024, the Environment & Climate Hub together with the Civic Engagement Hub of ALDA held a panel session during the “Local Democracy for Global Impact” General Assembly in Barcelona, Spain. Taking place from May 13 until 15, 2024, the event was marked by panels, conferences, workshops, and sessions on critical topics like civic participation, environment and climate, gender and inclusion, digitalisation and much more.

The ‘Citizens Participation as an essential element to climate change’ panel aimed to foster the importance of citizen engagement in tackling climate-related challenges, particularly in the context of initiatives like the European Green Deal. The increasing impacts of climate change we are witnessing today highlight the urgency for collective action: in the light of this alarming context, civic participation and local democracy appear to be key elements to create policies and strategies to face climate change effects. 
The panel, moderated by Ms Valeria Fantini, Project Manager and Coordinator of the Environment and Climate Hub of ALDA, featured an impressive lineup of speakers: Ms Alessia Marzotto,  co-chair of the Civic Engagement Hub of ALDA; Mr Daniel Botha, Expert in Justice, Equity and Democracy at ICLEI; Desbina Kallinikidou from the Municipality of Oberhausen; Mr Carles Llorens, Secretary-General at ORU-FOGAR; and Mr Chorten Dorji, Executive Director at HAB Bhutan.


The event was a great chance to explore, exchange and debate interesting practices on citizens participation


The discussion focused on two main aspects: the first one on sharing best practices, and the second part on how to make these practices more concrete and integrated in policymaking. 

ALDA Hub coordinator and moderator Mrs. Valeria Fantini introduced the session sharing some key elements of two relevant projects, of which ALDA is part: SHARED GREEN DEAL Project and the REAL DEAL project. In relation to the latter, Mrs. Alessia Marzotto introduced the ‘Civil Society Forum for Sustainability – Shaping the European Green Deal’ in the context of the European REAL DEAL project, highlighting the importance of creating informal, inclusive, and safe spaces where stakeholders (academia, NGOs, policymakers, citizens) can discuss pressing issues related to the EU Green Deal and express their opinion.

Mr. Daniel Botha, speaking about the Accting Project, stressed the importance of the role of local NGOs in the promotion of citizens’ engagement and the necessity of focusing on their funding and financial resources so that civil society organisations can use them effectively to promote sustainable development.

Mrs. Desbina Kallinikidou pointed out that when discussing climate change and gender issues, the key is to support NGOs because they already work on these topics and are often closer to citizens. In this regard, the Inequalities Matters project, of which she is a member, aims to develop an accessible language in order to build a functioning network on environment and sustainability issues, to take care of public relations and to launch new projects in the field and support existing ones. To carry out their mission, NGOs therefore need support and coordination.

Carles Lloren emphasised the significance of developing processes that provide solutions to problems and thus prove to be effective: in such cases, people will always feel engaged and consequently take part in participatory processes. In support of this idea, he highlighted various participatory cases in different parts of the world, including Ecuador, Catalonia, Basque Country, and Senegal.

Chorten Dorji introduced Bhutan and their own association, discussing the need to cooperate to make our voices heard and thus address the negative effects of climate change.

The panel aroused great interest among the audience, who actively participated during the Q&A session. In particular, Aquí project brought to attention the need to include experts from different fields, both in local and governmental plans, so that we can effectively respond to the imperatives of climate change.

The event was a great chance to explore, exchange and debate interesting practices on citizens participation. It concluded with a call for continued collaboration and innovation in these fields to promote more sustainable and engaging societies.

You can find the photos of the panel here.

Within the REAL DEAL project, on May 7 and 8, 2024, ALDA actively participated in the ASviS Festival of Sustainable Development in Rome, Italy. The Festival was created to raise awareness among growing segments of the population on social, economic, and environmental sustainability, extending beyond subject-matter experts. It aimed to foster a cultural shift in individual and collective behaviors and to stimulate “bottom-up” requests that would compel the Country’s leadership to comply with the agreements undertaken with the UN. Additionally, the Festival sought to give voice to citizens, businesses, national and local administrations, universities, and civil society to promote dialogue and the sharing of best practices on the issues of the 2030 Agenda.

The Festival was a unique experience at the international level, reaching millions of people in Italy each year through the participation of hundreds of organisations across the country. Universities played an active role, and “sustainable development squares” were opened in several major Italian cities. This stimulated an unprecedented reflection on the future of Italy, Europe, and the world. In 2019 and 2020, the Festival was nominated among thousands of projects as a finalist for the SDG Action Awards of the UN SDG Action Campaign, recognised for being an innovative initiative and a unique experience globally.

Day 1: Deliberative Democracy in Action

Over the past six months, citizens’ assemblies in Denmark and Italy, organised by Nyt Europa and ASviS respectively, focused on the European Semester. These assemblies engaged participants in a deliberative process to develop concrete policy proposals related to the European Green Deal and European economic policies.

In Rome (Italy), participants from both countries convened to evaluate their involvement in the EU policymaking process. They compared the outcomes and political recommendations from their respective assemblies and discussed methods to enhance stakeholder and citizen involvement in EU economic policymaking. By the end of the day, participants agreed on common policy recommendations addressing climate and environment, social justice, macroeconomic governance, and deliberative democracy methods. These recommendations were presented during the ASviS Festival on May 8th.

Day 2: Dialogue on the Green Deal and Sustainable Development

The second day featured a dialogue on the Green Deal, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the economic system, moderated by Julie Rosenkilde of Nyt Europa. Ingeborg Nestroy (RIFS), the REAL DEAL project coordinator, introduced the project, followed by a debate featuring Enrico Giovannini (ASviS Scientific Director) and Judith Hermann (Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung).

Ivana Demarinis, representing the Italian citizens’ assembly, presented newly formulated policy recommendations, reflecting the rigorous debates and collective reflections from the previous day.

Expert Insights and Citizen Engagement

The day’s second session included a panel of experts on European decision-making participation. Notable speakers included Ulrike Liebert (European University Institute), Daniela Longo (SCS Consulting), Eileen Roth (Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung) and Dafne Sgarra (ALDA). Ms. Sgarra highlighted the TALE project and ALDA’s campaign for the EU elections, “Better Europe Together: Local Ideas, European Results,” which aims to boost voter turnout and enhance active citizen participation beyond voting.

Simone Aslak, representing Danish participants, concluded the event with insights into the decision-making and participation methods discussed the previous day.

A Platform for Shared Experiences and Policy Innovation

This event provided a valuable platform for citizens to share experiences regarding economic governance, environmental issues, and social justice. It exemplified effective citizen engagement and participation, combined with expert insights and the efforts of civil society organisations (CSOs) to foster good governance at all levels.

By participating in the ASviS Festival, ALDA reinforced its commitment to sustainable development and inclusive policymaking, paving the way for more engaged and informed citizens across Europe.

On 28 May, ALDA and parters of the Civil Society for EU’s campaign led by Civil Society Europe secured more than 300 signatures by European election candidates.

The coalition secured endorsers from all member states but Cyprus, with France bringing most of the signatures, followed by Italy and Latvia.

Are you a candidate to the European elections? Do you want your candidates to sign the pledge? Visit civilsocietyforeu.eu/the-pledge.

During the ALDA Festival and General Assembly 2024 on May 13, a profoundly moving event unfolded: the Ceremony of Recognition for ALDA’s Members’ Support to Ukrainian Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs).

ALDA’s engagement in Ukraine is now over a decade, during which it has been instrumental in delivering training on good local governance and participation to local authorities, alongside providing support to civil society organisations. The establishment of the first Local Democracy Agency in Dnipropetrovsk Region in 2015, together with the ALDA member Lower Silesia Region (Poland) and the Region of Alsace (France), marked a significant milestone. Subsequently, the creation of the LDA in Mariupol, supported by Gdansk Municipality (Poland) in 2017, further fortified ALDA’s commitment to fostering democratic practices in the region. In November 2023 also LDA Odesa was opened, and it is the third LDA established in the country. The creation of this Local Democracy Agencies in Ukraine, as an instrument of peace and social cohesion, is the first step for the creation of other LDAs in the country, as established by ALDA’s Flagship Initiative in Ukraine.

Since the onset of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, ALDA’s dedication to supporting its Ukrainian members and partners has intensified dramatically. This heightened commitment, however, would not have been possible without the invaluable support of ALDA’s members and partners, who have stood in solidarity with Ukraine during these challenging times.

The Ceremony of Recognition represented a moving moment to express gratitude to those who have supported Ukraine, whether through longstanding efforts or humanitarian aid

Led by Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA, the event featured heartfelt testimonials from ALDA members, including Ms. Margarita Fullana Arrom, Mayor of Algaida Municipality (Spain) and Secretary of Fons Mallorqui de Solidaritat i Cooperació, and Mr. Vadim Boichenko, Mayor of Mariupol (Ukraine) and representative of the Association of Ukrainian Cities.

It is worth highlighting the exceptional role played by Vadim Boichenko, who, as the only recognised and legal mayor of Mariupol, operates in exile within his own country, tirelessly advocating for the citizens of Mariupol who have been displaced by the illegal Russian occupation. Despite facing immense challenges, Vadim Boichenko’s unwavering commitment to his community shines through, making his speech during the ceremony all the more poignant.

“I am grateful to everyone who supports Ukraine. We need to feel it… Your resilience, our common resilience, gives us confidence that this war will end with our victory. I would like to recall the experience we have shared with ALDA. We have already had the ambition to learn about transparency, and thanks to partners like ALDA who came to us and provided us with the tools to learn, we managed to achieve it. We need this component for the world to recognize us as a European partner.”

Vadim Boichenko, Mayor in Exile of Mariupol, Ukraine

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of Recognition Certificates to ALDA’s members for their devoted support. Among these were notable organisations such as Fons Mallorquí, Associació Fons Pitius de Cooperació (Spain), Fons Menorquí de Cooperació (Spain), Gdansk Municipality, ADL Zavidovici (Italy), Progettarte (Italy), Studio Progetto Social Cooperative (Italy), Lower Silesia Region, Hauts de France Region (France), Region Istria (Croatia), Region Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy), Foster Europe (Austria), Grand Est Region (France), Barcelona Provincial Council (Spain), and all other supporters.

In commemorating the collective efforts and unwavering solidarity extended to Ukrainian LDAs, the ceremony underscored the power of collaboration and the resilience of communities in times of adversity. As ALDA continues its mission of promoting local democracy and fostering partnerships worldwide, the event served as a reminder of the transformative impact that can be achieved through collective action and mutual support.