dicembre

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ENGFRAITASERRUSARA

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ENGFRAITASERRUSARA

ALDA Secretary General keynote speaker on decentralization in Togo

ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida was invited for the second time to Lomé, Togo by the Minister of territorial reform, of decentralization and of local power. She attended as a keynote speaker on decentralisation.

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The seminar on decentralisation builds up on the achievements of the Annual General Assembly of the Union of Municipalities of Togo held in September, and on the on-going efforts to decentralise the country.

“Why bother the state with a problem in a local school garden?” asked Mrs. Valmorbida, explaining the rationale behind decentralisation in a nutshell.

She pointed out that democracy and especially local democracy are not theoretical concepts. Fostering local democracy means improving local governance and decreasing centralisation.

Following her argumentation, several conditions are needed for a fruitful and balanced development of local structures:

  1. Political will to change at all levels
  2. A programme all can agree on, open to change
  3. The involvement of citizens, as the backbone of change and acceptance
  4. International support
  5. A spark initiating a driving force of decentralisation

“The challenge is that they are all priorities and must develop in parallel – reinforcing each other”, she added. “Decentralisation can be a big change. It is important to take away the fear and to show its benefits.” This could easily be made possible through participation, by developing shared solutions for shared problems.

Mrs. Valmorbida concluded her speech by emphasising that decentralisation is not a western concept – it is rather a choice to find the best solutions together, locally and together with civil society. “ALDA is there to help you, to find your initiating spark” reaffirmed Mrs. Valmorbida, well aware of the needed and long path of decentralisation.

Mrs. Valmorbida had been in Togo already in September 2016 to talk about challenges and opportunities of decentralization, on the invitation of the Union of Municipalities of Togo and the Delegation of the European Union.

Link utili:

Read about her participation at the Annual General Assembly of the Union of Municipalities of Togo held in September 2016

ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida was invited for the second time to Lomé, Togo by the Minister of territorial reform, of decentralization and of local power. She attended as a keynote speaker on decentralisation.

***
The seminar on decentralisation builds up on the achievements of the Annual General Assembly of the Union of Municipalities of Togo held in September, and on the on-going efforts to decentralise the country.

“Why bother the state with a problem in a local school garden?” asked Mrs. Valmorbida, explaining the rationale behind decentralisation in a nutshell.

She pointed out that democracy and especially local democracy are not theoretical concepts. Fostering local democracy means improving local governance and decreasing centralisation.

Following her argumentation, several conditions are needed for a fruitful and balanced development of local structures:

  1. Political will to change at all levels
  2. A programme all can agree on, open to change
  3. The involvement of citizens, as the backbone of change and acceptance
  4. International support
  5. A spark initiating a driving force of decentralisation

“The challenge is that they are all priorities and must develop in parallel – reinforcing each other”, she added. “Decentralisation can be a big change. It is important to take away the fear and to show its benefits.” This could easily be made possible through participation, by developing shared solutions for shared problems.

Mrs. Valmorbida concluded her speech by emphasising that decentralisation is not a western concept – it is rather a choice to find the best solutions together, locally and together with civil society. “ALDA is there to help you, to find your initiating spark” reaffirmed Mrs. Valmorbida, well aware of the needed and long path of decentralisation.

Mrs. Valmorbida had been in Togo already in September 2016 to talk about challenges and opportunities of decentralization, on the invitation of the Union of Municipalities of Togo and the Delegation of the European Union.

Link utili:

Read about her participation at the Annual General Assembly of the Union of Municipalities of Togo held in September 2016


Intense month across the Eastern Partnership for ALDA - supporting local democracy and citizens participation

The past weeks have been particularly intense for ALDA’s work in the promotion of local democracy and citizens participation in Eastern Partnership countries.

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ALDA’s Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida and EaP Coordinator, Nino Tvaldvadze represented the organization on the occasion of the annual assembly of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership, that took place in Brussels at the end of November. The event gave the possibility to more than 200 civil society organisations from EU and from partner countries to highlight the problems but also the results achieved. In a high level panel, ALDA presented its role to support Local Governance and in particular the transversal work to be done in Public Administration Reform. Many members and partners of ALDA regularly attend the Forum, which represents also a unique opportunity to liaise with them. The Subgroup on Local Government and Public Administration Reform has been reconfirmed within the activities of the Working Group 1, and ALDA volunteered to be the coordinator.

Moreover, on 5 December, for the first time, the EEAS of the Platform 1 of the Eastern Partnership dedicated its session to local democracy and local governance. The topics were addressed by ALDA and its Secretary General, as well as by representatives of CORLEAP, the assembly of the Committee of the Regions, composed of EaP and EU local governments. The Platform 1 is the highest political instance in policy making, just before the Summit of Head of States, which will take place in November 2017.

The fact that focus of the meeting was such a crucial topic for ALDA has to be highlighted, as it paves the way for enhancing the role of local governments and civil society in the EaP programmes, heading towards the Summit. The whole session reconfirmed the importance of local democracy and citizens participation as as key components of the process for stabilisation and development.

The past weeks have been particularly intense for ALDA’s work in the promotion of local democracy and citizens participation in Eastern Partnership countries.

***
ALDA’s Secretary General, Antonella Valmorbida and EaP Coordinator, Nino Tvaldvadze represented the organization on the occasion of the annual assembly of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership, that took place in Brussels at the end of November. The event gave the possibility to more than 200 civil society organisations from EU and from partner countries to highlight the problems but also the results achieved. In a high level panel, ALDA presented its role to support Local Governance and in particular the transversal work to be done in Public Administration Reform. Many members and partners of ALDA regularly attend the Forum, which represents also a unique opportunity to liaise with them. The Subgroup on Local Government and Public Administration Reform has been reconfirmed within the activities of the Working Group 1, and ALDA volunteered to be the coordinator.

Moreover, on 5 December, for the first time, the EEAS of the Platform 1 of the Eastern Partnership dedicated its session to local democracy and local governance. The topics were addressed by ALDA and its Secretary General, as well as by representatives of CORLEAP, the assembly of the Committee of the Regions, composed of EaP and EU local governments. The Platform 1 is the highest political instance in policy making, just before the Summit of Head of States, which will take place in November 2017.

The fact that focus of the meeting was such a crucial topic for ALDA has to be highlighted, as it paves the way for enhancing the role of local governments and civil society in the EaP programmes, heading towards the Summit. The whole session reconfirmed the importance of local democracy and citizens participation as as key components of the process for stabilisation and development.


Erasmus Mundus Master Degree in Sustainable Terrotorial Development – Scholarships available

Applications for “Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree” coordinated by the University of Padova (IT) are now open. Scholarships are available – learn more!
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The master is a great opportunity for all students who have a strong interest in sustainable development and would like to become an expert in the field. Erasmus+ programme provides about 20 generous scholarships for EU and non-EU students to support the study.
The course offers a complete master degree in 2 academic years to all the candidates who received their bachelor degree (or equivalent), with a good command of English and French. The hosting universitites are in Italy, Belgium and France with the last semester in Brazil, Egypt, Burkina Faso or South Africa.
Learn more with the application form and full description in the brochure! Closing date is on 31 January, 2017.
Master Erasmus Mundus sullo Sviluppo Territoriale Sostenibile – Borse di studio disponibili!
Le candidature per il Master Erasmus Mundus sullo Sviluppo Territoriale Sostenibile, coordinato dall’Università di Padova, sono aperte. Numerose borse di studio sono disponibili – informati ora!
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Il master rappresenta un’ottima opportunità per tutti gli studenti che hanno un forte interesse verso lo sviluppo sostenibile e vorrebbero diventare esperti in materia. Erasmus+ fornisce circa 20 borse di studio per studenti UE e non-UE per finanziare il percorso.
Il corso offre una laurea completa in 2 anni accademici a tutti i candidati che hanno ricevuto il diploma di laurea triennale (o equivalente), con una buona conoscenza di lingua inglese e francese. Le Università che ospitano il programma sono in Italia, Belgio e Francia con l’ultimo semestre in Brasile, Egitto, Burkina Faso o in Sudafrica.
Per saperne di più, scarica la brochure con il formulario di candidatura e la descrizione completa! Data di chiusura per le candidature: 31 gennaio 2017.

Applications for “Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree” coordinated by the University of Padova (IT) are now open. Scholarships are available – learn more!
***
The master is a great opportunity for all students who have a strong interest in sustainable development and would like to become an expert in the field. Erasmus+ programme provides about 20 generous scholarships for EU and non-EU students to support the study.
The course offers a complete master degree in 2 academic years to all the candidates who received their bachelor degree (or equivalent), with a good command of English and French. The hosting universitites are in Italy, Belgium and France with the last semester in Brazil, Egypt, Burkina Faso or South Africa.
Learn more with the application form and full description in the brochure! Closing date is on 31 January, 2017.
Master Erasmus Mundus sullo Sviluppo Territoriale Sostenibile – Borse di studio disponibili!
Le candidature per il Master Erasmus Mundus sullo Sviluppo Territoriale Sostenibile, coordinato dall’Università di Padova, sono aperte. Numerose borse di studio sono disponibili – informati ora!
***
Il master rappresenta un’ottima opportunità per tutti gli studenti che hanno un forte interesse verso lo sviluppo sostenibile e vorrebbero diventare esperti in materia. Erasmus+ fornisce circa 20 borse di studio per studenti UE e non-UE per finanziare il percorso.
Il corso offre una laurea completa in 2 anni accademici a tutti i candidati che hanno ricevuto il diploma di laurea triennale (o equivalente), con una buona conoscenza di lingua inglese e francese. Le Università che ospitano il programma sono in Italia, Belgio e Francia con l’ultimo semestre in Brasile, Egitto, Burkina Faso o in Sudafrica.
Per saperne di più, scarica la brochure con il formulario di candidatura e la descrizione completa! Data di chiusura per le candidature: 31 gennaio 2017.


Civic participation: a key tool for the environment

The WE-NET Initiative introduces an approach focused on the cooperation between local authorities and civil society, producing positive results towards environmentally friendly and sustainable development policies.
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It is a widespread belief that civic participation in the decision-making process produces many important benefits. Alongside the policy makers, civil society can play a determinant role in contributing to the development of the community. Especially in the field of environment, citizens joining the policy process and collaborating with local and regional authorities can result in only positive outcomes and bring about positive environmental change. Due to the particular nature of the environmental issues, they require a global and trasnational approach, overcoming national borders and promoting the collaboration of both governments and civil societies.
It goes without saying that environmental issues like climate change and global warming have a great impact on people’s lives worldwide, regardless of where they are. Consequently, all citizens should be encouraged and motivated to take action and participate in initiatives aiming to promote and implement environmentally friendly and sustainable development policies. Civic participation in the creation and implementation of environmental policies can produce many positive results and can help reach the desirable outcomes in a faster and more effective way. First and foremost, environmental challenges can be tackled more efficiently starting from the local level, since smaller areas are less complex and easier to handle. When it comes to creating and, especially, implementing environmental policies, starting from the local level facilitates the process and makes it easier for public authorities to monitor and evaluate the process. Furthermore, citizens have a closer connection to their communities and, thus, contributing to their growth and improvement takes a more personal sense. No one can doubt about citizens’ catalytic role, as individual behaviours and consumers’ preferences can make the difference and improve the living conditions in local communities.
However, in order for this idea to work, it is of utmost importance that policy makers at all levels of government and, in particular, local authorities create an environment that enables actual participation of citizens in the decision-making process. By cooperating with civil society associations and citizens, policy makers can provide them with an opportunity to take action and be part of the effort to create a greener and sustainable community. After all, civic participation in the policy-making process promotes a more democratic and efficient governance, by encouraging transparency and accountability of public authorities and by creating a necessary consensus for environmental policies, these being based on people’s real needs and preferences. This way, governments’ decisions gain legitimacy and are widely accepted by the public.
In conclusion, civic participation in the public sphere through the interaction with local authorities can have a positive impact on the development of the community and especially in the environmental field, it can produce positive results towards environmentally friendly and sustainable development policies. The cooperation between local authorities and civil society is the successful approach that the WE-NET community is putting forward.
Link utili:

The WE-NET Initiative introduces an approach focused on the cooperation between local authorities and civil society, producing positive results towards environmentally friendly and sustainable development policies.
***
It is a widespread belief that civic participation in the decision-making process produces many important benefits. Alongside the policy makers, civil society can play a determinant role in contributing to the development of the community. Especially in the field of environment, citizens joining the policy process and collaborating with local and regional authorities can result in only positive outcomes and bring about positive environmental change. Due to the particular nature of the environmental issues, they require a global and trasnational approach, overcoming national borders and promoting the collaboration of both governments and civil societies.
It goes without saying that environmental issues like climate change and global warming have a great impact on people’s lives worldwide, regardless of where they are. Consequently, all citizens should be encouraged and motivated to take action and participate in initiatives aiming to promote and implement environmentally friendly and sustainable development policies. Civic participation in the creation and implementation of environmental policies can produce many positive results and can help reach the desirable outcomes in a faster and more effective way. First and foremost, environmental challenges can be tackled more efficiently starting from the local level, since smaller areas are less complex and easier to handle. When it comes to creating and, especially, implementing environmental policies, starting from the local level facilitates the process and makes it easier for public authorities to monitor and evaluate the process. Furthermore, citizens have a closer connection to their communities and, thus, contributing to their growth and improvement takes a more personal sense. No one can doubt about citizens’ catalytic role, as individual behaviours and consumers’ preferences can make the difference and improve the living conditions in local communities.
However, in order for this idea to work, it is of utmost importance that policy makers at all levels of government and, in particular, local authorities create an environment that enables actual participation of citizens in the decision-making process. By cooperating with civil society associations and citizens, policy makers can provide them with an opportunity to take action and be part of the effort to create a greener and sustainable community. After all, civic participation in the policy-making process promotes a more democratic and efficient governance, by encouraging transparency and accountability of public authorities and by creating a necessary consensus for environmental policies, these being based on people’s real needs and preferences. This way, governments’ decisions gain legitimacy and are widely accepted by the public.
In conclusion, civic participation in the public sphere through the interaction with local authorities can have a positive impact on the development of the community and especially in the environmental field, it can produce positive results towards environmentally friendly and sustainable development policies. The cooperation between local authorities and civil society is the successful approach that the WE-NET community is putting forward.
Link utili:


ExploreZ Festival is taking place in Amsterdam!

We invite you to take part in ExploreZ Festival in Amsterdam at the ZID Community Theatre!
Dutch theatre makers will collaborate with makers from all over Europe to create theatre, dance and music.

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Everyone is most welcome to attend and to join in creative activities, either as participant or audience, from December 12th to 18th. Beneath, you can find the complete programme of the festival, so do not hesitate and discover more, such as theatrical presentation, theatre workshop, dance and concert and much more.
ExploreZ Festival is a macro-event of “CaravanNEXT”, which is a joint-project of many partners and ALDA, under the lead of Odine Teatret. It is a Social Community Theatre collaborative project connecting professional artists with communities and local citizens. ALDA is proud to support ExploreZ festival.

We invite you to take part in ExploreZ Festival in Amsterdam at the ZID Community Theatre!
Dutch theatre makers will collaborate with makers from all over Europe to create theatre, dance and music.

***
Everyone is most welcome to attend and to join in creative activities, either as participant or audience, from December 12th to 18th. Beneath, you can find the complete programme of the festival, so do not hesitate and discover more, such as theatrical presentation, theatre workshop, dance and concert and much more.
ExploreZ Festival is a macro-event of “CaravanNEXT”, which is a joint-project of many partners and ALDA, under the lead of Odine Teatret. It is a Social Community Theatre collaborative project connecting professional artists with communities and local citizens. ALDA is proud to support ExploreZ festival.


Migration, urban fragmentation and intercultural dialogue: project URGENT launched in Strasbourg

More than 100 representative of local authorities, civil society organisations, European institutions as well as experts and ordinary citizens gathered together on 28-30 November in Strasbourg to share knowledge, experience and good practice on how to promote intercultural dialogue and build bridges in nowadays’ fragmented European urban environments.

***
The event was a unique opportunity to promote a multi-stakeholder debate bringing together experiences from 12 different countries on a key topic affecting today’s Europe: intercultural dialogue and migrants’ integration. The activity took place within the framework of the Europe for Citizens’ co-funded project URGENT – Urban Regeneration: European Network of Towns. The initiative, through a bottom-up approach, aims to raise local awareness on the urgent need to establish new connections among inhabitants of marginalized neighbourhoods and those of central areas, and tackle the growing fear of immigration, which feeds Euroscepticist attitudes.

The event has been co-organised in cooperation with the City of Strasbourg as an opportunity to share the “Club de Strasbourg” initiative with all international participants. Ms Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, on her role of Deputy Mayor of the City of Strasbourg and first Vice-Chair of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, opened the international seminar with Ms Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA. “Our message is that civil society actions – as for integration of migrants and cohesive communities – are more constructive when local governments are partner of the projects and processes. It is a community approach and response engaging all the spectrum of the local stakeholders, local authorities, CSOs, education and private sector, that we need to bring forward” was Ms Valmorbida’s final statement.

In the context of today’s challenges to tackle migrants’ stigmatisation, as introduced by Ms Giovanna Marconi, SSIIM UNESCO Chair at the University of Venice, key experiences were shared by Mr Michaël Moglia, President of the Network LIKE – European Cities and Regions for Culture and Mr Marco Cremaschi representing the “Cycle d’Urbanisme de Sciences Po Paris, Urban Planning and Design” who showcased the relationship between global and local in a specific context such as the one in Lampedusa, symbol of a situation that calls all European citizens. The Strasbourg community and its active civil society strongly contributed to the event and key experiences were shared by the University of Strasbourg and the associations Alsace terre d’accueil and Alsace-Syrie.

The three-day activity, besides the public session at the prestigious Salle des Marriages in Strasbourg, was also the occasion to define the methodology of the local process planned within the project. Partners identified conflicting areas in their cities and learned more about techniques of territorial analysis. The local path is now officially launched and as many as 10 local pilot projects will be developed through participative processes to tackle fragmentation and migrants’ stigmas while promoting intercultural dialogue.

Link utili:

Project URGENT webpage

Study visits:
Association Alsace-Syrie
Association CASAS

More than 100 representative of local authorities, civil society organisations, European institutions as well as experts and ordinary citizens gathered together on 28-30 November in Strasbourg to share knowledge, experience and good practice on how to promote intercultural dialogue and build bridges in nowadays’ fragmented European urban environments.

***
The event was a unique opportunity to promote a multi-stakeholder debate bringing together experiences from 12 different countries on a key topic affecting today’s Europe: intercultural dialogue and migrants’ integration. The activity took place within the framework of the Europe for Citizens’ co-funded project URGENT – Urban Regeneration: European Network of Towns. The initiative, through a bottom-up approach, aims to raise local awareness on the urgent need to establish new connections among inhabitants of marginalized neighbourhoods and those of central areas, and tackle the growing fear of immigration, which feeds Euroscepticist attitudes.

The event has been co-organised in cooperation with the City of Strasbourg as an opportunity to share the “Club de Strasbourg” initiative with all international participants. Ms Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, on her role of Deputy Mayor of the City of Strasbourg and first Vice-Chair of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, opened the international seminar with Ms Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA. “Our message is that civil society actions – as for integration of migrants and cohesive communities – are more constructive when local governments are partner of the projects and processes. It is a community approach and response engaging all the spectrum of the local stakeholders, local authorities, CSOs, education and private sector, that we need to bring forward” was Ms Valmorbida’s final statement.

In the context of today’s challenges to tackle migrants’ stigmatisation, as introduced by Ms Giovanna Marconi, SSIIM UNESCO Chair at the University of Venice, key experiences were shared by Mr Michaël Moglia, President of the Network LIKE – European Cities and Regions for Culture and Mr Marco Cremaschi representing the “Cycle d’Urbanisme de Sciences Po Paris, Urban Planning and Design” who showcased the relationship between global and local in a specific context such as the one in Lampedusa, symbol of a situation that calls all European citizens. The Strasbourg community and its active civil society strongly contributed to the event and key experiences were shared by the University of Strasbourg and the associations Alsace terre d’accueil and Alsace-Syrie.

The three-day activity, besides the public session at the prestigious Salle des Marriages in Strasbourg, was also the occasion to define the methodology of the local process planned within the project. Partners identified conflicting areas in their cities and learned more about techniques of territorial analysis. The local path is now officially launched and as many as 10 local pilot projects will be developed through participative processes to tackle fragmentation and migrants’ stigmas while promoting intercultural dialogue.

Link utili:

Project URGENT webpage

Association Alsace-Syrie
Association CASAS


Committee for Development of Volunteering, Sisak

The 3 session of the Sisak Committee for Development of Volunteering took place on 4 November 2016.
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The purpose of the Committee is to monitor implementation of the Sisak Local Voluntary Policy 2015-2020 and to provide a friendly environment for the community development led by volunteering. At the same time, there was a meeting of assessment committee to address the calls for a logo design. According to the results, proposal submitted by Mrs Kristina Ikić Baniček received a winning place and was referred to the Mayor of Sisak, for a final decision.
Further, the Committee discussed some organisational matters of an upcoming celebration of the International Volunteer Day in Sisak. On this occasion, it has been planned to open a photo exhibition of Sisak voluntary programs; and also ther will be an award ceremony of volunteer coordinators and volunteers in 2016.
The photo exhibition will be open on the 5 December 2016 in the House of Culture “Cristal cube of serenity” Sisak Town Theatre, organised by the Local Democracy Agency Sisak, Committee Coordinator and ALDA Operational partner.

The 3 session of the Sisak Committee for Development of Volunteering took place on 4 November 2016.
***
The purpose of the Committee is to monitor implementation of the Sisak Local Voluntary Policy 2015-2020 and to provide a friendly environment for the community development led by volunteering. At the same time, there was a meeting of assessment committee to address the calls for a logo design. According to the results, proposal submitted by Mrs Kristina Ikić Baniček received a winning place and was referred to the Mayor of Sisak, for a final decision.
Further, the Committee discussed some organisational matters of an upcoming celebration of the International Volunteer Day in Sisak. On this occasion, it has been planned to open a photo exhibition of Sisak voluntary programs; and also ther will be an award ceremony of volunteer coordinators and volunteers in 2016.
The photo exhibition will be open on the 5 December 2016 in the House of Culture “Cristal cube of serenity” Sisak Town Theatre, organised by the Local Democracy Agency Sisak, Committee Coordinator and ALDA Operational partner.


Training course in Strasbourg to combat hate speech through human rights education

The City of Strasbourg, a member of ALDA, and the Council of Europe are organizing the next training course to combat hate speech through human rights education and to disseminate the Movement Against Hate Speech in Strasbourg.

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Registrations can be made (within the limit of available places) by email at the following address: clement.dolisi@strasbourg.eu.

The City of Strasbourg, a member of ALDA, and the Council of Europe are organizing the next training course to combat hate speech through human rights education and to disseminate the Movement Against Hate Speech in Strasbourg.

***

Registrations can be made (within the limit of available places) by email at the following address: clement.dolisi@strasbourg.eu.