Participation and intercultural governance at local level in the Balkans: challenges and European perspectives

Mar 29, 2011

Impegno dei cittadini Linked project:

The final conference of the Cards’ project, “Regional partnerships for intercultural exchange“ will be held in Mostar (Hotel Ero) from 30th of March to 2nd of April.
It is a two-year regional project co-financed by the European Commission which consist of a set of events involving local authorities, civil society organisation and citizens which aims at enhancing networking and best practices among some South Eastern European municipalities.
The main aim of the project is to support diversity management in multiethnic communities such as Mostar, Osijek and Subotica, to improve the participation and inclusion of ethnic minorities as well as to highlight the richness of the several regional cultural traditions.

The leading applicant of the project is the city administration of Subotica; ALDA, the LDAs of Subotica, Mostar and Osijek and the Lighthouse Media centre of Wolverhampton (UK) are the partners of the project, equally involved.
The final conference will give an overview of the activities implemented over the past two years and provide space for interaction and debate of representatives of CSOs and local self-governments from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and with their counterparts in EU on some key concepts and practices related with democratic participation and good local governance. In the opening session the key-note speakers are Mr. Ljubo Beslic, Mayor of Mostar, Mr. Slavko Parac, President of City Assembly Subotica, Mr. Jovan Jelic, Deputy Prefect of Osijek Baranja County, Ms. Natalia Dianiskova, Head of Operations Section, Social Development, Civil Society and CBC, EU Delegation to BiH and Ms. Suzan Arslan, DG Enlargement Regional Programmes, CSF Project manager.

During the introductory session, Project team members will give an overview of project activities and some of its main achievements, while during the two days’ programme five thematic panels will be organised with the participation of panelists coming from the three countries included in the project, but also from municipalities from Italy, UK, Norway, Hungary and Moldova.
The collection of written contributions will be presented during the conference, while the thematic panels are designed as the presentation of diverse local practices and the debate on the following issues:

  • Minorities and participation at local level (facilitated by Mr. Owen Masters, CoE Confidence building measures programme expert)
  • From multicultural coexistence to intercultural governance (facilitated by Mr. Gunnar Mandt, European Wergeland Centre, Oslo)
  • BE-ME perspective film documentaries (facilitated by Mr. Frank Challenger, Light House media centre, Wolverhampton)
  • Municipal service provision in culturally diverse communities (facilitated by Ms. Jlenia Destito, Ipres Centre, region Puglia)
  • Civil society as an actor of a new dialogue and reconciliation in the region (facilitated by Mr. Vehid Sehic, Citizens Forum Tuzla)
  • Opportunities for Civil society and local self-governments in cross-border /regional co-operation programmes (facilitated by Ms. Stanka Parac Damjanovic, ALDA)

Around seventy participants are expected in Mostar conference, while the hosts, Local Democracy Agency Mostar and the city administration Mostar will organise a study visit and the sightseeing tour on Saturday 2nd April. In addition a joint cultural programme linking the young performers from three cities included in the project, Mostar, Osijek and Subotica, will be organised in Mostar Youth Theatre.