LDA Local Democracy Agency
The Local Democracy Agencies have been established in the Western Balkans by the Congress of the Council of Europe since 1992, as a support programme to strengthen local democracy, foster respect for human rights and further sustainable development. Today there are 10 active Local Democracy Agencies based in Western Balkans and South Caucasus coordinated by ALDA, on top of 3 LDAs - Operational partners, based in Croatia.
The agencies function as self-sustainable, locally registered NGOs, but they are different from other local NGOs because of the international framework they operate in. Indeed, the LDAs develop partnerships with local authorities and NGOs from all over Europe giving to the whole network direct access to an international framework through the support of ALDA, the Council of Europe and the European Union.
The most important aspect of the LDAs is the process of partnership building. The cooperation and partnership between local and international partners, between local authorities and NGOs, give added values to the process of designing projects and implementing local activities. This process is in itself a learning process for everyone involved and serves as a practical example of how a democratic participatory planning process can create results.
The international legal legitimacy of LDAs has been recognized through a number of official decision of the Council of Europe. Click here for further details