EUROPEAN ASSISES OF DECENTRALISED COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT IN BRUSSELS

The second edition of the European Assises of decentralised cooperation for development was held in Brussels on March 29-30. Representatives of local and regional authorities from EU and developing countries participated in the event and exchanged views with each other and representatives of European institutions on development cooperation.
The President of the Committee of the Regions Mercedes Bresso, the European Commissioner for development Andris Pielbags and the Vice-president of the European Parliament Isabelle Durant participated in the Assises.

 

The aim of the Assises was to strengthen the effectiveness of development aid and the participation of local and regional authorities in the development cooperation policies and to build a genuine EU partnership between the different actors active in the field of development.
During the Assises, ALDA representatives participated in the panel during the workshop organised by TER-RES (Territoires Responsables). Mr. Dobrica Milovanovic, First Vice President of ALDA and Vice Mayor of the City of Kragujevac, Serbia; Mrs. Sabrina Rosati from Reggio nel Mondo, Italy and ALDA Director, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida spoke in the panel and presented the Local Democracy Agency approach and experience as a tool for successful multilateral decentralised cooperation and partnership building in development work.
ALDA had a stand during the Assises and presented participants with more details about the work of the Local Democracy Agencies and the role of ALDA as an actor for development. A special emphasis was put on ALDA’s upcoming Working Together for Development project which is expected to start in early 2011. This multi-annual development project with 21 international partners and associates coming from 16 different countries aims at improving the capacities of local authorities and non state actors to act as efficient development agents.

The second edition of the European Assises of decentralised cooperation for development was held in Brussels on March 29-30. Representatives of local and regional authorities from EU and developing countries participated in the event and exchanged views with each other and representatives of European institutions on development cooperation.
The President of the Committee of the Regions Mercedes Bresso, the European Commissioner for development Andris Pielbags and the Vice-president of the European Parliament Isabelle Durant participated in the Assises.

 

The aim of the Assises was to strengthen the effectiveness of development aid and the participation of local and regional authorities in the development cooperation policies and to build a genuine EU partnership between the different actors active in the field of development.
During the Assises, ALDA representatives participated in the panel during the workshop organised by TER-RES (Territoires Responsables). Mr. Dobrica Milovanovic, First Vice President of ALDA and Vice Mayor of the City of Kragujevac, Serbia; Mrs. Sabrina Rosati from Reggio nel Mondo, Italy and ALDA Director, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida spoke in the panel and presented the Local Democracy Agency approach and experience as a tool for successful multilateral decentralised cooperation and partnership building in development work.
ALDA had a stand during the Assises and presented participants with more details about the work of the Local Democracy Agencies and the role of ALDA as an actor for development. A special emphasis was put on ALDA’s upcoming Working Together for Development project which is expected to start in early 2011. This multi-annual development project with 21 international partners and associates coming from 16 different countries aims at improving the capacities of local authorities and non state actors to act as efficient development agents.


PARTICIPATION AND INTERCULTURAL GOVERNANCE AT LOCAL LEVEL IN THE BALKANS: CHALLENGES AND EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES. FINAL CONFERENCE CARDS’ PROJECT. MOSTAR 30th March - 2nd April 2011

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 cso-s 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 organized 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 organize 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 organized in Mostar Youth Theatre.

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 cso-s 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 organized 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 organize 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 organized in Mostar Youth Theatre.


RICHERT: “THE LDAs IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES” IN THE BALKANS AND THE SOUTH-CAUCASUS

The role of Local Democracy Agencies in the process of democratization in the Balkans and in the South Caucasus was underlined by the French Minister for Local Authorities and President of the Alsace Region, Philippe Richert, in his allocution to the 20th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
The 20th session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe was held in Strasbourg in the last February.
At the top of the agenda there were debates on human rights issues at the local level, in particular the situation of Roma in Europe.  An urgent debate was dedicated to the role of the Congress in the context of the current reform process of the Council of Europe.
Congress members also examined several reports on territorial democracy in Turkey, Romania, Austria and Malta as well as the report on the observation of local elections in Ukraine, held in October 2010.
Among the other guest speakers, there was EU Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, Council of Europe Secretary-General, Thorbjorn Jagland, and Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg.

The role of Local Democracy Agencies in the process of democratization in the Balkans and in the South Caucasus was underlined by the French Minister for Local Authorities and President of the Alsace Region, Philippe Richert, in his allocution to the 20th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
The 20th session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe was held in Strasbourg in the last February.
At the top of the agenda there were debates on human rights issues at the local level, in particular the situation of Roma in Europe.  An urgent debate was dedicated to the role of the Congress in the context of the current reform process of the Council of Europe.
Congress members also examined several reports on territorial democracy in Turkey, Romania, Austria and Malta as well as the report on the observation of local elections in Ukraine, held in October 2010.
Among the other guest speakers, there was EU Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, Council of Europe Secretary-General, Thorbjorn Jagland, and Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg.


ALDA AT THE 2ND ASSISES ON DECENTRALISED COOPERATION, 29th 30th MARCH

Alda will participate to the second Assises of Decentralised Cooperation for development that will take place in Brussels on 29th and 30th of March, promoted by the Committee of the Region.

 

The Assise represents a unique opportunity to bring together local and regional authorities’ representatives from the EU and developing countries to exchange their views and hold a political dialogue with the European institutions on development cooperation. The ultimate aim is to contribute to reinforce development aid effectiveness towards the full integration of local and regional authorities into the development cooperation policies and to build a genuine EU partnership between the different actors active in the field of development.

The second edition of the Assises includes an opening session and five parallel thematic roundtables, on March 29, 2011 in the afternoon. The plenary session, will take place on March 30, 2011, in the morning and will bring together the “rapporteurs” of each roundtable to present the main conclusions of the discussions. This will be followed by an exchange of questions and answers session between the participants and high representatives of the EU institutions.

On the occasion of the Assises, three additional events will be held at the Committee of the Region in the framework of the activities of TER-RES (Territoires Responsables), Platforma and the Joint EU-Africa Strategy.

Alda will participate to the second Assises of Decentralised Cooperation for development that will take place in Brussels on 29th and 30th of March, promoted by the Committee of the Region.

 

The Assise represents a unique opportunity to bring together local and regional authorities’ representatives from the EU and developing countries to exchange their views and hold a political dialogue with the European institutions on development cooperation. The ultimate aim is to contribute to reinforce development aid effectiveness towards the full integration of local and regional authorities into the development cooperation policies and to build a genuine EU partnership between the different actors active in the field of development.

The second edition of the Assises includes an opening session and five parallel thematic roundtables, on March 29, 2011 in the afternoon. The plenary session, will take place on March 30, 2011, in the morning and will bring together the “rapporteurs” of each roundtable to present the main conclusions of the discussions. This will be followed by an exchange of questions and answers session between the participants and high representatives of the EU institutions.

On the occasion of the Assises, three additional events will be held at the Committee of the Region in the framework of the activities of TER-RES (Territoires Responsables), Platforma and the Joint EU-Africa Strategy.


STRENGTHENING THE NETWORK OF LDAS IN SOUTH-CAUCASUS: TWO DECISIVE MEETINGS IN STRASBOURG DURING THE 20TH SESSION OF THE CLRAE

Strengthening and enlarging the network of Local Democracy Agencies in Europe is the first objective of ALDA, the Association of Local Democracy Agencies.
To this end, two important meetings will be held in Strasbourg during and following shortly the 20th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

 

The first one held on 24 March at the Council of Europe main building, will gather� twenty participants representating ten potential partners from France, Italy, Estonia, Greece as well as Armenia for an LDA in Armenia. Held under the auspices of the Congress, this meeting will decide on a concrete strategy for the establishment of the Agency.
The second is the LDA Georgia partners� meeting organised by the Municipality of Strasbourg, the new lead partner of the Kutaisi based Agency. The main aims of this event is to update LDA Georgia statute, to reflect upon ways to enlarge LDA partners� network, as well as to agree on an Action plan for 2011-2012.
This meeting will be held on 25 March at the Hotel de Ville premises.
ALDA will hold a stand during the whole session of the Congress.

Strengthening and enlarging the network of Local Democracy Agencies in Europe is the first objective of ALDA, the Association of Local Democracy Agencies.
To this end, two important meetings will be held in Strasbourg during and following shortly the 20th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

 

The first one held on 24 March at the Council of Europe main building, will gather� twenty participants representating ten potential partners from France, Italy, Estonia, Greece as well as Armenia for an LDA in Armenia. Held under the auspices of the Congress, this meeting will decide on a concrete strategy for the establishment of the Agency.
The second is the LDA Georgia partners� meeting organised by the Municipality of Strasbourg, the new lead partner of the Kutaisi based Agency. The main aims of this event is to update LDA Georgia statute, to reflect upon ways to enlarge LDA partners� network, as well as to agree on an Action plan for 2011-2012.
This meeting will be held on 25 March at the Hotel de Ville premises.
ALDA will hold a stand during the whole session of the Congress.


CLOSED DOORS IN BELARUS TO THE CIVIL SOCIETY. DENIED A PLACE FOR THE CONFERENCE OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM

The National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership (CSF EaP) has been denied a place to hold its Conference Civil Society Role & Place in the Future Strategy. The Conference was to be held on March 19-20 at the Minsk International Educational Centre (IBB).
Европейское IBB was unable of getting an approval for providing premises to hold the event due to a decision made by one of its founders, the Minsk City Executive Committee. For formal reasons, the Crown Plaza hotel administration has also all of a sudden rejected the idea of becoming a possible Conference venue.

The Conference Organising Committee regards these decisions as single-minded actions taken by the Belarusian authorities conductive to putting obstacles in the way of the activities carried out by the National Platform of CSF EaP. The topic and the expected event membership could provide a reason for any such obvious countering actions. The National Platform of CSF EaP has been promoting the idea of the civil society and democratic opposition consolidation and putting under discussion a possible integrated strategy of the united forces. Representatives of a number of political forces, as well as civil society activists and experts have been invited to participate in the Conference. A de facto ban imposed on the Conference seems a particularly non-constructive step against the background of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry�s public declarations as to the importance of the Eastern Partnership initiative for Belarus. By ignoring a major component of this European Union�s initiative, the Civil Society Forum, the Belarusian authorities are actually violating their commitments assumed within the Eastern Partnership framework.

Co-Chairperson of the Eastern Partnership�s Civil Society Forum and its national coordinator in Belarus Ulad Vialichka offers his comment on the situation as follows: It is an absurd and incomprehensible step taken by the Minsk City Executive Committee. The National Platform of Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership has always been and remains an open site for discussing the momentous issues in the country�s development and civil society. While adhering to the idea of a high value represented by the mutual dialogue, we have never opposed any public organisations and initiatives, including also evidently pro-government associations, participating in our events. I am convinced that these actions taken by the Belarusian authorities will not remain unheeded by the Civil Society Forum Steering Committee, national platforms of the Eastern Partnership member countries and the European Commission.

Under the present circumstances, the Organising Committee of the conference has been forced to take a decision on postponing the Conference for a later period. Nonetheless, no obstacles must stop the process of putting under discussion an integrated strategy for all the democratically oriented forces of this country.

The National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership (CSF EaP) has been denied a place to hold its Conference Civil Society Role & Place in the Future Strategy. The Conference was to be held on March 19-20 at the Minsk International Educational Centre (IBB).
Европейское IBB was unable of getting an approval for providing premises to hold the event due to a decision made by one of its founders, the Minsk City Executive Committee. For formal reasons, the Crown Plaza hotel administration has also all of a sudden rejected the idea of becoming a possible Conference venue.

The Conference Organising Committee regards these decisions as single-minded actions taken by the Belarusian authorities conductive to putting obstacles in the way of the activities carried out by the National Platform of CSF EaP. The topic and the expected event membership could provide a reason for any such obvious countering actions. The National Platform of CSF EaP has been promoting the idea of the civil society and democratic opposition consolidation and putting under discussion a possible integrated strategy of the united forces. Representatives of a number of political forces, as well as civil society activists and experts have been invited to participate in the Conference. A de facto ban imposed on the Conference seems a particularly non-constructive step against the background of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry�s public declarations as to the importance of the Eastern Partnership initiative for Belarus. By ignoring a major component of this European Union�s initiative, the Civil Society Forum, the Belarusian authorities are actually violating their commitments assumed within the Eastern Partnership framework.

Co-Chairperson of the Eastern Partnership�s Civil Society Forum and its national coordinator in Belarus Ulad Vialichka offers his comment on the situation as follows: It is an absurd and incomprehensible step taken by the Minsk City Executive Committee. The National Platform of Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership has always been and remains an open site for discussing the momentous issues in the country�s development and civil society. While adhering to the idea of a high value represented by the mutual dialogue, we have never opposed any public organisations and initiatives, including also evidently pro-government associations, participating in our events. I am convinced that these actions taken by the Belarusian authorities will not remain unheeded by the Civil Society Forum Steering Committee, national platforms of the Eastern Partnership member countries and the European Commission.

Under the present circumstances, the Organising Committee of the conference has been forced to take a decision on postponing the Conference for a later period. Nonetheless, no obstacles must stop the process of putting under discussion an integrated strategy for all the democratically oriented forces of this country.


INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION. NIS, 21st of March 2011

On occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Anti-Fascist collective Nis organized a press conference at the Media Centre,in Nis.
After the press conference, activists from the Anti-Fascist collective implemented a performance called “ECHO” next to a monument honoring late Roma singer from Nis – SabanBajramovic.

On occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Anti-Fascist collective Nis organized a press conference at the Media Centre,in Nis.
After the press conference, activists from the Anti-Fascist collective implemented a performance called “ECHO” next to a monument honoring late Roma singer from Nis – SabanBajramovic.


BRINDISI: A SPOT PROMOTES ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

The Department of International Cooperation of Brindisi Municipality, in collaboration with the local office of ALDA, has launched a communication campaign on active citizenship and international cooperation.
A spot was produced to promote values and actions in these areas.

The Department of International Cooperation of Brindisi Municipality, in collaboration with the local office of ALDA, has launched a communication campaign on active citizenship and international cooperation.
A spot was produced to promote values and actions in these areas.


CALL FOR BEST PRACTICES: PROMOTING ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP IN EUROPE

ALDA is preparing an Evaluation Report on Active Citizenship. This report will include a detailed description of ALDA�s concept, methodology and activities concerning Active Citizenship. A full evaluation of the projects implemented in this field will be given.

 

ALDA wishes to include its members and partners best practices in active citizenship and will provide several pages in this report for their experiences and projects. The report will be disseminated through ALDA�s network and provide visibility to the ideas, projects and activities described in it.

To have their experience included in the report, members and partners have to send to ALDA, before 30th March 2011, a paper describing the activity.

ALDA is preparing an Evaluation Report on Active Citizenship. This report will include a detailed description of ALDA�s concept, methodology and activities concerning Active Citizenship. A full evaluation of the projects implemented in this field will be given.

 

ALDA wishes to include its members and partners best practices in active citizenship and will provide several pages in this report for their experiences and projects. The report will be disseminated through ALDA�s network and provide visibility to the ideas, projects and activities described in it.

To have their experience included in the report, members and partners have to send to ALDA, before 30th March 2011, a paper describing the activity.


ALDA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2011 IN BYDGOSZCZ (PL), 8TH AND 9TH OF JULY

ALDA General Assembly 2011 will take place on 8th and 9th of July in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
In forecasting of Poland’s upcoming EU presidency activities, an International Conference on “Local governance, volunteering and civic participation: a challenge for local authorities and civil society “ will be held in the framework of the Assembly.
All the necessary documentation will be send soon to ALDA members and publish in this website.

ALDA General Assembly 2011 will take place on 8th and 9th of July in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
In forecasting of Poland’s upcoming EU presidency activities, an International Conference on “Local governance, volunteering and civic participation: a challenge for local authorities and civil society “ will be held in the framework of the Assembly.
All the necessary documentation will be send soon to ALDA members and publish in this website.