Staff Meeting

ALDA Staff Meeting: team building, dialogue, and sharing

On November 28-29 and December 1st 2021, ALDA had its much anticipated Staff Meeting in Vicenza (Italy) together with colleagues from all over Europe and beyond! 

Everyone was very happy to finally be together again after a prolonged absence due to the ongoing pandemic, and some of the colleagues had never seen the new Vicenza office after the move!

The key words of the meeting were: team building, диалог, а также sharing. Based on these three words, several activities and meetings have been organised. But let’s start from the beginning.

The key words of the staff meeting were: team building, dialogue, and sharing

Staff Meeting

ALDA staff coming from our different offices in Tunis, Chisinau, Strasbourg, Brussels, Skopje, gathered in Vicenza for a three-day event to meet in person and do some team building to get to know each other better.

On the first day the colleagues met in Villa Tacchi. Марко Боариа – Director of Programs and Development Department – together with Анна Дитта – Senior Project Development Officer, animated the first session. Thanks to interactive and team-building games, ALDA staff had the possibility to know each other better, while getting ready for the first day!

Moreover, after lunch,  future strategies to implement in the upcoming years and flagship initiatives that guide ALDA were presented. The latter, specifically, was essential to set the framework within which the Association is operating.

After an intense first day, November 30th  was dedicated to a  Нraining session on Local Democracy and Participatory Processes, lead by Антонелла Вальморбида – ALDA Secretary General – while the afternoon saw a meeting in the premises of Vicenza City Hall, where the staff was welcomed by the City Councilor Matteo Tosetto

During the meeting, Councillor Tosetto spoke about the importance of participatory processes for local democracy in the city of Vicenza and in Europe, as also underlined by ALDA Secretary General. At the end of the meeting Tosetto gave a commemorative plaque with the symbol of the city, the Palladian Basilica, to the representatives of the different countries, while receiving ALDA gonfalon.

Staff Meeting
Staff Meeting

Finally on the third day, то 50 x cento”. . hosted the final sessions, team building exercises, department presentations, bilateral meetings and working group sessions on the agenda for the day. Last but not least, ALDA’s staff gather together for the dinner with the Governing Board members as well, to celebrate this great moment of sharing and empowerment.

The meeting was a success! It gave ALDA colleagues a chance to have an honest and open dialogue and share meals and breaks together in a relaxed and joyful atmosphere. But most importantly it was a great opportunity to connect, reconnect and enjoy being part of a great team carrying on a important mission every day!


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Governing Board

ALDA Governing Board: leaving the 2021 for another fruitful year of initiatives in 2022

Governing Board

Despite a rainy and cold morning, December 2nd marked a great day for the ALDA’s Governing Board, since the latter had the possibility to meet both in presence at Vicenza’s office and online.

President, Mr Oriano Otočan, gathered all the members for this last meeting of the 2021. Differently from the previous ones, having the possibility to see each other in person gave a new and fresh energy, allowing ideas and fruitful discussions.

More specifically, the occasion served as an opportunity to analyze and discuss the sustainability of the association and the programmes for the future. Similarly, the situation of LDAs has been among the subjects of discussion with a focus on the presentation of the new draft strategy for the Western Balkans.

ALDA Governing Board reflected and discussed future steps, and initiatives of 2022

In addition, the Governing Board had also the occasion to visualise and to be introduced to some major ALDA’s projects, such as: ЭПИЧЕСКИЙ; Autrement; Медиа-диалог и Изменение климата. Colleagues from the PM Department were able to update the Governing Board members on the activities and recently initiatives carried out within the projects.

After the lunch break, the second part of the meeting was dedicated to the strategic and political issues, such as updates on ALDA’s strategies, the role of members and the upcoming events involving the Association.

Finally, following the previous visit to the Municipality, the Governing Board welcomed Mr. Tosetto member of the city town hall.

This ALDA Governing Board meeting has been much participated by every member, laying the foundations for future steps, and initiatives of 2022.


Peja hosts the 4th international meeting of the Valid project


From the 22nd to the 25th of November the city of Peja in eastern Kosovo* welcomed the delegation of the Valid Project in a new opportunity to promote intercultural dialogue and collaboration between the local authorities and civil society.

Ведущий Действительный project aims to spread more inclusive policies and European values to cities around the region, to finally develop a network of cultural exchange and tolerance. 

In Peja, the delegation from different associations and cities started their stay with a meeting in the Mayor’s office of Mr. Gazmend Muhaxheri.

Overall, the agenda was rich of events and excursions:  from a visit to the natural and cosmopolitan heritage of the municipality, to the medieval orthodox to the ottoman time; or the  iconic landmarks included in the visit were the Drin Waterfall, which  is the source of the river Driniand located in the gorge of Drini i Bardhe, in Zhljeb Mountain in Radavc village.

Valid project in Peja: to develop a network of cultural exchange and tolerance

In addition, the delegation had the opportunity to listen to the Choir Siparantum Performance at Professional Theatre Istref Begolli Peja; while meeting the staff of the International Animation festival “Anibar”. Gathered in the theatre next to the centre of Peja, the creators of the festival explained how the project was born, the activities that they do and even showed some of the short films that were projected during previous editions!

Within this event, to emphasize the importance of solidarity and social values, the delegation was first brought to visit  the “Odhise Paskali” Art School, where the art exhibition in the school’s atrium was presented. The latter was comprised of works from the classes on fashion, architecture, paint and graphic design.

Finally, the VALID project partners also had the opportunity to visit the Patriarchate of Peja, an orthodox monastery near Peja; and finally the Bajrakli Mosque and the bazaar. By walking down the street of the city, by talking with people and meeting local delegates, participants had the opportunity to concretely see how culture does unite people, as aimed by the project itself.


The Valid project is co-founded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.


#MediterraneanDay to celebrate closeness and diversity


The #MediterraneanDay is the initiative specifically dedicated to the celebration the Mediterranean sea. Have you ever thought about how people from Italy, and Spain to Morocco, and Tunisia have all be strictly connected to each other thanks to this common water basin?

Ведущий #MediterraneanDay is thus intended to remind people that similarities are stronger that differences. From 2021 and each year onward, on November 28th, several initiatives will be promoted so that to celebrates common achievements, relations while stimulating common understanding.

With more than 250 world heritage sites, rich marine flora and more than 40 languages spoken, the Mediterranean region is the cradle of many cultures, civilisations and history.

#MediterraneanDay to be celebrated each year on 28 of November from 2021 onwards

Yet, one question may come to mind. Why exactly this date?

Let’s take a step backward, untile 1995. That year on November 28th precisely the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU and 12 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries held the first Euro- Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona signing an agreement to launch the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Process. The idea behind this initiative was to consider and set the Mediterranean region into a common space for peace, stability, security and shared prosperity.

Fifteen year later in November 2020, the Union for the Mediterranean with its 42 Member States declared the 28th of November as the official Day of the Mediterranean. Willing to focus on what unites rather than what divides, the #MediterraneanDay has its first edition, this year, in 2021, and will be celebrated each year onwards.


At the #MediterraneanDay different parties, from NGOs, public administrations or private entities can join and engage in various ways:

  • “Open doors – allow a sneak peek into what you do!
  • “Promoting culture in many forms”
  •  Debates and workshops
  • “Recognising Mediterranean talent”
  • “Showcase what matters to you”

With enthusiasm ALDA shares this great initiative, having two of its offices in Italy and Tunisia, countries on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, as well as several Local Democracy Agencies. Thus, also at ALDA’s this common sea is what unites colleagues, people and friends of the association. 

Last but not least, for those interested it is also possible to follow the official hashtag #MediterraneanDay and keep updated with news and info.

The #MediterraneanDay is an initiative of Union for the Mediterranean in partnership with: European Union, European Committee of Regions, ARLEM, Anna Lindh Foundation, ENI CBC Med. To read the full list of partners please check: “Partners committed to make the Mediterranean a better place


ELoGE in Croatia: first steps and establishing cooperation


ALDA continues to contribute to good governance on local level in Croatia and takes its activities on the next level. ALDA launched the “European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE)” for Croatia on the 22 November 2021 in Zagreb. The project was promoted in a hybrid type of event, giving representatives of municipalities and participants the possibility to join both online and in presence.

The launching started with a short welcoming speech from M. Robert Ravenšćak, General Director of Ravecon LLC, our local partner organization and continued with the intervention from the President of ALDA M. Oriano Otočan и M. Niall Sheerin, representative of the Сетьenter of Expertise for Good governance, from the Council of Europe (CoE)

ALDA continues to contribute to good governance on local level in Croatia, launching the ELoGE programme for Croatia

M.Otočan illustrated the work of ALDA in Europe and specifically in Croatia; highlighting:

  • The duality of the local authorities in the country;
  • The openness they show in certain topics but remain firmly closed for other.

Thus, he reflected on how on the one hand Croatia has reached certain level of expertise and maturity; while on the other there are still difficulties that persist; emphasizing how this project will be perfect to tackle them.

Following, M. Otočan speech, M. Sheerin shared with the participant on the important work of the CoE mentioning the future plans and programmes that they are working on, such as the green agenda concerning Local Authorities. He highlighted that in these eras of social media and advanced technology, local authorities need to be innovative and open to change, in order to be efficient and effective in responding to the needs of the citizens.

The opening speeches were followed by a presentation of the ELoGE programme in the Country, done by Ms. Katica Janeva, ALDA’s regional coordinator for the Balkans, citing the details of the phases and processes that the LAs need to follow to be awarded the label, specific timing and timeline, tools and more. The event was closed off with a Q&A session and a fruitful discussion.


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BRIGHT Project’s 3rd capacity building workshop in Italy


Ведущий ЯРКИЙ project had its third capacity building workshop in the beautiful Azienda Agricola Favella farm, Corigliano-Rossano, Italy, on November 16 and 17, 2021.

During the two day event participants had the chance to share and listen to in person testimonies and experiences from all the different representatives from the various stakeholders. Women leaders who took part of the BRIGHT project intervened, sharing the voices of all the women working in agriculture who were involved in the BRIGHT project. Participants also enjoyed moments of levity and socialization during breaks to visit the farm and share coffee and a meal together.

The event was constructive and overall a very nice time, keep up the good work BRIGHT!

Among the keynote speakers were:

On the second day of the workshop, a panel on Agricultural Policy and Social Conditionality was held. Several speakers intervened (on site and online), discussing the tools to support the legality of the agricultural labour market and what is the potential of social conditionality in the new CAP. 

Participants gathered into work groups to discuss and then share their ideas for BRIGHT’s European Frame Pact.

The event was constructive and overall a very nice time, keep up the good work BRIGHT!


Skopje: Launching Conference of ELoGE in North Macedonia


Skopje: the European Association for Local democracy – ALDA organised the “Launching Conference” of the project European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE) in North Macedonia on the 18. of November.

With great enthusiasm representatives from Macedonian Local Authorities (LAs), previously invited to take part of the project, gathered in Skopje and online to learn more about the ELoGE label. Thus, benefitting from this initiative, the above-mentioned LAs will be required to act in accordance with the 12 принципам надлежащего демократического управления. Among them:

  • Participation, Representation, Fair Conduct of Elections;
  • Responsiveness;
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness;
  • Openness and Transparency;
  • Rule of Law

More in depth, the event opened with the intervention of Eli Chakar from the Ministry of Local Self-Government; followed by Антонелла Вальморбида, Secretary General of ALDA that illustrated experience of ALDA on the topic of good governance and Эмир Чорич, ALDA Governing Board member, who dedicated his speech to ALDAs work in the Balkans.

Representatives from Macedonian Local Authorities gathered in Skopje and online to learn more about the ELoGE label

Кроме того, Niall Sheerin from Center of Expertise for Local Government Reform presented the important work of the Совет Европы and the different programs for development of local governance.

From a general perspective, the next steps will consist of measuring the assessment through the implementation of the benchmark for the European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE). Additionally, this exercise is a good learning toll for the Local Authorities to improve their daily work.

Yet, this is not everything: the symbol of ELoGE, a crystal dodecahedron, will be awarded to the Local Authorities demonstrating compliance with the principles of good governance, measured against a national benchmark.

Further updates will follow on the implementation of this initiatives, as well as on the award!


ALDA has received the accreditation to implement ELoGE in North Macedonia, and already in October 2021 ALDA Secretary General Antonella Valmorbida and ALDA Office in Skopje and SEE Coordinator, Katica Janeva had a meeting with institutions to discuss about the initiative. Finally, ELoGE in North Macedonia is financially supported by the Council of Europe.


Общеевропейские дебаты и цирковое представление для #ClimateOfChange


Изменение климата распространилось по всему Брюсселю с 10 по 12 ноября, когда город внезапно заполнился молодыми студентами со всей Европы.

Действительно, в рамках проекта Изменение климата в Брюсселе прошел финальный конкурс Панъевропейских дебатов,в котором 117 студентов из 13 стран ЕС попытаются победить, используя свои лучшие диалектические навыки в вопросах изменения климата, миграции, молодежи и экономики.

Каждая страна прислала на конкурс по две команды: одна из трех студентов университета, а другая из шести подростков (от 16 до 19 лет) в сопровождении профессоров и педагогов.

В Брюсселе национальная команда была смешана, чтобы сформировать 26 новых «европейских команд», которые обсуждают вопросы климата, связанные с проблемами экономики и миграции. Каждый конкурс дебатов оценивался жюри, состоящим из 6 международных экспертов и преподавателей, которые определяли для каждой дискуссии команду, которая лучше способна аргументировать и отстаивать назначенную причину.

117 студентов из 13 стран ЕС попытаются победить, используя свои лучшие диалектические навыки в вопросах изменения климата, миграции, молодежи и экономики.

Сотрудничество между участниками из разных частей ЕС было одним из ключевых факторов для достижения успеха в решении этой интеллектуальной задачи. Цель состоит в том, чтобы способствовать гражданству ЕС как очевидной добавленной стоимости ЕС для молодежного турнира. 11 ноября у студентов также была возможность встретиться с депутатами Европарламента и задать вопросы или выразить озабоченность по поводу справедливого перехода к климатической справедливости.

С другой стороны, каждый вечер дебатов в Брюсселе в месте проведения Tour & Taxis проходило современное цирковое шоу под названиемWe LandЦирковая компания MagdaClan, организованная ALDA и EEB - Европейским экологическим бюро,представила артистическое шоу, полное глубоких размышлений об изменении климата.

В представлении приняли участие местные жители, и его очень высоко оценили студенты, что сделало его идеальным завершением такой напряженной и глубокой недели климатических дебатов!



Узнайте больше о проекте Сетьlimate of Change project

Подпишите петицию #ClimateOfChange

"Women protagonists of innovation" - a workshop in Italy

On 24th November, 2021 a workshop will be held on European opportunities at the time of smart working promoted by “Sisthema Formazione” within the regional project “Women protagonists of innovation” financed within the regional directive “Il Veneto delle Donne” of the Veneto Region.

The workshop is organised by ALDA+ in cooperation with the Municipality of Lonigo (Italy) and will take place at the Sala delle Barchesse of the Municipality of Lonigo, from 4 to 8 p.m.

After the institutional greetings by the Mayor Pier Luigi Giacomello and the Councillor Andrea Castiello, Marco Boaria will present the new European programming for the period 2021-2027.

For info and registration, click here


Фестиваль «Природа города» - партнер ALDA в мартовском выпуске


Фестиваль природы города (TNOC) - это ежегодный эксперимент междисциплинарного сотрудничества, направленный на то, чтобы выйти за рамки границ и радикально представить наши города будущего. Миссия Nature of Cities - курировать дискуссии и диалоги об урбанизме посредством междисциплинарного сотрудничества и обмена опытом и знаниями. Виртуальный фестиваль продлится 3 полных дня с программами во всех региональных часовых поясах и доступен на нескольких языках.

Более того, основная философия фестиваля TNOC - способствовать инклюзивности и снижению барьеров для участия, стремясь к созданию во всем мире городов, которые были бы пригодными для жизни, жизнеспособными, устойчивыми и справедливыми. Он фокусируется на создании трансдисциплинарных, общедоступных и широко распространяемых программ, сочетающих искусство, науку, городскую практику и производительность, чтобы объединить лидеров городской мысли и тех, кто меняет, для создания лучших городов.

Фестиваль Природа городов привлечет ALDA в качестве партнера издания 2022 года на основе синергии, возникшей в 2021 году во время последнего фестиваля!

Фестиваль, который был разработан организацией Nature of Cities в сотрудничестве с широким кругом заинтересованных сторон со всего мира, состоится 29-31 марта 2022 года и привлечет ALDA в качестве партнера издания 2022 года. Это синергия, рожденная в 2021 году во время последнего фестиваля TNOC, благодаря участию проекта LIFE METRO Adapt project ав качестве одного из основных соорганизаторов, поскольку он привел на Фестиваль широкий спектр мероприятий и сессий, распространяя результаты проекта и знания, распространяемые среди широкой общественности.

Мы с нетерпением ждем возможности участвовать в качестве партнеров! Между тем, вы также можете помочь TNOC построить города, которые лучше подходят для природы и людей, подавая предложения всех видов, от семинаров и презентаций до художественных представлений, экскурсий и документальных фильмов.

Первичный этап подачи заявок на сессию закрывается 30 ноября 2021 года в полночь по восточному стандартному времени. Материалы, представленные после этой даты, будут рассматриваться только при условии наличия свободного места. Результаты будут объявлены в начале декабря, а полное расписание фестиваля будет объявлено в январе 2022 года.


Further info: