As a key actor of local democracy and civil society development, we are proud to announce that ALDA — European Association for Local Democracy — signed the open letter #EUCivilDialogueNow from the EESC’s Civil Society Group and Civil Society Europe, calling on the European Institutions to take concrete measures to implement the provisions of the Treaty on European Union for an open, transparent and regular dialogue with civil society in all policy areas

The letter received the immediate support of a total of 156 signatories from across 26 Member States, and ALDA is committed to spreading the message in order to build a democratic society based on fundamental rights and open dialogue by creating direct channels to engage in the EU policy-making process.

Indeed, according to Article 11 of the Treaty, the EU Institutions should already maintain an “open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society” as a main principle of our democracy. Nevertheless, civil dialogue is still patchy and unstructured across the EU and therefore needs considerable progress, beginning with the recommendations arisen by the Conference on the Future of Europe

The European institutions must follow up on these recommendations and implement them with all the necessary tools to commit themselves and make substantial progress ahead of the upcoming European elections.

As initiator and member of Civil Society Europe, ALDA shares the vision of a vibrant and active democracy for Europe, where citizens participate in decision-making processes and have trust in their institutions

Through an ambitious approach, the signatories of the open letter request the EU Institutions to: 

  • Initiate an inter-institutional agreement on civil dialogue, harmonising standards and providing spaces to tighten up the quality of local engagement.
  • Create within each institution leadership positions in charge of relations with civil society (i.e. the mandate of the Vice President of both the European Parliament and the European Commission responsible for that relationship), and ensure the establishment of permanent civil dialogue structures in each Member State and relevant EU institution, including the European Council.
  • Promote and strengthen the cooperation between civil and social actors, extending knowledge, expertise and networks in communities and existing societies.   

All of this beginning with the recommendations of the 2024 EU Elections Manifesto for a better civic space and civil dialogue. 

As initiator and member of Civil Society Europe, ALDA shares the vision of a vibrant and active democracy for Europe, where citizens participate in decision-making processes and have trust in their institutions.

Fostering civil dialogue and cooperation with policy-makers ensures greater legitimacy and better implementation of policies related to each area of citizens’ lives, addressing the multiple challenges that our communities and societies face nowadays.

Discover the open letter by clicking here

ALDA is delighted to announce its recent success in securing two grants, furthering its commitment to community development and resilience in Ukraine. These grants mark a significant step in ALDA’s mission to address pressing social needs and support new Ukrainian members.

The first grant has been awarded for the City of Poltava, an esteemed member of ALDA. This funding will pave the way for the creation of a Veterans Center, dedicated to supporting the social integration of individuals returning from the front. ALDA recognises the significance of addressing the needs of those directly affected by the war, underlining its dedication to fostering community resilience.

The second grant, provided by Engagement Global, has been awarded to LDA Dnipropetrovsk in collaboration with the NGO Blue Yellow Cross from North Rhine-Westphalia region in Germany. This funding will be instrumental in the renovation and equipment of a shelter in the basement of a multi-level block in the city of Dnipro.

ALDA expresses its gratitude to the Council of Europe for awarding this financial support.

These achievements reaffirm ALDA’s standing commitment to fostering positive change and creating impactful projects that address the diverse needs of communities.

We look forward to the successful implementation of these projects and their lasting impact on the lives of those they aim to serve.

Since the war’s inception, ALDA has actively engaged in programs for local authorities in Ukraine, with LDAs in Mariupol and Dnipropetrovsk Region playing a pivotal role. The objective is to establish new LDAs in the near future, as outlined in the Flagship Initiative in Ukraine.

ALDA’s role in Ukraine is not just about responding to immediate challenges but also about laying the foundation for long-term resilience, recovery, and collaboration.


Extraordinary Citizens (Extra-C) is a project that aims to raise awareness and improve inclusive participatory democracy by promoting the active participation of young people with intellectual, psychosocial and developmental disabilities in the democratic life of their (local/regional/national) environment and at a EU Level. In order to achieve this goal, the project will carry out the following activities:

  1. A study on the situation of the democratic rights and the participatory spaces of young people with ID in the partnership countries;
  2. The development and implementation of training modules so that people with ID and their trainers acquire the tools and competencies necessary to actively participate in the democratic life;
  3. Structure dialogue activities where these young people transmit their concerns and political proposals to public representatives and public organisms of young representation. At this point a Good Practices Manual will be created;
  4. A mobility to Strasbourg where young people with ID and youth workers will get to know the EU institutions and come into contact with public representatives. Moreover the mobility will enable over 50participants to be involved in intercultural and EU Citizenship trainingwhile having the opportunity to meet peers from other countries;
  5. National Events will give a platform for stakeholders to reflect and disseminate the project’s results and for the young people with ID, to share their experience and learning processes;

In order to carry out this work plan, the partnership involved includes organisations from Spain, Portugal, Lithuania, Greece and France with a wide range of expertise in the fields of youth, research, training and active participation. The French partner has also offices in BE, IT, RS, MK, MD and TN; so we expect the impact of the project to reach far over the partnership countries. The Project will ensure open access and dissemination of the project results and training materials.


Extraordinary Citizens aims at encouraging and facilitating the inclusive participation of young people with intellectual and physical disabilities in the society, especially in the democratic processes that affect them directly, that means in the socioeconomic, cultural and political factor.
This project aims to address the protection and promotion of human rights among ID people by promoting the needed tools to develop critical thinking based on respect, dignity and inclusion.


The project aims to empower young women in developing cohesive, inclusive, and sustainable communities, through: multi- stakeholder roundtables, mentorship, and action plans to develop skills, knowledge, and confidence.

The project is expected to increase leadership and community project development, network building, communication skills, personal branding, fundraising, and cross-cultural exchange. It will culminate in a final outreach event and policy brief to provide further recommendations.


Empower young women to drive change in their communities, by providing them with a supportive intercultural, inclusive, and sustainable learning environment.

This entails promoting active citizenship, youth entrepreneurship, and reinforcing links between policy, research, and
practice. The specific objectives are: to acquire knowledge of approaches and tools; to involve policy-makers in promoting gender equality; and to challenge gender stereotypes through offline and online campaigns.


K-CCRI is a project that was born to enlarge the impact of the existing Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI). Its goal, at large, is to promote and make the concept of “Circular Economy” a tangible reality in Eu cities and regions, particularly for those who are starting to get on this path.

For reaching such an objective, K.CCRI will act as the “Knowledge Hub” of the CCRI, bringing together already existing knowledge and critical mass and fostering an even larger adoption. This, in turn, will be achieved via:

  • Easy-to-access and systematized body of knowledge;
  • Tailored mentoring for city-users;
  • Effective awareness which builds upon public engagement, innovation and technology, business and financial modelling, impact evaluation.

A multidisciplinary journey of 12 partners in 6 European Countries, K-CCRI will rely on complementary skills and competences to give a boost to circular economy in Europe.


  • To bring together relevant knowledge and initiatives fostering circular economy among regions and cities;
  • To build and make accessible and user-friendly material to facilitate learning and exchange of knowledge and best-practices;
  • To bring together a pool of experts (inside and outside the project consortium) and implement a specific programme to provide mentoring and tailored support;
  • To provide capacity-building activities;
  • To develop guidelines and policy recommendations for local and regional authorities;


The SPUR project sees a collaboration between 6 local authorities of 5 European Countries which are the bearer of significant expertise in supporting marginalised youth and elders and are often working with people coming from a migratory background or marginalised gender. These are citizens whose socialisation suffered the most during the Covid19 pandemic, however episodes of urban solidarity spurred amid restrictions and lockdown.

While the consequences of the pandemic are still harshly felt by some of these subjects, the SPUR project will be the occasion thanks to which their municipalities of residence will map their needs of these citizens, exchange best practices and pilot further initiatives to strengthen neighbour socialisation.


  • Reflecting on the impact of COVID-19 in local communities for elderly and the youth;
  • Social reintegration of migrants and women;
  • Establishing transnational cooperation of communities on a European level for peer learning and the exchange of best practices;
  • Finding sustainable, long-term solutions for building a resilient community;
  • Creating a network among citizens, associations and local authorities within the local territories


The SCEPA project has the ambition to impact on energy poverty in the North West Regions of Europe, by pursuing the following objectives:

  • It aims to have a Joint Action Strategy and Local Action Plans in the area that will allow for a transnational cooperation that will benefit energy-poor households;
  • It will pilot some existing energy-saving Tools so to accelerate their efficiency and strengthen local strategies and action plans for energy;
  • It will focus on a large outreach, by constantly communicating project results that come from sound monitoring and evaluation processes and spreading them to a newly created Community of Interests via communication or capacity-building initiatives

By defying the current state of little international cooperation, SCEPA will try to create Energy Communities across NW Europe (FR, IRL, BE, UK, DE and NL), which will reduce the monthly energy bills of 105,000+ households, will increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases emissions, as a results.


  • Develop a Join Action Strategy (JAS) + Local Action Plans (LAPs) on reducing energy poverty, integrating state of the art knowledge/practices. Findings from the JAS + LAPs are translated into a data platform and toolbox for partners and target groups;
  • Enhancing common and target group specific energy poverty tools for vulnerable households, including hard to get target groups;
  • Enlarge SCEPA’s outreach to energy poor vulnerable households in NEW, by providing insights in project results + transfer of results to stakeholders and a Community of Interest


The CLIMentines project wants to foster a new generation of young people in Europe that have the knowledge, the tools to actively engage and impact on climate action policies in their countries and at European level. The projects forms a partnership of seven organisations in six European countries covering all geographical areas.


  • Connect youth organisations and youth and strengthen knowledge sharing and mutual learning through building a transnational network including participating organisations, youth organisations (grassroot, networks and youth led initiatives).
  • Strengthen the capacities of youth organisations and youth workers and leaders providing them with knowledge and concrete tools to apply in their work towards active citizenship, participatory and deliberative democracy processes and climate action.
  • Support the active engagement of young people especially those with fewer opportunities or those that have been inactive.
  • Empower young people by strengthening their competences and rendering them more confident to participate and influence policy making at local, national and European level, taking in charge their future.


The earthquakes in 2023 Türkiye caused a mass damage through 11 provinces with loss of 50.000+ people and the financial effect reached 351 Billion TL. Hatay has been the province with the most dramatic destruction. Hatay Metropolitan Municipality was even a new metropolitan governance body before the earthquake and has critical lack of services afterwards. “Support for the Establishment of Temporary Shelter Areas in the Earthquake-Stricken Region of Hatay,» emerged in response to the prevailing circumstances. The funding for this project is provided by the Fons Mallorquí de Solidaritat i Cooperació through the Emergency and Humanitarian Aid Project Funding. Under the umbrella of emergency and humanitarian support, the Fons Mallorqui expressed a commitment to aid in the earthquake response in Türkiye, allocating funds to ALDA for the provision of beds in the Hatay area. Thanks to the financial assistance from Fons Mallorqui, ALDA is supplying 264 beds to households residing in temporary shelters in Hatay. This initiative answers a critical and pressing need, as a significant portion of the affected population lacked suitable or adequately furnished beds, making their living conditions extremely difficult. The project’s objectives are centered around addressing the needs of the region’s inhabitants who have lost their homes, workplaces, schools, health facilities, and more.


Healthy conditions for the built 256 prefabricated units and their infrastructure with better beds, contributing to direct access to decent condition of living by families of the shelters.


Supporting an enabling environment for civil society in helping the country achieve common European values and standards.


The overall objective is to strengthen the capacities of civil society organisations to support and promote the alignment of budgetary priorities with the integration agenda at national and local level, as well as to increase the involvement of the three platforms of civil society organisations to act cohesively and provide the necessary support in the implementation of the conditionalities related to Moldova’s EU candidate status and the Association Agenda.

In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck Türkiye in 2023, Hatay Province emerged as one of the most severely affected regions, grappling with extensive damage and a desperate need for secure housing. The aftermath of the earthquakes left millions displaced, living in tents, and facing harsh winter conditions. Recognising the urgency of the situation, ALDA, in collaboration with the Fons Mallorquí de Solidaritat i Cooperació, initiated the project «Support for the Establishment of Temporary Shelter Areas in the Earthquake-Stricken Region of Hatay

The objective of the project was clear: to provide immediate relief by delivering 264 beds to households residing in temporary shelters in Hatay.

This endeavour aimed to address a critical and pressing need, as a significant portion of the affected population lacked suitable or adequately furnished beds, exacerbating their already challenging living conditions.

The earthquakes had not only claimed lives but also disrupted entire communities, leading to the loss of homes, workplaces, schools, and health facilities. ALDA, with the support of Fons Mallorquí, stepped in to bridge this gap and bring comfort to the lives of those affected. The financial assistance from Fons Mallorquí played a crucial role in making this initiative possible, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts in times of crisis.

The project kicked off in November 2023, with a dedicated focus on delivering beds to residents, including families, children, the elderly, single women, and people with disabilities residing in the shelter area of Hatay. As a result of effective coordination and swift action, the project nears completion and almost all beds have been delivered to families. A total of 264 households will benefit from the project

The success of the project can be attributed to the strong collaborative ties between Fons Mallorquí and ALDA, as well as the partnerships formed with local entities in Türkiye. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, a key partner in Hatay’s post-earthquake reconstruction, along with Istanbul Planning Agency and construction company Kiptaş, played instrumental roles in facilitating the project’s implementation. This collaborative network exemplifies the power of collective action in responding to humanitarian crises.

The «Support for the Establishment of Temporary Shelter Areas in Hatay» project not only delivered beds but also symbolises hope, solidarity, and the resilience of communities in the face of adversity. It stands as a testament to the impact that can be achieved when organisations, both local and international, come together with a shared goal of alleviating the suffering of those affected by natural disasters.

Find out more about support for the establishment of temporary shelter Areas in the earthquake-stricken Region of Hatay here.


POWERYOUTH is a project focused on empowering and involving young people in energy communities to actively contribute to the energy transition. The project recognises the significance of youth leadership in adopting new lifestyles and acquiring skills for supporting sustainable energy practices.

With 2022 being designated as the European Year of Youth, POWERYOUTH aims to address the lack of tools for systematically reinforcing youth participation in energy communities and providing training for energy sustainability.


  • Effectively engage young people and other key stakeholders in collective actions;
  • Develop a toolkit that facilitates the empowerment of youth in energy communities;
  • Set up and support collective actions in youth energy communities;
  • Create and execute a comprehensive and easily replicable capacity building programme to train young people in green energy skills and promote their participation in energy communities;
  • Mobilise youth organisations and local authorities to replicate the POWERYOUTH approach across EU;
  • Formulate policy recommendations and develop exploitation plans for accelerating youth energy communities’ adoption in new areas;


SINCRONY aims to support youth, especially those belonging to minoritarian and marginalised groups, in reclaiming the necessary power to inform the European political institutions. The ultimate goal is to offer policymakers, public servants, researchers, teachers, youth workers, facilitators of deliberative processes, and youth CSOs concrete instruments, guidelines, and solutions to renovate deliberative and participatory practices implemented in public governance and schools. By improving the democratic quality, inclusiveness, effectiveness, and legitimacy of deliberative and participatory processes, the project will contribute to greater social justice for all youth.


  • enhance the inclusivity of deliberative practices in two local municipalities (in Italy and Finland);
  • design, test, and deliver an innovative, co-constructed intersectional approach called the Intersectional Participatory Action Research-and-Deliberation, piloted in seven local municipalities and four schools (in Italy, Portugal, the UK, and Denmark);
  • design participatory formats;
  • create tools;
  • define ethical guidelines.


#Sincrony #Youth #Politics #Empowering #Education #Goals #EUfundedHorizonEU #EU

Nearly 450 million citizens will be called upon to elect the Members of the European Parliament in the upcoming European elections which will be held in the 27 EU Member States from 6 to 9 June 2024. The 2024 elections will represent a solemn moment for European citizens who will be able to shape the future of the EU and strengthen democracy by having the opportunity to express their opinions on the topics they care about.

These elections take place every five years and are the largest transnational elections in the world, representing the starting point for the reorganisation of Europe’s governing bodies. 

Elected directly by the voters, the Members of the European Parliament represent the interests of citizens with regard to the EU legislative process and they have the duty to ensure that the other EU institutions operate democratically. Moreover, the EU Parliament shares with the Council the power to adopt and amend legislative proposals and to decide the EU budget, as well as to cooperate with national parliaments to get their inputs and to improve democracy and human rights not only in Europe, but also throughout the world.

As a key actor for the protection and promotion of democracy and citizen engagement at the local level, ALDA — European Association for Local Democracy — is firmly committed to reach out and involve more people in voting by reducing the turnout gap among the EU Member States and empowering their role through tangible initiatives such as the TALE project — Take the Lead in the EU Elections.

ALDA fosters the bedrock of European principles and values, including democracy and active citizens, and encourages individuals to exercise their right to vote

The right to vote is a pivotal freedom of any democracy and an essential part of the development of civil society at all levels. Therefore, the more people vote, the stronger democracy becomes. 

Voting will decide which Members of the EU Parliament will represent you in preparing new laws that affect multiple areas of everyday life such as security, migration, environment, social policies, consumer rights, economy, rule of law and many more.

The elections will also be a moment of reflection on the initiatives and improvements made by the European Institutions to foster the participation of citizens and young people in the European decision-making process (see, for example, the Conference on the Future of Europe).

Following its vocation, ALDA promotes the bedrock of European principles and values, including democracy and active citizens, and encourages individuals to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming elections. 

In order to achieve a resilient and accountable democracy, access to reliable information before voting is a tipping point. Diversifying your sources, accessing national and institutional fact-checking, following international news and independent observatories such as the EDMO will help you tackle disinformation and misinformation online down, ensuring EU values safeguard. Furthermore, the EU Parliament has introduced a dedicated website for upcoming elections to keep citizens informed with reliable content, featuring daily updates.

Voting, civic engagement and participation in the democratic process are cornerstones for rewriting the future of Europe and ALDA will carry forward its diligence responsibility to protect and promote EU values and good governance. 

Stay tuned for our updates on the upcoming EU elections 2024! 

On 11th January, the final event of the Stand Up project, Stand Together Against Hate: A Multi-Agency Initiative took place in Brussels (Belgium) at Residence Palace. Esteemed speakers joined the event to share their valuable insights on the state of hate crimes and hate speech in Europe. 

The keynote speech delivered by MEP Magdalena Adamowicz moved the heart of the audience highlighting how hate crimes and hate speech start from simple words used to promote hatred and dehumanise people. She is a member of the European Parliament and her late husband, the Polish politician Paweł Adamowicz, was a victim of hate crime. Find out more about  Paweł Adamowicz life and Award 2023 here

After the presentation of the project by Giovanni Gasparini, Prosecutor Office of Venice, the morning session started with the roundtable Navigating the Intersection of Hate Speech and Crimes. The speakers were Menno Ettema, Programme Manager and Co-Secretary to expert Committee on Combating Hate Speech, Nataša Vučković, member of the Center for Democracy Foundation (CDF) and ALDA Vice President; Sergio Bianchi, expert of the Group on Combating Anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination in the EU and Simonetta Moro from the Municipality of Bologna.

The presentation of the EU Policy Paper results “EU-Level Policy Recommendations on Supporting Multi-Agency Cooperation in Countering Hate Crime, Including Through the Use of Technologies” was led by Eva Tzavala, the Coordinator of the Scientific Unit, and Dr. Anastasia Chalkia, the Human Rights Officer, both representing GNCHR.

Camilla Vedovato, project manager at ALDA, presented the Victim Support Handbook that provides an overview of the STAND-UP project’s vocabulary as well as an analysis of the technological tool OSIN employed. The handbook: 

  • gives background information on the rights of victims of hate crimes within the EU;
  • describes hate crimes and their types, their effects, and offers a victim-centred approach to support; 
  • it outlines the roles of prosecutors and CSOs, the legal system and best practices in Italy, Greece, and Spain;
  • ends with a toolkit for analysing a specific hate speech case.

The six European project partners shared the afternoon session’s panels on interagency cooperation to tackle hate crimes and hate speech, as well as local pilot success stories and results developed in Veneto, Athens, Andalusia, and Trentino-Alto Adige.

The Stand Up Project lasted two years and is a collaborative initiative dedicated to combating hate crimes and promoting inclusivity within the European Union

Through research, training programs, and the development of valuable resources, the project sought to empower communities, law enforcement, and organisations to actively address and prevent hate crimes. The project’s focus areas included awareness-raising, victim support, and the establishment of effective strategies to counter hate crime.

Welcome to the redesigned ALDA website – your gateway to the vibrant world of local democracy, civic engagement, and global cooperation! Our fresh digital space is crafted to enhance accessibility and provide a comprehensive overview of ALDA’s initiatives.

Navigate through ALDA’s mission and vision, where we articulate our dedication to local democracy, active citizenship, and collaboration between local authorities and civil society. Meet the individuals who form the backbone of our organisation, driving positive change globally.

Stay informed with the latest updates on our activities. Our new news section keeps you in the loop, offering insights into the dynamic landscape of local and global democracy. Also, don’t forget to explore the diverse projects we are spearheading at the local, regional, and global levels. These initiatives are geared towards promoting democracy and civic activism, contributing to positive transformations in communities worldwide.

Our commitment to supporting local democracy transcends borders, and these resources serve as valuable tools for change

Discover upcoming events, webinars, and initiatives that aim to engage society in building resilient local communities. Participate in conversations that matter and contribute to the discourse on democracy.

NEW Incredible Sections!

Unveil our Thematic Hubs – dedicated working groups where ALDA organises events, conferences, workshops, and debates. By joining these hubs, you’ll deepen your understanding of various topics, actively participate in activities, and share your expertise. 

#ALDAmember — you will have the possibility to find out more about the diverse members of ALDA and explore how you can become one! As an #ALDAmember, you can easily connect with an international network of local stakeholders, unlocking benefits, project development opportunities, and funding avenues. Our network continues to grow, creating a robust community.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest news, project updates, and event invitations directly to your inbox. Connect with us on social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram – to engage in discussions on local democracy and many more interesting topics! 

This new website stands as a proof of ALDA’s commitment to promoting democracy and participation at the local level. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your continuous support and invite you to explore the site. Let’s work together to strengthen local communities worldwide!

ALDA — European Association for Local Democracy — will be at the forefront of the new initiative “Get the Trolls Out” which aims to combat discrimination and intolerance based on religious grounds in Europe. 

The project, led by the Media Diverse Institute (MDI) with the collaboration of seven partners spread throughout Europe, serves as a gateway to emphasise the multiple media platforms (on and offline) available to counter intolerance and xenophobia affecting minority groups such as Jewish, Muslim or Christian communities. 

In particular, this phase of the programme is dedicated to supervise and debunk  antisemitism and anti-religious narratives in the European media space by mobilising civil society and local actors through the development of inclusive and compelling content which has the capacity to shape public opinion, especially among young people. 

Each partner will engage in their own countries to reach target audiences and consolidate the framework for monitoring and dissemination of innovative media outputs, generating a fruitful dialogue to stem the rise of intolerance and discrimination in Europe.  

ALDA will contribute through diligent surveillance to the perpetration of antisemitic and anti-religious hate, involving local entities and youth individuals to promote a positive change

The spread of hate speech, discrimination, stereotypes and intolerance negatively affects democracy and the development of an open and inclusive civil society, undermining the rights and safety of people practising a religion.  

ALDA will contribute through diligent surveillance to the perpetration of antisemitic and anti-religious hate, involving local entities and youth individuals to promote a positive change.

We promote the freedom of religion in the media by denouncing any attempts to create prejudiced narratives and suppress the voice of the community members, improving the establishment of a healthier and more respectful ecosystem online.  

Stay tuned for further updates on the “Get The Trolls Out” project by following our activities!

The Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award, an annual tribute to outstanding contributions in local and regional governance, has reached its pinnacle as the nominations for the 2023 edition closed on December 4, 2023. With a total of 14 nominations, including one from the European Parliament and six from the Committee of the Regions, the announcement of the laureate is NOW PUBLIC! The nominations showcased a diverse array of candidates, with representation from various cities, regional councils, and partner associations such as Eurocities and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions. The Evaluation Committee comprised partner associations including UCLG, ICORN, CALRE, CEMR, AER, Eurocities, CRPM, ALDA, the City of Gdansk, and the Committee of the Regions. Together, they meticulously reviewed the nominations, resulting in a shortlist of five commendable candidates, among which the ADL Zavidovići Association outstanded.

ADL Zavidovići Association wins the Adamowicz Award 2023! 

The «Ambasciata della democrazia locale a Zavidovici» Association, founded in 1996, originated from the voluntary efforts of a pacifist group during the Bosnian War. It has since evolved into a collaborative platform involving various stakeholders. After joining the Council of Europe’s Local Democracy Agencies programme, it expanded its reach to Brescia, Alba, and Cremona. The Association, now a Social Enterprise, operates in Italy and Southeast Europe, primarily Zavidovići, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its activities encompass social and cultural integration, decentralised cooperation, twinning initiatives, sports exchanges, youth programs, training, awareness campaigns, and research on Bosnian social realities and migration phenomena. The Association’s diverse efforts highlight its dedication to fostering democracy, integration, and collaboration on both local and international levels.

The Jury, a distinguished panel of elected representatives from the European Committee of the Regions, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the City of Gdańsk, and the town of Michałowo (the previous laureate), played a pivotal role in shaping the beneficiary of the Award, together with the Acting Chair of ICORN which contributed with valuable insights: their collective efforts culminated in the selection of the laureate for the 2023 edition, the ADL Zavidovići Association.
The eagerly awaited proclamation of the Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award 2023 took place at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk (Poland) on January 13, 2024, from 16:00 to 17:00. 

The prestigious award was received by Maddalena Alberti, director of ADL Zavidovići Association at the presence of Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Secretary General, who attended the event. This significant event not only marked the recognition of exemplary leadership in local and regional governance but also served as a poignant commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the tragic assassination of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz

During the receipt of the Award, Maddalena Alberti, with an emotional speech, expressed deep gratitude for receiving the Mayor Pawel Adamowicz Award on behalf of the Association ADL Zavidovici. She emphasised the honour and responsibility that comes with the award, highlighting the duty to continue Adamowicz’s legacy of promoting human rights and democracy. She stressed the importance of translating values such as equality, freedom, respect, tolerance, and solidarity into concrete actions and policies. In a time of poly-crisis with global conflicts and increasing distrust towards democracies, she called for courage and referenced historical moments like Gdansk in the ’80s, emphasising the need to find courage even in seemingly hopeless situations. Alberti stressed the need for an open Europe rooted in human rights and democracy, cautioning against history repeating itself tragically. She called for perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges, emphasising that structural changes require constant, long-term commitment. Alberti concluded by urging everyone to turn the impossible into the possible and thanked the audience.

ALDA is, also this year, honoured to be part of this manifestation. Paweł Adamowicz was the Mayor of the City of Gdańsk and a dear friend of ALDA, who was tragically murdered in January 2019, pays tribute to his dedication to democracy and community service. Paweł Adamowicz, known for engaging with marginalised voices, offering solidarity, and advocating for diversity, left a lasting legacy in local governance. The Award symbolises hope for elected representatives and citizens committed to fostering democracy and open communities at the local level. This prestigious prize not only recognises exemplary leadership but also serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz, inspiring future generations to contribute positively to local and regional governance.

In extending our heartfelt congratulations to the ADL Zavidovići Association for receiving the prestigious Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award 2023, ALDA takes immense pride in the remarkable achievements of our member. The dedication and excellence demonstrated by the Association align perfectly with the values championed by Mayor Paweł Adamowicz, and we commend them for their unwavering commitment to fostering democracy, integration, and collaboration at both local and international levels. Maddalena Alberti’s impassioned acceptance speech resonated deeply with the audience, encapsulating the honour and responsibility that accompanies this esteemed award. As ALDA, we stand united with ADL Zavidovići in our shared mission to create open and inclusive communities. This recognition not only marks exemplary leadership in local and regional governance but also serves as a poignant reminder of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz’s enduring legacy. Congratulations once again to ADL Zavidovići for this well-deserved accolade.