On 8 June, in Brussels, the CEI-Executive Secretariat participated in the General Assembly (GA) meeting of the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), a long-standing collaborator and full-fledged partner since 2022.
The event, under the title "Local Democracy will save Democracy", was organised in the framework of the ALDA FESTIVAL, also featuring workshops and celebrations of the birth of the first Local Democracy Agency (LDA) in Subotica, Serbia, in 1993. It was also an opportunity to praise ALDA's presence in the Balkans since 1998.
In fact, since the beginning of their existence, LDA activities have focused on citizens' participation in public life and in the decision-making process, decreasing the gap between citizens and institutions, and creating an active and proactive civil society. This approach is currently prioritised in Ukraine where a wave of LDAs is going to be extended for the civic recovery of internal displaced people and to support the reconstruction process.
In particular, the Festival and the GA aimed at connecting the recent past with the present and future work of ALDA in the Balkans, recalling the history of its origin and development, emphasising the goals achieved as well as the progress toward future ones.
In this setting, CEI Project Manager, Ugo Poli, while mentioning the recent signing (March 2022) of the CEI-ALDA Memorandum of Understanding - which took place at a critical moment for the region due to the Russian attacks against Ukraine - he pointed out how democracy was ever more crucial both at EU and local level. He underlined how this partnership, especially after the creation of the CEI Local Dimension, was essential in the overall EU integration process.
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