General Assembly 2021: A Great Network Together for the Conference on the Future of Europe

As part of its main objectives, the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) seeks to strengthen the link between citizens and the European Union by giving them a voice in shaping the policies and ambitions of the European Union and improving the Union’s resilience to crises.

Having that in mind, the week of the General Assembly 2021 of ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, has been designed to both serve as an occasion for its members to meet themselves, and to gather many key stakeholders including individuals, CSOs, Local Governments and Associations for a series of online and offline events to discuss some specific topics which are related to the overall European context.  For example, ALDA members had the possibility to join different events online and/or in presence, such as the two conferences on LIME and DIGITAL projects. Besides, they also joined the General Assembly itself at the end of week.

ALDA is a global alliance of local and regional authorities and civil society actors working together with a participative approach for resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities.

On June 25th, ALDA General Assembly took place online with the opening speeches of  Mr Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA and Mr Leen Verbeek, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and it was then chaired by Alessandro Distante, President of ISBE, an historical member of ALDA. Despite the distance, the great atmosphere among participants was tangible; thus, to underline how this event is an essential part of ALDA. As previous years, also the 2021 General Assembly has been very much participated, especially considering the fact that this is the first Assembly of the newly elected Governing Board.

The General Assembly focused on several key aspects, paving the path for the future actions and activities of the association. Besides the analysis of technical documents, during the meeting some key aspects were discussed: ALDA Activity Report and account for 2020 as well as the promising Program and budget for 2021, Local Democracy Agencies’ report (LDAs); SDGs report and the role of ALDA within the Conference on the Future of Europe. The former, once again, was the occasion to stress how relevant and important is the role of LDAs as local agencies to foster citizens’ participation and engagement. The second topic on the agenda highlighted how much the work of ALDA is thus related to the global scale, such as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Finally, considering the overall mission of ALDA, as an association that fosters the creation of a democratic space and citizens’ engagement; the General Assembly 2021 contributed to increase people participation, members gathering; while bringing issues discussed at local level to the European one. /