LDA - What does it mean?
LDA - What does it mean?
LDA stands for Local Democracy Agency. The LDAs are local NGOs acting to foster Human Rights and local democracy. The Association of the Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA) is a European non-governmental organization supporting active citizenship and participatory democracy in all areas of local governance.
How and why ALDA was created?
After the disintegration of Former Yugoslavia, several local and regional representatives in European countries had the wish to provide assistance to their counterparts in the new created countries in the Balkans, seriously affected by the impact of war. As a result of this aim, the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities established the first Local Democracy Agencies in the early 1990s as a support programme to strengthen local democracy, foster respect for human rights and further sustainable development in the Western Balkans. The LDA Subotica was the first Agency, established in 1993. In the same year an LDA was created in Osijek, Croatia. In 1996 other two LDAs were established in Sisak and Verteneglio/ Brtoniglia, Croatia. There followed LDA offices in Niš, Serbia, in Mostar, Prijedor and Zavidovici in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Niksic in Montenegro, in Shkodra in Albania, in Kosovo and in Kutaisi in Georgia. The stars on the map above indicate the cities in which the 12 LDAs in the Balkans and the Southern Caucasus are located. ALDA is also involved in a cooperation project in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
What are the objectives and priorities of the LDAs?
Over the years, the main objective of the LDAs remained the same: Assist the region in a stable transition towards democracy and European integration, with an emphasis on promoting Human rights and tolerant and trust-based relationships within different local communities.
However, different pillars of activities were added to ALDA's mission which nowadays include:
Within this global objectives and priorities every Local Democracy Agency responds to its specific local needs and has therefore its own concrete programmes and identity.
What does ALDA do to reach these objectives?
The ALDA's working method is based on:
Current projects range from trans-border co-operation seminars, capacity building for local authorities and NGOs, youth or women empowerment to micro-credits and trainings on European integration.
In 2006 the ALDA Governing Board decided to set up a general assessment procedure in order to review all LDA on a regular basis. This procedure will serve as a quality control, enabling the network to solve pro-actively potential problems and by doing so improving the functioning of individual LDAs and the LDA network as a whole. After the initial evaluation missions for the LDA Montenegro, the LDA Ohrid was assessed in December 2006, and the LDAs in Subotica and Osijek followed in September 2007. ALDA will try to assess two LDAs each year.
How are the LDAs organized?
The LDAs function in a similar way to the twin towns, bringing together international as well as local and national partners in their projects. They exchange best practices and expertise, and develop projects together so that both sides can profit from the partnership. Every LDA is operating within a closed network of partnerships between local and regional authorities and NGOs from all over Europe.
The ALDA-Network includes 29 European Countries and 300 Partners and Members (local authorities, economic sector, associations, universities, research groups and others). A complete lists of members and partners of the ALDA-Network is available in the Documents Section of ALDA website.
ALDA has a strong and active relationship with several European Institutions, has an Observer Status in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and is part of the following networks:
Mission statement of the LDA Subotica
The Local Democracy Agency Subotica was founded the 1st October 1993, as a result of an agreement between the Council of Europe and the local authorities of Subotica. The LDA had as a main goal to promote local democracy and human rights despite the authoritarian regime Serbia had by this time. LDA Subotica is registered as local NGO. Since 1999, when ALDA was established, LDA Subotica operates as a member of the international ALDA-Network.
The LDA Subotica organizations’ environment
With approximately 150’000 inhabitants, Subotica is the second largest town in the Autonomous region of Vojvodina. The town is situated not more than 10 kilometers of the Border with Hungary and closed to the Borders of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rumania as well. Currently the population of Subotica is composed of:
The remaining 17, 17% are composed of: Yugoslavs, Montenegrins, Roma, Albanians, Ruthenians and a few other nationalities.
During his history Subotica has belonged to several states and empires. Most of the ethnic communities have a centuries’ long history of living together, but some are newcomers: refugees and displaced persons from war affected areas. This creates new challenges to learn skills of urban cultural interaction. Unfortunately during the 90-ties Subotica experienced an ethnic fragmentation. Politics instigated an increased ethnic distance between the different communities and the lack of opportunities for intercultural communication became more and more visible. To counter this development in 2002 was initiated a Process of institutionally supported confidence building at local level. The LDA Subotica plays an important role within this process, promoting solid relationships based on mutual respect and trust between the different ethnic communities.
ALDA in European Networks
Some of our European supporters and partners
Congress of the Council of Europe, European Commission (DG Education and Culture, DG Enlargement, DG Relex), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, France and Norway, Switzerland Agency for Development and Cooperation, Lower-Normandy Region (France), Princedom of Liechtenstein, Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and Apulia Region, Soros Foundation, Interreg IIIA, Intesa San Paolo, City and Canton of Geneva, Stability Pact for South East Europe.
Contacts in Europe