ADL, an assistance to
the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the
Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) were conceived so as to furnish the
municipalities devastated by warfare in the former Yugoslavia with assistance
under a partnership arrangement with towns in Western Europe.
Initially concerned with aid in crisis situations, their action has since then
focused on democratic reforms. The LDAs have become partners in the activity
programmes of the Congress. They disseminate, at the local and regional level,
the organisation’s instruments for promoting local and regional democracy, and
take advantage of their partnerships to encourage exchanges of best practice for
the functioning of democratic institutions.
Since 1999 the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA) has co-ordinated
the network of LDAs. It facilitates collaboration with the 11 existing LDAs in
the Western Balkans and in the Southern Caucasus among its 300 members and
partners (towns, regions and NGOs) from 28 European countries.
An important local player in the advancement of democracy and stability in
With a wide degree of autonomy enabling them to meet local needs more
effectively, the LDAs support local institutions through training activity, by
promoting intercultural dialogue and by consolidating an open civil society.
Other projects which include economic revival, refugees, education, environment,
culture, youth and media have also been arranged.
In addition, the Association provides the LDAs with technical and administrative
support and represents its members in negotiations with institutions and funding
agencies, especially with the Council of Europe.
Finally, the ALDA network offers other organisations support for their
programming through its stimulus to concerted action by local operators.
The present: a development outside South East Europe ...
success encountered by the programmes in the Balkans prompts the
ALDA to make its expertise available in an advisory capacity in
the process of EU enlargement. While its experience in the
former Yugoslavia makes it an ideal partner for enlargement-related
activities in South East Europe, its proficiencies are also
useful for other regions.
The current strategy of the ALDA is also to support
stabilisation and the process of accession throughout Europe.
Accordingly, the ALDA has opened a new Local Democracy Agency in
Georgia (Kutaisi) in September 2006 and tries to implement pilot
projects in Belarus and Russia.