“Local authorities across Europe suffer from insufficient competences and financing to do their job for citizens as well as a lack of consultations with national authorities” stated Carla DEJONGHE (Belgium, ILDG), Congress member and Deputy of the Brussels-Capital Regional Parliament, at the introductory session of the General Assembly of the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), in Brussels, on 4 May 2018.
Speaking on the subject of “How to contribute to local governance and civic initiatives in the upcoming challenges of the EU and its Neighbourhood”, she emphasised that the Congress has identified recurrent problems at local level – such as the lack of competences, cash, consultations and citizen participation – which make people feel excluded from democratic processes. “Therefore, Democratic institutions, including local governance, have to involve citizens in decision making. This participatory approach is very much needed at all levels of governance and between institutions” added Mrs DEJONGHE, reminding the need to foster co-operation to come up with a coherent and complementary action to face current challenges.
In terms of partnerships, she mentioned that the Congress signed a revised co-operation agreement with the Committee of the Regions, in March. “Following up on this, we very much look forward to promoting synergies with ALDA, which plays an important advocacy and resource-mobilisation role for implementing civic initiatives and concrete projects on the ground, in local communities”, Carla DEJONGHE concluded.