European Association for Local Democracy

ALDA , the European Association for Local Democracy , is a membership based organization established in 1999 at the initiative of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities . ALDA works on the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level, focusing on activities that facilitate cooperation between local authorities and civil society in the European Union and its Neighborhood. [1]

The assumption underlying its importance, is that strengthening local democracy and local governance is a fundamental element for securing peace, equity, human rights and economic growth in the community. Therefore, supporting actions and policies towards local democracy is an essential part of the European Union approach to governance, democracy, economy and peace. [2]

As a membership based organization, ALDA gathers more than 180 members – including local authorities, associations of local authorities and non-governmental organizations – from over 35 countries. It is funded by the European Commission , the Council of Europe, and other public and private donors. What makes ALDA’s work unique is that it is based on the method of multilateral decentralised cooperation. This method involves a multi-stakeholder approach, which focuses on strong partnerships between local authorities and civil society organizations. These partnerships create positive synergy and ensure that common goals are achieved jointly and successfully. In the framework of promoting good governance and citizen participation at the local level ALDA works in various themes, such as European integration , decentralization , civic initiatives and volunteering , human rights , and sustainable economic development. [3]

Working Areas

The activities of ALDA are articulated around three main areas: [4]

  • ALDA Europe: In the European Union ALDA works promoting active European citizenship, in close cooperation with local authorities, civil society networks, and European institutions. The activities help raising citizens’ understanding and sense of belonging to the European Union, and stimulating intercultural dialogue and civic participation. This is achieved by conducting its own and its members’ projects, as well as through lobbying activities.
  • ALDA Cooperation: ALDA also works in the Western Balkans and in the European Neighborhood – Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Southern Caucasus – to foster good governance, citizen participation, European integration, and decentralization. It is a network of 14 Local Democracy Agencies and 3 Operational Partners in their activities. Most of the Local Democracy Agencies are located in Western Balkans, aim ALDA is becoming more and more active in the European Neighborhood. Besides, ALDA is leading several European neighborhood projects, including Belarus, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Algeria and Turkey.
  • ALDA Plus: ALDA supports other stakeholders by providing a wide range of services, such as training and capacity building, technical assistance, and ad hoc consultancy on different topics, including: project development and implementation, EU funds and programs, citizen participation (methods and techniques), and non-formal youth education. These services are provided with a tailor-made approach, thus targeting the specific needs of the partners involved.

External links

  • ALDA Official website


  1. Jump up^ Lev Sapieha Foundation & ALDA, Citizen Participation in Local Decision-Making , retrieved 28 February 2016
  2. Jump up^ ALDA, Strategic Views for the European Association of Local Democracy 2015/2018 (PDF) , retrieved 28 February 2016
  3. Jump up^ European Year for Development 2015, ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy , retrieved 28 February 2016
  4. Jump up^ European Partnership for Democracy, About ALDA , retrieved 28 February 2016