A newsletter published within "Regional Youth Compact for Europe", a project funded by the European Union
A project that aims to empower CSOs, particularly YOUTH organizations in the Western Balkans and Turkey to more effectively participate in policy design and in monitoring the process of EU integration
Farewell Saša,
It’s with deepest regret and profound sadness we inform you that our Saša Marinkov has passed away on the 23rd of January 2021.
As delegate of the Local Democracy Agency Central and Southern Serbia, Saša has been part of ALDA and the Balkan Network for Local Democracy – BNLD for more than a decade.
We have lost a valuable member of our family. He was modest and visionary, committed worker, a fighter for positive changes in the community.
Most importantly, we lost a true friend that was alongside with us in all our ups and downs. Friend that we would truly remember and adore till the end of days.
Saša, we thank you for everything you have done for us and your community. We will continue fighting for your cause: it’s the only thing we can do to reach your vision.
We’ll miss him immensely now and so it will be in the future.
Read more!
Recent News and Updates
Call for proposal:
Capacity building of the Balkan Network for Local Democracy
The Balkan Network for Local Democracy in the framework of the project Regional Youth Compact for Europe  is looking for consultant or team of consultants to support the Network in Organizational development and strategic planning. The activity aims to assess the needs of the Network and to propose a development strategy. The complete proposals should be sent to the Balkan Network for Local Democracy on  by the 17th February 2021 at 23:59 CEST. Read more!
Regional forum "Remembrance and Intercultural Dialogue"
The online edition of the Regional Forum entitled Remembrance and Intercultural dialogue took place on 21 and 22 December 2020. The two days’ conference was organized entirely virtually using the Zoom platform to facilitate the interaction and online presentations.  All sessions were broadcast to Facebook Live and allowed a broad participation at the event.
The program played a vital role engaging regional and international experts representing civil society organistion, academia, researchers, cultural and educational institutions and business community. The goal of the Regional Forum was to examine the regional cooperation with a special focus on the question of remembrance and intercultural dialogue in the Western Balkans by approaching the dominate narratives and the give it a new perspective on the narrative legacy.

Inspiring stories and experience were reflecting on different topics such as EU integration as vector of peace and reconciliation, the multicultural dialogue and the “Balkan route” of migrations, the role of the new digital world, dealing with the past through storytelling, cultural heritage and memorial tourism as potential for local development and cultural understanding, linguistic diversity and combating disinformation. Read more!

EU goes local in Western Balkans: meeting with DG NEAR.
On 21 January ALDA and the Balkan Network for Local Democracy (BNLD) held a meeting with representatives from the European Commission. The staff of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) working on Western Balkans had the chance to get to know better the Projects ALDA and the Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) are implementing in the Region as well as the feedbacks from the activities we have been carrying on at the local level.
Mr. Colin Wolfe, Head of Unit for Regional cooperation and Programmes confirmed the importance for the local level to be part of the EU integration process. The local authorities are significant stakeholders responsible for the implementation of many EU policies in the respective countries. Democratic processes start from the local level and should be nurtured there. The European Commission is supporting the cooperation of civil society and local authorities with the regional programme RELOAD whose second phase has just started.
Read more!
“Meet the grantees”
We invite you to follow our campaign “Meet the grantees” and get to know supported organisations and their projects.

The overall objective of the Youth Fund “We Have a Say” is the improvement and development of the participatory policies and enhancement of local democracy in communities of the Western Balkans through support to local youth organisations fostering active citizenship and participation of young people at the local level. The total funds of the Youth Fund amounts 78.000,00 EUR. A total of 64 applications were received, and the evaluation team selected 14 best projects. Read more!

From September until November 2020, the organisation “Team 42” organised research on the needs of young people in Leskovac. They wanted young people to ask themselves and to actively participate in the life of the city.
Read more! 
Let's hear the Youth voice
"Art Apart" organised four musical workshops with the youth. Each musical workshop had 5 participants. In addition, one online workshop has been recorded and distributed to the participants. Art Apart worked in smaller groups, plus individual exercises with online material, as a COVID-19 precautionary measure. Music and peer learning are used as meaningful and universal tools for learning, psycho-social empowerment and social integration. Read more!
Survey on budget priorities of the Municipality of Vrnjacka Banja
In October 2020, the organisation "Balkan Development Center" implemented a survey on budget priorities in the municipality of Vrnjačka Banja. In order to hear the voice of the citizens of Vrnjačka Banja, especially young people, in cooperation with the local self-government of Vrnjačka Banja there was a poll for expressing their views. Read more!
In an effort to foster debate about European perspective and the future of the Western Balkans as an integral part of the EU, we publish Blogs written by experts, practitioners and young people
Bocar Ly, Intern in ALDA Skopje
Education and training are the tools that every country needs to prepare a given generation for the future. The success of the youth depends on the quality of their education, training, opportunities and rights. People coming from the Balkans are facing serious difficulties to integrate universities and training courses located within the European Union. Read more!
Brikena Lena, student at Faculty of Law, University of Tirana, LDA Albania
EU has set some key priorities for Albania to get it ready to join EU such as fight against corruption, which is considered to be an issue of concern as it is prevalent in many areas and it threatens the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. This area has been a particular focus of the European Union since the opening of negotiations. Read more!
To read more blogs please visit links bellow: 
Danube river connecting people and cultures
Danube river connecting people and cultures Beautiful event last night. Culture came back to life with a great spectacle! Thanks to everyone who made it possible for all of us – music and art lovers but also all the citizens. We are very happy and proud that we have this chance to host and enjoy the music of such a fantastic Orchestra and watch our favourite movies outdoor. Read more!
Overcoming past legacies:
Devising the best model for the Western Balkans
The year 2020 has been a critical one for Europe: the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions served as an ultimate test for EU’s solidarity, while Brexit dealt a big blow to EU’s legitimacy and raison d’être. On the bright side, North Macedonia and Albania made a major leap forward by starting EU accession talks after several years of standstill in enlargement policy. Their unwavering determination to join the Union proved that for the countries in the Western Balkans, the EU remains a strategic choice and a role model to follow in the process of societal reform and modernisation. Read more!
Good news from the Balkans!
Balkan Network for Local Democracy
Check out our video gallery and enjoy the clips made from youth for youth! 
Do you want to learn more? 
Visit our web site for more information
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