• Secretary General of ALDA - European Association for Local Democracy, since 1999, in cooperation with the Congress
    Since its early stage having very few members and activities (supported only by the Congress), it reaches now
  • 50 staff members
  • stable 4,5 millions Euro budget
  • more than 300 members (mostly local and regional authorities and civil society),
  • with 450 projects implemented and currently running 60 projects, over 40 countries


ALDA is a French association, registered and based in Strasbourg, with 5 offices (in Italy, France, Brussels (Belgium), Chisinau (Moldova) and Tunis (Tunisia). It coordinates 15 Local Democracy Agencies in Eastern Europe (EAP countries), Norther Africa and Western Balkans

ALDA was created by the Congress and since its birth, I have been its Director and Secretary General. Before this, I was involved in the Local Democracy Agencies’ programme (see later). I cooperated with the Congress since 1996 (Standing Conference), with programmes and political contribution and recommendations. I attended almost all the Congress’ sessions, engaging Congress' members in ALDA's activities as well as in the opening of our 16 Local Democracy Agencies. ALDA developed together with the Congress’ paths (in topics and countries), participating in several programmes activities in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and now in the Southern Neighborhood. In ALDA I am responsible for :

1. Management of an association of local authorities and civil society groups (aiming at good local governance), including animation of the members, organization of the Governing Boards and Bureau, General Assemblies, and working groups. The members were 8 founders and are now 300 from over 40 countries. ALDA manages a growing network of 15 Local Democracy Agencies.

2. Management of staff, with more than 50 people in 5 offices (Strasbourg, Brussels, Vicenza, Chisinau and Tunis), plus consultants and other partners, with definition of staff policies (retribution, evaluation, regulations, motivation and improvement team). The staff is coordinated with regular staff meetings, coordination boards and ad hoc meetings.

3. Development and sustainability: in charge of the development team of identifying resources, from institutional and private sources (European Commission, Council of Europe, members, UNDP, Foundations and more). ALDA has a growing budget of a stable 4,5 millions Euro a year. The sustainability is also based on diversification of resources, matching the scope of the organization (ALDA opened a consultancy firm ALDA+)

4. Projects’ management: with the Project managers, working on the coherence of more than 450 projects since 1999, for an average of 60 projects a year. The coherence, alongside with the SDGs, are based on topics of local governance and priorities of members (environment, migration, gender issues, youth participation, citizens participations, transparency, etc.). The project management means to follow hundreds of partners.

5. Financial management: projects and other activities are monitored and reported (following sponsors’ requirements). ALDA is registered in Strasbourg with activities and offices in many countries. Supported by more than 70% of European Commission funding, ALDA is constantly submitted to audits so far all successfully reported. The financial management implies a careful cash flow management. In 2023, ALDA will be certified ISO9001.

6. Strategy, advocacy and institutional role : Development and proposal of strategies for implementing successfully the mission of ALDA with our members, Board and staff.

Monitoring of the strategies, revision and proposal for changes when necessary and creating means for resilience and empowerment. Representation of ALDA in the institutional events at high level, as an international senior expert towards external stakeholders (Council of Europe and its various bodies, European Commission, Committee of the Regions, ARLEM and CORLEAP, EESC, UNDP and other UN Agencies, and other civil society and local authorities’ actors).

Coordination of the local democracy agencies

I am coordinating the network of the Local Democracy Agencies, together with the regional coordinators of ALDA. The programme was initiated in 1995 by the Congress during the war in Former Yugoslavia and the first one was in Subotica (Serbia). Then it was expanded in all the Balkans and since 2004, it enlarged in Eastern Europe with the LDAs in Georgia, then Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova. In 2010, ALDA started with the programme in Northern Africa and it opened the LDA in Kairouan (Tunisia) and then in Tétouan (Morocco). We are finalizing the 15th LDA in Edremit (Turkiye) and we are working for the enlargement in Middle East and in the rest of the world with the strategy “Getting Global”.

In Ukraine we opened the LDA in Dnipro in 2015 and in Mariupol in 2017.

The LDAs are supported by European local authorities and NGOs which are coordinated for supporting democracy and development policies. A programme to support more LDAs in Ukraine is on going (proposals for Odessa and Vinntiza and maybe Kharkiv). The European partners are more than 100.
The LDAs programme is a very successful one focusing on multilateral decentralized cooperation and city to city diplomacy presented in several occasion as a good practice at the Congress and at the Committee of the Regions.
I have always been among the drives of the process creating synergies and opportunities.
We fundraise for the LDAs, train the staff and develop programmes.

Chair of EPD

In my capacity of ALDA Secretary General, I have been elected, Chair of the Board (relected in 2021). With the Director, I am accompanying the governance and growth of the organisation, strategic vision. EPD has now 12 staff members managed by the Executive Director, Ken Godfrey.

EPD is the organisation clustering Democracy support practitioners, strategic partners of the European Commission and the EEAS. EPD represents a European hub of knowledge and action on democracy support in the world (recently it worked with International IDEA to elaborate recommendations for the Biden Summit for Democracy). ALDA contributes from the local democracy perspective. As Chair of the Board, I lead the work of key representatives from the UK (Westminster Foundation for Democracy), the Netherldands, NIMD, CFI (on media support in France and French speaking countries), and many more.


The LDA was established by the Congress itself as a programme of the Council of Europe. I contributed to the creation of the Local Democracy Embassy (and then Agency) in Sisak Croatia, working together with the European partners, in particular the Association of Local Authorities of the Region Veneto, which led the programme. I supported the application to the Congress at that time, the Standing Conference. My role in Sisak was, partners management, development of programme (towards the European Commission, the Council of Europe and other donors). Under my supervision we reached 8 staff members.

The programmes were oriented to city diplomacy and interethnic dialogue, as well as decentralized cooperation. After the war (just ended), we also provided support to refugees and displaces people. We implemented programmes with creation of team, local and international and reporting to the donors. I was in charge of institutional representation of the LDA with regular attendance at the Steering Committee of the programme that took place twice a year in Strasbourg, organized by the Congress (Standing Conference). I worked with the UN agencies present in the area after the war. I contributed to the changes of the programme, while coordinating the partners (local authorities mainly) and the Council of Europe bodies so to propose the creation of ALDA. I co-drafted the Statute of ALDA and worked hand in hand with the Congress, its Secretary General (Rinaldo Locatelli) and the whole team for the successful transformation of the programme towards ALDA.

Because of this strategic proposal, the LDAs survived and developed and went from 6 to 15