A Regional project on “Promoting deliberative democracy and innovative approaches to citizen participation in South-East Europe” was launched on 18 April 2024 in Bar, Montenegro. It brought together local elected representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and members of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities in South-East Europe (NALAS).

“This project supported by Germany focuses on democratic processes and innovation in citizen participation – a core principle of human rights and thriving democracies. It is in line with our commitment to European values and to meeting the needs and interests of citizens”, stated Bernd VÖHRINGER, Vice-President of the Congress in his opening address.

The launching event served as an opportunity to exchange and discuss the features of deliberative democracy, a key element of the Reykjavik principles of democracy.

The Congress support to the processes in the region was highlighted by President Vöhringer, on the same day, at the opening of XIX General Assembly of NALAS which celebrates its 20th anniversary. NALAS was praised as a committed and reliable partner of the Congress, for its achievements and in addressing the challenges that our societies are facing.

On the margins of the launch, Congress Director Claudia Luciani met with Marash Dukaj, Minister of Public Administration to discuss the follow up to Congress monitoring of the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Montenegro adopted in March 2024. Meetings were also held with Dusan Raicevic, Mayor of Bar, newly elected President of NALAS, as well as with representatives of the international community.

The project “Promoting deliberative democracy and innovative approaches to citizen participation in South-East Europe” is implemented by the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, with the financial support of Germany. The project aims to strengthen democratic processes in the South-East of Europe and to enhance the skills and capacities of local authorities and their association. It promotes deliberative democracy and innovative forms of citizen participation as complements to representative democracy in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

President Vöhringer speech

Ambassador Felten speech

NALAS General Assembly

Flickr Gallery

*All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

This article was originally published on Council of Europe website.