From the 25th to the 27th of September, the transnational thematic conference "The new European Rural Areas: Innovative Local Development Strategies and Historic Villages" within the project #EuSAVE was held in Kumrovec. Croatia. The European Project #EuSAVE strives to create, promote and consolidate a European Network of Intelligent Historical Villages through local development strategies based on the opportunities offered by Cultural Heritage.
Emilija Dolovački, as a representative of the project Regional Youth Compact for Europe, took part in the panel „Innovative citizens Innovators: involving citizens in the decision-making process on local development”. She talked about the importance of involving citizens in the EU integration process, especially at the local level, since local authorities are one of the most important actors for sharing the EU values and implementing EU standards. The administrative capacities of local governments are key to the successful implementation of all the reforms.
She highlighted that more than 70% of the EU acquis communautaire is implemented on the local level. Emilija has explained how Chapters 19, 23 and 24 have a direct effect on every-day life of citizens. Finally, she related how the Regional Youth Compact for Europe project represents a good practice of the connecting EU integration (particularly Chapters 19, 23 and 24) with local CSOs, explaining how the project aims to empower local CSOs, particularly youth organizations to more effectively participate in the process of monitoring of the EU integration process and reforms. Emilija also presented what project brings to the local level:
It initiates local workshops, awareness-raising and advocacy actions engaging young people to participate more effectively in local public life.
- Reinforces the role of civil society and local public authorities in strengthening democratic governance principles through Community multi-stakeholders platforms “Monitoring Reforms Locally – Good Practice Becomes Our Practice”
- Improves knowledge of local CSOs to analyze public policies, to lead a social dialogue and to influence the reforms through various training and programs
The project “Regional Youth Compact for Europe” implemented by the Center for Democracy Foundation, European ALDA network and the ALDA – Western Balkans Network for Local Democracy, CRTA, Youth Act and Sodem. This project is funded by the European Union and the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.