International Conference on "Decentralized Cooperation Regions and Cities for Development" was held in the Kingdom of Belgium on July 10-11of this year where the Kutaisi City Mayor Shota Murgulia was invited to attend with working visit. Within the visit, meetings were held with representatives of various European institutions, international organizations, EU member states and local self-government representatives. Discussions focused on the goals and means of decentralized co-operation with the local and regional authorities on the EU 2030 Action Plan. The conference was organized by the Council of Europe and the European Regional Committee, which included about 600 delegates from different countries. Kutaisi Mayor Shota Murgulia held meetings with Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of the ALDA. Within the visit, Kutaisi Mayor Shota Murgulia presented Kutaisi from the Eastern Partnership countries. He talked about civil societys engagement mechanisms in management and support of education (which involves active involvement of citizens in decision making processes), as well as strengthening local self-governments, promoting democratic processes. "Decentralized cooperation is one of the main tools for development of cooperation on the international and local level. Decentralized cooperation has a lot of benefits for both EU member states and non-member countries. The main initiative is the involvement of civil society in local governance and the creation of conditions that will be based on trust, awareness raising, involvement and active participation in decision making processes. This is the way to democratic development. Today, Eastern Partnership countries face challenges and opportunities at the same time, which is linked to decentralized cooperation. The main objective of decentralization is to provide an independent initiative and encourage it, and its goal is to ensure the stability of social forms. The protection and strengthening of local self-governance in various European countries is an important axis for the construction of Europe based on the principles of democratization and decentralization of government. "- noted Shota Murgulia.  In the deepening of partnership relations the role of organizations such as" European Association of Local Democracy Agency "(ALDA) and" Local Democracy Agency Georgia "(LDA Georgia) should be noted. The NALAGs active role in the strengthening of local self-governments should also be noted. Its role is to improve local self-government system and develop local democracy, support decentralization of state power and develop local self-government institutions.


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