On 1 December 2020, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe organised, jointly with the national association of local authorities from Moldova, a webinar on “Advocacy for policy change – experiences of local government associations”. This event, which brought together around 100 participants, provided an opportunity to exchange on strategies for advocacy with national associations of local and regional authorities from Bulgaria, Latvia, Norway, Romania and Ukraine, as well as the Network of Associations of Local Authorities in South-East Europe. Members of the Administrative Council of the Congress of Local Authorities of the Republic of Moldova (CALM) showed particular interest in the experience of peers in local self-government and territorial reforms.

Gunn Marit Helgesen, Congress Vice-President and rapporteur on the situation of local and regional democracy in the Republic of Moldova, recalled the challenges faced in this regard. “Political dialogue and our co-operation consist in providing recommendations for local democracy and supporting associations of territorial authorities in various fields, including development of local self-government and capacity building of local authorities”, she explained. In her capacity as Vice-President of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, she shared her views on the role of national associations in representing local governments in a pluralistic manner, speaking with a unified voice and fostering an open and inclusive dialogue.

CALM President Tatiana Badan recalled that their work aims to promote decentralisation and local democracy in the Republic of Moldova, and welcomed the initiative to strengthen the association’s advocacy capacity. . “This webinar is important to make our voice heard, bring us even closer to citizens and discover innovative strategies to improve advocacy”, she stressed.

The webinar is part of a capacity development path designed to support and enhance the advocacy and policy-influencing skills of CALM decision makers. Several workshops with mayors, led by advocacy experts, were organised by the Congress to discuss strategies and examine various ways to increase their impact. CALM members also worked on a draft action plan on advocacy for local finances.

Building on the results of this co-operation, the Congress will seek to continue supporting efforts towards good governance at sub-national level in the country, within the framework of the upcoming Action Plan for the Republic of Moldova for 2021-2024.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is currently implementing the project “Strengthening the culture of dialogue and consultation of local authorities in the Republic of Moldova” in the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan for the Republic of Moldova 2017-2020. The project aims at strengthening the institutional capacities of the national association of local and regional authorities, CALM, in the areas of representation and policy dialogue, good governance, municipal management and quality service delivery.