The First Conference of the European and African Regional assemblies PDF  | Print |

Decentralization: The New Dimension of Peace, Democracy and Development

The "I Conference of the European and Africal Regional Assemblies" was organised by the Regional Assembly of Tuscany, the Conference of European Regional Assemblies (CALRE) and by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

On this occasion, more than 100 representatives of local and regional assemblies, governments, international organizations, NGOs, volunteer’s associations, civil society and religious institutions from Europe and Africa met in Florence.

The choice of organizing a conference about decentralization stems from the recognition of the pivotal role played by local and regional authorities in promoting local substainable development and participative democracy, and spreading a culture of tolerance, peace and solidarity.

Moreover, in Africa the policy of decentralization represents one of the most remarkable political developments recently emerged from the process of institutional reforms that begun in the 90s. In fact, while economic development was initially centrally planned, nowadays the decentralization process allows local communities to contribute to sustainable and participative development.

Moving from this perspective, the event which took place in Florence on the 17th and 18th of September 2004 was meant to be a forum to exchange experiences and discuss obstacles and opportunities to decentralization among European regional assemblies - that have substantial experience in autonomous decision-making - and African local authorities that are gaining increasing autonomy. The Conference aimed to support the decentralization process in Africa as a key instrument in achieving good governance and local development, and to encourage democratic participation.

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