Study visit to Bruxelles and Gent

Within the project "For good governance at local level: education, support and promotion", for the attendants of the ODRAZ's "School for good governance and participative development" a study visit to Bruxelles and Gent was organized from 15th to 18th November 2016. 30 participants got acquainted with the work of the European institutions and our representations in Bruxelles, examples of best practice of cooperation of the City of Gent with its citizens and international civil society organizations.

On the first day of the study visit, groups of participants got acquainted with the work of the European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions, which are advisory boards of the European Union. On this occasion, they participated in the session of the Section for External Relations of the EESC. They also visited the EU Parliament (office of the MP Ivana Maletić), where they got acquainted with the scope and the manner of work of that institution. Together with the Croatian MEPs, they participated in the commemoration of 25 years of the fall of Vukovar.

On the second day they visited the City of Gent, where the representatives of the City presented how they inform the citizens in the early phase and the ways in which they are included in the processes of planning of the development of local communities. On the same day, they visited the best practice example of inclusion of citizens in the community life - De Koer Initiative, which deals with the renewal of the abandoned buildings with the aim of using them for social-cultural activities in the local community. We have also seen innovative models of co-creation and "bottom-up" approach and socialized with the initiators of the initiatives.

Program of the last day of the study visit was reserved for the acquaintance with the work of Croatian representations in Bruxelles. Along with the Representation of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, who were the hosts of the meeting, participants of the study visit got acquainted with the Croatian Regions Office and Representation office of Dubrovnik-Neretva region. In the end, participants visited ECAS (The Citizen Action Service), Bruxelles-based non-profit international organisation with a pan-European membership. ECAS provides legal aid to European citizens and fosters open and inclusive decision-making.

*Project "For good governance at local level: education, support and promotion" was implemented in the years 2015 and 2016 in the area of four counties - Sisak-Moslavina County, Šibenik-Knin County, Zagreb County and the City of Zagreb, in the partnership with the NGO Zvonimir from Knin, LAG Zrinska gora - Turopolje from Petrinja and the Association of Cities in Croatia. The project was financed by the European Commission and co-financed by the by the Office of Cooperation with the NGOs.

citizen participationstudy visit to Bruxelles