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Resolution 155 (2003)1 on the Network of Associations of Local and Regional Authorities of South-East Europe "NALAS-SEE"

The Congress,

1. Following the Forums of Cities and Regions of South-East Europe (held in Skopje, Istanbul and Novi Sad) and further to Recommendation 112 and Resolution 135, both adopted on 6 June 2002;

2. Recalls the terms of reference approved by the Bureau on 2 July 2002 giving the Ad Hoc Working Group of Local and Regional Representatives of South-East Europe responsibility for “contributing to the development of the Network of Associations of Regional Authorities of South-East Europe, making sure that associations of regions, in particular the Association of Albanian Regions, also take part”;

3. Welcomes the establishment of the Network of Associations of Local and Regional Authorities of South-East Europe (the Nalas network) and the training seminars held in 2002-2003 for the associations’ managerial staff and members and for experts from South-east Europe;

4. Thanks the Swiss authorities (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – SDC) for the significant support they have provided under the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe to aid the development of the network since its inception, as well as the Greek Association of Municipalities (KEDKE) for its support of individual activities and the Soros Foundation’s “Local Government Initiative” (LGI) for its future support;

5. Thanks the National Association of Municipalities of the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB) for contributing to the launch of the network as early as 2001 and for the secretarial assistance given in 2002, as well as the Romanian Federation of Municipalities (FALR) for providing the network’s secretariat in 2003;

6. Aware of:

a. the importance of the part played by the region’s national associations of local and regional authorities with a view to greater decentralisation in the countries of South-east Europe;

b. the material difficulties encountered by some of those associations, which may prevent them from fully fulfilling the role expected of them by their members,

7. Thanks the Foundation for the Economy and Sustainable Development of the Regions of Europe (FEDRE) for conducting a field survey among the associations belonging to the network between mid-October 2002 and late February 2003;

8. Undertakes to continue lending the network political and material support, with the aim of:

a. making its work better known, in particular among members of the CLRAE, the European Union (EU) and the EU’s Committee of the Regions (especially by means of an information stand), enhancing the interactive functions of its web-site, http://www.nalas-see.org, and publicising the results of its activities;

b. establishing appropriate structures from the legal, human resources, technical and financial standpoints;

c. diversifying its activities, in addition to the workshops already organised on a regular basis, in an effort to reach a larger number of beneficiaries and by launching pilot projects in tune with the associations’ national priorities (training, strengthening the associations’ lobbying capacity, supply of services and expert advice to their members, etc.);

d. developing liaison activities between members of the network and international and European associations of local authorities (CEMR, AER, IULA, UTO, etc.) so as to implement joint projects and facilitate the member associations' integration in international and European co-operation activities.

1 Debated and adopted by the Congress on 22 May 2003, 3rd Sitting (see Document CG (10) 10, draft resolution presented by Mr S. Sofianski, rapporteur).

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