Latvian local elected representatives meet their counterparts in Brussels
A delegation of Latvian local elected representatives led by their national association LALRG met with their counterparts from Anderlecht municipality and Brulocalis, the association of municipalities from Brussels-Capital Region, on 29 November, to discuss decentralised cooperation projects and exchange best practices.
One of the aims of this exchange was to explore untapped opportunities for Latvian municipalities regarding inter-municipal cooperation and decentralised cooperation projects beyond traditional partners from the Eastern Partnership. To this end, Brulocalis presented its municipal international cooperation programme (“Programme CIC”) implemented between Brussels-Capital Region municipalities, including Anderlecht, and municipalities in Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Morocco.
Jean-Michel Reniers (Brulocalis) highlighted that these five-year programmes, funded by the Belgian government, are entirely co-designed between municipalities from both sides in terms of thematic and objectives, ensuring reciprocity. Regarding priority areas, the current programme (2022-2026) focuses on local economic development, well-being and integration of target groups such as women, youth, and migrants, and improvement of local public services regarding civil status.
As a concrete example, Julien Milquet, Alderman for International Relations at Anderlecht Municipality and Anaïs Marie, in charge of International Relations at the municipality, shared their experience of cooperation with the municipality of Marsassoum, Senegal. The Anderlecht-Marsassoum cooperation, focusing on local economic development, received the first prize of the 2022 PLATFORMAwards.
Peer-to-peer exchanges of best practices have proven to be an efficient tool for enhanced and improved standards of decentralised cooperation practices.