Building Cooperation between Asia and Europe

BRIDGING  partnership amongst local governments and improving governance capacity have served as the basis consideration to organize a dialogue in Makati on April 29-30th, 2015. UCLG ASPAC worked with the European Voice of Local And Regional Authorities for development (PLATFORMA) and other partners such as Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) and the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) to prepare the meeting that was hosted by Makati City, League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP). The meeting gathered local leaders, national associations of local governments and of the civil society, national governments in Asia Pacific and European delegates to foster a partnership dialogue towards better performance of governance.

Four objectives were discussed in the meeting including:

  1. To have an exchange on the content of the Communication “Empowering Local Authorities in partner countries for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes,” published by the European Commission in May 2013;
  2. To exchange information on the challenges and opportunities to support development, decentralisation and local government advocacy in the Asia-Pacific region towards central governments and donors;
  3. To understand the support mechanisms and instruments available to local and regional governments, with recommendations on how to reinforce decentralised cooperation between local and regional actors from EU member states and partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region; and lastly,
  4. To understand the role of local governments in the local economic development process and strategy.

UCLG ASPAC mobilized its members to attend the meeting, concerning the essential topic discussed and its relevancy with the mission to build capacity of local governments in the region. The seminar highlighted the essential role of local and regional governments in developing cooperation, as well as specific thematic issues of local economic development. An open debate on the issues and problems affecting the region were conducted during the meeting, to deliver recommendations on strategies to empower local governments to build strong and democratic local governance, decentralization and more effective development outcomes. The aim was for members to obtain benefits from the exchange of knowledge both from partners and their peers.