About project

1. Title of The Project

ACADEMY OF DEMOKRACY AND DEVELOPMENT” – shaping the local civil society and exchange of knowledge and different skills in solving basic problems of local communities based on the experience of community of Zagórz (Poland) and Villars-sur-Glane (Switzerland).

 2. The range of the project

The essence of the project is to gain by his recipients knowledge and skills of local democracy, government and solving problems of local communities. This mutual transfer of knowledge occurs during the: workshops, visits, lectures and promotional activities with the participation of community leaders representing local communities of Zagórz (Poland) and Villars-sur-Glane (Switzerland). Outlying communities have many features in common: they are both situated in mountain regions ( Bieszczady Mountains and the Alps) which are great tourism regions, they have similar number of residents, and they both are multinational and multicultural. The residents – with mutual benefits – so they can use each other models of democracy, local activity and development and also they can learn how to solve problems in their local communities. Knowledge and skills acquired in this way will serve the development of both communities and their residents.

3. Project objectives

The main objectives of the project – acquire the knowledge and skills of local democracy, local government and solving basic problems of local communities. It will be reached in the course of creative integration of local community leaders of Zagórz and Villars-sur-Glane. Interactions between Poles and Swiss will be the pretext for the transfer of knowledge and the best practices of Swiss civil society organizations to local government of Zagórz and the entities of NGO sector. Thanks to this the goal of the project is compatible with the main objectives of the Partnership Found. Theoretical knowledge transferred during the visit in Poland will be used for practical training workshop whose results will be verified during the return visit of Poles in Switzerland.

4. The benefits of the project:

Despite political changes and great progress in the field of democratization of social life which occurred in Poland after the fall of the communism in 1989, we still need to learn about democracy of the local community from more developed countries. In this context the source of experience and knowledge can be Switzerland – where relations between the cantons (countries) lasted uninterrupted for 700 years, where the elements of direct democracy are still applied. At the same time Poland as the leader of economic and political transformation in Central – Eastern Europe and acting in the presidency in EU in the second half of 2011 also gathered a lot of experience in implementing the principles of democracy, creating civil society, local government, coexistence of different cultures, religions and nationalities, which may be valuable for Swiss partner, as a country which is a conglomerate of similar phenomena. An additional argument for the implementation of the project is similarity between community of Zagórz and Villars-sur-Glane in:

  • Geographical position (below the mountain massifs with high potential for tourism: the Alps and the Carpathians), which makes that the problem of both communities have so much in common, like: environmental protection, enhancing the tourism potential in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, protection against dangers arising from location in mountain regions (floods, strong winds, etc.), using sport and culture in tourism promotion.

  • The number and structure of the population – both communities have similar number of residents with the participation of minorities, religious and cultural, which makes them to built a tolerant, cooperating society, managing to solve problems arising from this; similar number and age structure of population makes similar problems of managing education, jobs and social welfare.

5. Schedule