EU project LADDER was the first European project that Croatian County Association took part in. It lasted three years and gathered 27 partner-countries as well as 19 associates, all from 18 EU countries and 17 countries that are not EU members. LADDER was financed by the European Commission project “Non-State Actors and Local Authorities for Development: raising awareness about development issues and promoting development of education in European Union”.
Focus was at local authorities as drivers for education about development and awareness raising - Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) approach.
The main aim was to empower local authorities for their role in sustainable development processes and sensitizing citizens through DEAR approach.
Furthermore, the DEAR’s main aim was to raise citizens awareness about world as dependent structure and to enable understanding of a given role and responsibilities in the globalized society.
Total project worth was about 4 Million Euros, and Croatian County Association provided about 45 thousand Euros in three years.
Project holder for LADDER is European Association for Local Democracy, ALDA. ALDA is an international non-governmental organisation established in 1999. at the initiative of European Council’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Main goal is to connect and coordinate activities of local democracy agencies. Momentarily, it gathers more than 180 members from 35 European countries. Croatian County Association became member in March 2014.
Among the most important ALDAs activities are promotion of European integration, sustainable development and human rights, projects development and civic initiatives.
Up till now, following activities have been conducted: DEAR approach training (EU level), two DEAR approach trainings on national level in Zagreb and Šibenik and four local trainings in Virovitica, Šibenik, Rijeka and Slavonski Brod as well as competition for the best catchphrase, launching blogs of citizen journalists Maja Vargek and Dominik Bartol, establishment of three national workgroups, focus group about DEAR approach in Karlovac, job shadowing in Strasbourg and two micro-projects on local level.
Managing board of LADDER project – „Local Authorities as Drivers for Development Education and Raising – awareness “– Croatian County Representative was Sanja Bošnjak (Virovitica - Podravina County)
Representatives of Croatian County Association in the work group “South-east Europe” were Marija Ciceli, Međimurje County, Dragan Jelić, The Regional Development Agency for Brod- Posavina County, Ksenija Lacković - Ambruš, The Regional Development Agency for Slavonia and Baranja, Martina Otročak, Virovitica - Podravina County, Ivana Plank, Zagreb County, Melita Sečan, Međimurje County, Martina Sikirić, Zadar County, Snježana Tomašević, Sisak - Moslavina County, Mihaela Tomašević, ReraSD, Lidija Vukojević, Brod - Posavina County, Željka Vuković, VIDRA – The Regional Development Agency for Virovitica - Podravina County. Head of the national work group Martina Otročak.
Representatives of Croatian County Association in the work group “Public private partnership for development” were: Izabela Belić, Brod - Posavina County, Mateja Cah, VIDRA – The Regional Development Agency for Virovitica - Podravina County, Ida Kovač, PORA – The Regional Development Agency od Podravina and Prigorje, Sanja Mihovilić, Krapina -Zagorje County, Nikolina Miočić, Zadar County, Ivana Modrić, Zadar County, Daniel Pavić, Zadar County, Vladimir Šadek, Koprivnica - Križevci County, Marijana Tomičić, Karlovac County, Marija Vučković, Dubrovnik - Neretva County. Head of the national work group was Vladimir Šadek.
Representatives of Croatian County Association in the work group “Youth and Development” were: Mirela Brechelmacher, CTR – The Regional Development Agency of Brod - Posavina County, Hrvoje Grancarić, Zadar County, Nataša Hlaban, Zagorje Development Agency, Ivan Jurković, The Regional Development Agency of Šibenik-Knin County, Filip Kuštro, Youth Assembly of Osijek- Baranja County, Dragica Marač, Primorje- Gorski Kotar County, Marijana Marić Zadar County, Sanja Sabolić, Virovitca- Podravina county, Dorotea Telarović, Osijek- Baranja County, Anita Tenžera, VIDRA – The Regional Development Agency for Virovitica- Podravina County, Ivana Zubak, Virovitca- Podravina County. Head of the national work group was Sanja Sabolić.