Oct 5, 2023

Exploring Participative Governance through EU-Funded WeLead Project

Young professionals from the Western Balkans gathered in Tirana, Albania, to participate in the workshop focused on participative governance and listening on a bigger scale. Additionally, they took part in a study visit to several public institutions. These activities were part of the WeLearn and WeExperience components within the EU-funded "WeLead: EU Scheme for young professionals in the Western Balkans" (WeLead) project.

During the workshop participants learned why participatory governance is important, and explored the methods and tools for its practical implementation. Representatives from the European Commission played a crucial role in enriching the discussions. Andrea Erdei, Policy Officer, DG R&I, Laure Baillargeon, Policy Officer, DG GROW, and Ian Anderson, Active Senior, DG HR, shared valuable insights based on their experiences with the practical application of participatory approaches. Participants were guided through the process by skilled trainers and facilitators, Adrijana Strnad and Petra Zalo┼żnik. To transition from the workshop and the subsequent study visit, a cultural activity was included in the program. This activity allowed participants to explore some of Tirana's and Kruja`s landmarks and provided them with a rich cultural experience.

As part of the study visit, the group first visited the Prime Minister's office, where they were warmly received by representatives from the Policy and EU Integration Department. At the Central Bank of Albania, participants had an opportunity to learn about the process and challenges in the EU Integration process and visit the Museum of the Bank of Albania. Next, they visited the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, representatives from the Albanian School of Public Administration (ASPA) came to meet with the group, fostering further opportunities for knowledge and experience exchange.

Additionally, participants were introduced to the "Star Power Game," a simulation game designed to explore the dynamics of power, leadership, and diversity within organizations or systems. In this game, leaders are given unlimited powers to make and change the rules of the simulation.

To conclude the workshop and study visit program, a reflection and feedback circle provided participants with the opportunity to share their thoughts, insights, and feedback on the overall experience. This reflection session helped consolidate the knowledge gained during the program. The events took place between September 25 and 30, 2023.