ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, is a membership based organisation established in 1999 at the initiative of the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. ALDA works on the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level, focusing on activities that facilitate cooperation between local authorities and civil society in the European Union and its Neighbourhood. The assumption underlying its importance, is that strengthen local democracy and local governance is a fundamental element for securing peace, equity, human rights and economic and social growth in the community. Therefore, supporting actions and policies towards local democracy is an essential part of the European Union approach to governance, democracy, economy and peace. As a membership based organisation, ALDA gathers more than 180 members - including local authorities, associations of local authorities and non-governmental organisations - from over 35 countries. It is funded through membership fees as well as project funding from the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and other public and private donors. What makes ALDA's work unique is that it is based on the method of multilateral decentralised cooperation. This method involves a multi-stakeholder approach, which focuses on strong partnerships between local authorities and civil society organinisations. These partnerships create positive synergy and ensure that common goals are reached jointly and successfully. In the framework of promoting good governance and citizen participation at the local level ALDA works in various themes, such as European integration, decentralisation, civic initiatives and volunteering, human rights, and sustainable economic development.