More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. With the increasing speed of urbanization and the effect of globalization, the roles, opportunities, responsibilities and areas of influence of cities are growing. In the “age of cities” that we live in, cities as well as countries now operate in interaction with each other as global actors, establish relationships with their sister cities, create international city networks and develop thematic collaborations with many international stakeholders.
Cities which are actually the starting point of most of the global problems today, play a key role in the solution of these problems. Moreover, cities contribute to the establishment of a global culture of peace and coexistence. Hence, we see local diplomacy emerging as an approach that is different from traditional diplomacy but that also supports it. Local diplomacy which utilizes many soft power elements as a tool, push the cities that can be defined as implementation and result-oriented mechanisms to the forefront at the global level.
Marmara Municipalities Union also executes various activities to raise awareness about local diplomacy for the local governments in Marmara Region, to lay the groundwork for information and experience sharing, to spread good practices and to create cooperation networks. Within the framework of the Local Diplomacy Platform that consists of representative of units responsible for the external communications of member municipalities, it is encouraged to use local diplomacy as an effective tool in developing a culture of cooperation, solidarity and dialogue with international stakeholders, building an international peace and reconciliation environment, and solving global problems with local implications such as climate change and migration.
MMU works to ensure that local diplomacy activities of municipalities comply with national policies and international conventions to which those are affiliated, to link them to the global agenda and especially the Sustainable Development Goals, and to shape the national and international norms and agenda according to the demands and needs of municipalities. The Platform organizes activities to support the work of local governments and reinforce their capacities in areas such as diplomacy and rules of protocol, access to international projects, competitions and funding appeal, participation in international meetings, sister city relations, relations with international city networks and organizations, public diplomacy, and project management.
MBB in 1999 at the initiative of the Congress of local and regional authorities of the Council of Europe was founded and the promotion of civic participation and good governance primarily at the local level, and the development of cooperation between local governments and civil society based in Strasbourg at the European Association of local democracy (ALDA) since 2017 is a member.
With more than 250 members, including local government and non-governmental organizations from 40 different countries, as well as individual members, ALDA is a large network and information platform that facilitates information sharing and cooperation between its members and other partners. ALDA, ALDA performs work towards the achievement of active European citizenship in Europe, the Western Balkans and the neighbouring regions of Europe, good governance, citizen participation, European integration, and Adam-i for the promotion of decentralised cooperation and training programs, project assistance and for special purposes including capacity development activities under the title of expert in buy in plus 3 operates.
For information about ALDA: www.alda-europe.eu
A goodwill agreement was signed between MBB and the Lebanese Association of Municipalities Al-Fayhaa on 13 December 2010 in Tripoli, Lebanon, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience and developing cooperation in the field of local governments. Within the framework of the signed protocol, Lebanese local government representatives were provided to develop cooperation and sister city relations with MBB members and to conduct mutual visits, and the ground was set for sharing experience in the field of local government.
For information about Al-Fayhaa: www.urbcomfayhaa.gov.lb
MBB has been an observer member of the Organization of Arab cities (ATO) since 2010. In order to improve the friendly relations and information exchange between Arab and Turkish cities, the Organization of Arab cities and the Association of Marmara municipalities signed a “friendship and Cooperation Agreement” in Jeddah on January 11, 1982. The contract in question; Planning, Organization, city management, public housing, etc. it covers areas of.
The organization of Arab cities is a regional organization specializing in municipal services and urban services in the Arab world. Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Libya and Egypt are among the countries that are members. The ATO has observer status before the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
For information about the ATO: www.arabtowns.org
With MBB, on 24 February 2011 between the European Commission Directorate General for energy sustainable energy action plans preparation, adoption and implementation support and guidance to municipalities in fulfilling the various obligations, such as supporting the agreement that requires agency Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina was signed in.
For information about the General Directorate of energy of the European Commission: ec.europa.eu
Since 2014, MBB has been a member of the United Cities and local governments Middle East and West Asia Regional Organization (UCLG-mewa) with local government status. UCLG-MEWA aims to create cooperation between local governments in the region, protect the values, goals and interests of local government, and become a unified voice and spokesperson for democratic understanding of local government in the world.
For information about UCLG-MEWA: www.uclg-mewa.org/tr
A goodwill protocol was signed between MBB and the China International Association of Friendship Cities on September 22, 2011 in Beijing, China to promote knowledge and experience sharing and cooperation in the field of local governments. In accordance with the signed protocol, representatives of Chinese local governments were provided with cooperation and mutual visits with MBB members, and the basis for sharing experience in the field of local governments was prepared.
For information about the China International Association of Friendship Cities: english.cifca.org.cn
On 26 October 2009, Bursa signed the cooperation protocol in Turkey with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience and developing cooperation between the MBB and the Palestinian Association of local governments (APLA) in the field of local governments. Within the framework of the signed protocol, Palestinian local government representatives were provided to develop cooperation and sister city relations with MBB members and to conduct mutual visits, and the ground was set for sharing experience in the field of local government.
MBB has been a full member of the network of local government associations in South-East Europe (NALAS) since 2008. NALAS is a non-political, independent and Multicultural Network that is in close contact with the Congress of local and regional governments of the Council of Europe. Headquartered in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, NALAS contributes to increasing the capacity of local governments in the region, working in accordance with the principles of the European Charter of local governments autonomy. NALAS; It consists of the National Local Government associations of Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, as well as the MBB. NALAS is a very large network of 14 local government associations from 12 countries from South-Eastern Europe and their representative population of about 80 million and 9,000 local governments. MBB is actively involved in working groups and projects in various fields within NALAS.
For information about NALAS: www.nalas.eu
MBB has been an associate member of the Organization of Islamic capitals and cities (OICC) since 2010. The organization of Islamic capitals and cities is an international platform for local government and was established in 1980 as an affiliate of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The members of the organization of Islamic capitals and cities are composed of capitals and cities of Islamic countries around the world. Its headquarters are in the Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Jeddah. With this membership, MBB became the first Turkish local government platform to establish a corporate partnership with the Arab and Islamic world. In addition, MBB has been an element of dialogue in the relations of other institutions with the Arab world with this privileged relationship.
For information about OICC: www.oicc.org
A cooperation protocol was signed between MBB and KTBB on 4 March 2004 in order to continue the cooperation that began in 1984 more effectively and efficiently, and to engage in joint activities and initiatives. The Joint Board of MBB-KTBB, established under the protocol, also meets in Turkey and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus during certain periods.
For information about KTBB: www.ktbb.org
A goodwill agreement was signed in Istanbul, Turkey on January 26, 2011 between the Association of Marmara municipalities and the Moldovan Congress of local governments in order to improve the exchange of knowledge and experience and cooperation in the field of local governments. In accordance with the signed protocol, local government representatives were provided with cooperation and mutual visits with MBB members, and the basis for sharing experience in the field of local government was prepared.
For information about CALM: calm.md
MBB has been a full member of the Union of Municipalities of the Turkic world since 2010. In 2003, the Istanbul-based Turkish world municipalities Union of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Republic of Dagestan of the Russian Federation, Northern Cyprus, Turkish Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Macedonia, The Republic of Kosovo the Republic of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Hungary, Kazakhstan from countries where there are member municipalities and associations. The Association of municipalities of Marmara aims to develop cooperation with the Association of Municipalities of the Turkic world and to carry out joint activities.
For information about TDBB: www.tdbb.org.tr