NALAS is a Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South East Europe. The Network brings together 13 Associations which represent roughly 9000 local authorities, directly elected by more than 80 million citizens of this region.
The NALAS Secretariat, based in Skopje, is responsible for the overall coordination and the implementation of the activities.
NALAS was established in 2001 at the first forum of cities and regions of South East Europe, organized by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. The network was established under the auspices of the Stability Pact for South East Europe and the Council of Europe. NAMRB is among the founding associations. In July 2005 it registered as a non-governmental organization of associations of local authorities from Southeast Europe with headquarters in Strasbourg. The network carries out activities related to the promotion of the processes of democratization and decentralization in Southeastern Europe, in accordance with the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. NALAS also creates partnerships between associations of local authorities in Southeast Europe, promoting stability and security in the region and contributing to the process of European integration and enlargement of the European Union.
The NALAS members associations of local authorities from the Southeastern Europe countries are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Republic of North Macedonia, Moldova, Republika Srpska, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro. They represent over 9,000 local authorities, directly elected by over 80 million citizens.
The General Assembly (GA) is the NALAS supreme body, which takes make decisions the Association’s activities. The GA convenes once a year, the cost of participation of the delegates is borne by NALAS, and NAMRB provides expert and logistical support. Each member association is represented by two delegates /and their deputies/, who has the right to vote. For the 2019-2023 term, the delegates of NAMRB in the General Assembly of NALAS are the mayors of the municipalities of Kyustendil and Pavlikeni, Mr. Petar Paunov and Mr. Emanuil Manolov. Their deputies are the mayors of Harmanli and Antonovo, Ms. Maria Kirkova and Ms. Hayredin Mehmedov.
The Network is headed by a President elected by the General Assembly and a delegate to it. In the period 2009-2012 the President of NALAS was Vladimir Moskov, Mayor of Gotse Delchev Municipality.
According to the amendments to the Statute of the Network from March 2011, the President is elected for a term of one year, on the basis of a rotation system. The rotation scheme is based on the alphabetical order of the first letter of the member associations name in English and is approved by the General Assembly. The NALAS also has three vice-presidents. On the rotation schedule, the first vice-president becomes the next president of the following year, and the second vice-president becomes the first vice-president, and so on.
The President of NALAS for the period 2020-2021 is Emanuil Manolov, Mayor of Pavlikeni Municipality, who was elected unanimously after the refusal of Tatiana Badan, Mayor of the Municipality of Selemet (Moldova) to take over his mandate. His deputies are Antonio Ratkovic, Mayor of Sombor Municipality (Serbia), Lokman Cairici, Mayor of Bagcilar Municipality (Turkey) and Dusan Raicevic , Mayor of the municipality of Bar (Montenegro).
The Association is managed by a Committee of Regional Coordinators/Country Liaison Officers (Management Board). Its composition includes: the President, the three Vice-Presidents, the Executive Directors of the member associations, the Executive Director of the network. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly and ensures the normal functioning of the network, meets at least 4 times a year.
The functioning of NALAS is resourced by a secretariat in the city of Skopje (Republic of North Macedonia), which is headed by an Executive Director. The Secretariat is responsible for the operational management of the Association, as well as for communication and domestic and international relations. To support the work of the network since 2010, national coordinators have been appointed in each of the member associations.
Within the network, 6 working groups have been established on specific topics of great importance for local government in South East Europe. They are focused on: local finance, urban planning, waste and water management, institutional development, energy efficiency and sustainable tourism. Members of the working groups are municipal experts from each member association. Within the working groups, experts share experience, develop and implement projects on different topics on behalf of the network. Each working group is coordinated by a "leading association", with NAMRB leading the group on financial decentralisation. Twice a month, NALAS issues and distributes an electronic newsletter presenting activities carried out by member associations, as well as planned ones.
The network offers SEE associations and so-called. Quick Response Service. The service benefits member associations that want to familiarize themselves with and apply the experience of other associations on issues and issues related to the competences of local authorities in the respective country.
In recent years, the role of NALAS internationally has been strengthened, with the network having observer status in the Committee of the Regions and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. NALAS is also a member of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR). Partnerships have been established with local government associations from the United States, China, South Africa, etc.