The Hague Academy for Local Governance started in November 2013 with the kick-off of a new training and exchange programme to strengthen the leadership skills of government institutions in Turkey, Serbia and Albania. The training is part of a larger programme by VNG International that aims to promote leadership, cooperation and effectiveness in the public security sector in these countries. In January 2014 the first group of Turkish civil servants visted The Hague.

The training programme on leadership and good governance aims to improve strategic leadership and practices of good governance by decision-makers at the Ministries of Justice and Home Affairs, police and local authorities in the target countries. The training will be supported by a security benchmark in pilot municipalities as tool for improved performance and standard setting. Multi-stakeholder workshops will increase the capacity of government practitioners to include civil society groups in the policy and decision-making process to promote a culture of tolerance and anti-discrimination.

The activities are funded by the Matra CoPROL-programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs that supports government-to-government cooperation on the Rule of Law with EU pre-accession countries. The Hague Academy will implement the project together with a.o. the Dutch Ministries of Justice and Home Affairs, the Netherlands Association of Municipalities, the Ombudsman, Amnesty International and the National Bureau for Integrity of Civil Servants. Other partners in the programme are the Center for International Legal Cooperation and the Dutch Institute for Public Administration.