Twenty five young people, under the age of 28, of Greek and non Greek origin from Albania, Armenia, Germany, Georgia, UK, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia and Sweden will attend the 7th meeting of City Councilors and Local Government Officials to take place in Thessaloniki on July 7-12. The meeting, which will be attended by two young city councilors from Greece and two SAE Europe Youth Network members, is hosted by the European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities Abroad.
The final details of the imminent event were discussed in the 2nd meeting of the Network’s Coordinating Committee held today in the offices of SAE in Thessaloniki
The meeting of the Young Elected Officials in Europe will focus on the environment and in a symbolic move they will participate in a bicycle race promoting alternative transportation. The meeting will open at the Municipality of Ampelokipi in Thessaloniki. Participants are also scheduled to visit the Municipality of Kalamaria, Thessaloniki and the Municipality of Petritsi, Serres Prefecture.
European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities Abroad Coordinating Committee President and Solna, Sweden, city councilor since 1992, Giorgos Kontarinis told ANA-MPA that the initiative contributes to the strengthening of relations between young officials elected in local governments in Europe. He added that a meeting held every three years is scheduled to be held in Laconia Prefecture in 2010.
Kontarinis also stated that the Network’s goal is to engage in active cooperation with all municipalities in Greece through the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE). Such cooperation is already underway on Equality and Migration Policy issues, while an effort is being made to bring the Greek Culture Ministry and Melina Mercouri Foundation exhibition on the Parthenon Marbles to Stockholm and later to London.
A conference is scheduled to take place in Tbilisi in 2010 in cooperation with local government officials and the Federation of Greek Associations in Georgia to exchange views and know-how with the former USSR countries.
The Network will cooperate closely with the “Ergani” Center for the Support of Employment and Entrepreneurship of Women to host an exhibition of products of women cooperatives in Northern Greece in a European city.
Cooperation with the Greek Parliament is very good particularly with the Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad. Today’s meeting attended Committee 1st Vice-President Grigoris Niotis and member Panagiotis Skandalakis. In statements to ANA-MPA, the two MPs expressed satisfaction for the Network’s evolution recorded since its establishment in 2001.
The European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities Abroad was established in the fall of 2001 following an initiative by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE), the Greek foreign ministry, the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and SAE Europe Region with the support of the Greek Parliament.
Today, it numbers over 250 members, all Greeks elected in Local and Regional Authorities in most of the countries in Europe from the Ural Mountains to the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean.