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Asking for opinions of the participants

Here lie some short overviews expressed from the persons who participated in the project LTBinEU. We have asked for their views and impressions from their experience as participants during activities and events of the project.
Are there any concrete outputs and advantages that they consider beneficial from their participation in the event?
Are there any emerging outcomes, lessons or any interesting findings that they have learned during the events that could be passed on to their association/organisation/institution or other stakeholders?
These are their answers…


Karanikolopoulos Sakis (Athanasios)

Representative of NGO "synErgasia", for his participation in the 2nd event at Santa Venera (Malta)

“During the event in Malta we have tried in principal to introduce our organization and search for similar organizations of same interests in other European cities. Although there was not the communication immediacy we hoped for, we believe that the meeting was useful because through the seminars and interpersonal discussions we have learned many things about concerns, problems and ways of confrontation on similar topics from the other partner cities involved.
The contacts obtained and synchronization through social networks creates an important connecting channel as well as a dynamic direction in the project itself. We believe that these contacts are valuable for future transnational actions between the cities involved.
For our local NGO perhaps the most important is that it acquired international friends with whom there is a possibility of direct contact. This potential can be utilized to jointly assert core values which are degraded the recent years in some areas of EU.
We exchanged views on waste management and water resources and shared our concerns about the increasing pressure of migration in the countries mainly of south. We found common ground in terms of friendly-accessible cities for people with disabilities.
This is only a short list, since during the sessions other issues of interest equally intriguing have arisen out of the discussion framework.
All these opinions and aspects should be disseminated in our small local communities by all appropriate means and particularly through internet. The diffusion of experiences gives rise to debate. The debate generates ideas and innovations.
In my opinion this is the essential element of this project. All this accumulated knowledge to become property of every small community so that we feel Europe little and closer. To understand that distance is not a problem for those who feel and are friends...”


João António Martins dos Santos

Assistant to the Mayor, for his participation in the 3rd event in Lousã (Portugal)

“This project was extremely positive because it allowed me to learn from different experiences and perspectives when approaching issues in my Council. Also it enhanced my vision of EU and the spirit of collaboration between different countries.
I learned that the responses given regarding different issues vary from country to country. I’ve learned that the problems that small cities have are very similar and that there is more than one possible approach and solution to them.
The time management was the most difficult part of the problem because the experiences and the richness of information from every delegation was so much that the time always seemed short to learn everything.”


Joel Carlos de Matos Cunha Fernandes

Tourism Manager, for his participation in the 3rd event in Lousã (Portugal)

 “The entire project was very positive. As tourism manager it gave me the possibility to promote my territory to different countries while at the same time it gave me a more accurate idea of the area of tourism management is treated in other countries. It also allowed for the establishment of touristic networks and partnerships.
Tourism is all about understanding different cultures, backgrounds and welcoming different clients. This project allowed me to better understand the countries that we’re part of this network.
The length of the meetings was, perhaps, the less positive art, because with more time, the results would’ve been ever better.”


Prof. Leonidas Papadimitriou

Deputy Mayor of Kastoria city (Greece) on culture-education-programming promotion of old city-lake purging, for his participation in the 4th Event at Bram (France)

“The meaning of people of small cities of Europe to get together and discuss various aspects of their lives in their countries and to compare the similarities and differences between the European countries is an extremely good experience. It is exactly what we need in order some time later a real unification of Europe to be a reality. All the delegations became so close each other that, we believe, this target is visible and very possible.
The most important outcome of this visit was to see in practice the education system the area of Bram uses especially in elementary schools. Our education people kept a lot of important information which we will try to establish in Kastoria also. One of our Education people of the delegation holds a very special position in this kind of education, which means she is able to introduce these experiences to Kastoria.
It was very interesting our visit to the small but very important new museum in Bram. It is something we need in our area especially for the findings we have in the area of Kastoria at the oldest Lake foundation City in the whole Europe, more than 7000 years old. Excellent experience for us.
Even though nobody of our delegation had to do with business and production, our visit to some specific business activities were very interesting. The factory that produces all kinds of oil from different plants was one of them and the other one was a fish farm for fresh water. Since in Kastoria there is a quite large lake, this might be an excellent experience to establish something similar.
The most important benefit of the meeting was the very strong friendship we established all delegations. We believe that it is the best way to create the right social environment for the final target, which is the real unification of Europe.
The difficulty we had some times to communicate because of the language problem was overcome either by that the delegates were trying hard to contact other people by heart or by using some people knowing languages better than others.
The only problem we have indicated was that the whole time schedule of the program was very tight and actually we had no time to see even the city of Bram, with its peculiar spiral construction.”


Joe Carbonaro

Seg Sub-committee Sports, Youths & Culture, for his participation in the 5th event in Calabria (Italy)

“The fifth event was an excellent meeting as given the chance to meet the cultural richness and diversity of Europe, through best and enviable practices. We also had time to go on location and our participants could note how other European countries work.
During five days meeting the members of the network have made workshops for the importance of intergenerational activities. We exchanged our views and noted some good ones that can be considered.
My organization benefited from the dissemination of how other countries view their problems and how they communicate them respectively.
We have met respective associations that work in other countries, exchange views, share common problems and passed good ideas to our organization.
If there would be more time so that all participants get to know each other it would be much easier for most of the groups to participate and involve themselves.

Darren Carabott

Local Councilor at Santa Venera Local Council (Malta), for his participation in the 6th event in Kastoria (Greece)

“…It was an enriching project, both for me and for my local community, as we have attained new ideas and opportunities from our foreign colleagues, with whom we now have very good communication. Although we have many differences in our political structure as to how the Municipalities or Local Councils operate, we still managed to find common qualities and build upon them.
Also, apart from pin pointing common ground, we have also shown interest in other programmes, such intergenerational schemes, which we currently have not fully developed in Malta. Therefore, the creation of new concepts that would further improve the standard of living in our community, truly remarked the success of this project.
“This project was an opportunity for the Municipalities and the Local Councils to further their knowledge on new ideas on how to improve their operational methods and to give a better service. Apart from the political aspect however, the social organisations within our communities were also given the opportunity to have new contacts in their field of work. This would ultimately be at their own advantage.
Finally, the most advantageous point of all is the fact that this project continued to enhance the European identity within our communities. The persons who had the opportunity to participate had the chance to get to know other similar cultures, and ultimately one would arrive at the scope of having a European Union, that is of combining our fortes and solving our problems together, in order to be more competitive in today’s world.
On a personal note, I had the most amazing time in getting to know other people from European countries. I enjoyed our networking, and I hope that this collaboration will continue to grow in the coming years.”

Santacroce Agostino

President of Pro Loco Rivieradeigelsomini Tourism Association, for his participation in the 6th event in Kastoria (Greece)

“My assessment is extremely positive. This project allowed me to get in touch with people from other European States. I became acquainted with other cultures with different experiences of my own but with common problems. I saw and learned important things that can be used for my society. I met people very aware of their position in their own state but also in Europe and understanding of solidarity.
The results are only positive. It was a lot of all the nice things I received and I gave and which can be applied both in my city and in the partner cities involved in the project.
The strengths are many, including: knowledge of people, exchange ideas and experiences and finding solutions to common problems. It is good to increase this kind of projects to continue the development of Europe through its citizens, who are the sole engine of any cultural, social and economic activity. It will also be positive to enhance participation for organizations and agencies and not only to the communities.”


Leonardo Gianluca

Municipal Councilor of Siderno (Italy), for his participation in the 6th event in Kastoria (Greece)

“I am very pleased and honored that I was given the opportunity to participate in this educational program with people of different nationalities and consequently different culture, customs and habits. I have learned many things that enriched my cultural load and saw very beautiful places.
The meeting with organizations of other nationalities and the information we received reinforce my conviction that cooperation between people with different opinions can stand enough to resolve any problems may occur.
I have not encountered any problems during the event. On the contrary it was very accurate and consistent from the side of the organizers and supporters of the program.”


MariaGrazia Barbieri

Member of Pro Loco Rivieradeigelsomini Tourism Association in Siderno (Italy), for her participation in the 6th event in Kastoria (Greece)

“The event held in Greece was for me the third time taking part in such a project. The specific event was a wonderful experience as even more than the previous made me feel an integral part of a living European reality. Moreover it also made me feel socially responsible to create a future that begins from local realities.
The reception was wonderful, as well as the selection of outputs and activities organized by the Greek team. The workshops were very interesting and gainful. Once again they allowed us to receive from others information and local experiences that can be extended to our own communities.
It was an experience that helped me grow culturally and socially. In addition extremely important was the communication among the various delegations comprised by people of different ages”


Meleca Vincenzo

Municipal Councilor of Siderno (Italy), for his participation in the 6th event in Kastoria (Greece)

"The sixth event was a positive stimulus for me. I have made a comparison between the presented current European financial situation and what the other European delegations have conveyed to me. This comparison caused me a little grief but also gave me the motivation to try and entertain the other participants.
The event in Kastoria enriched my cultural load mainly for two reasons: firstly because I have met fantastic people, original, humorous, and secondly because we attended workshops of different content where we had the opportunity to socialize with people specialized in the fields of environment, history, education and nature."


Eric Misse

Deputy Mayor of Bram (France), in charge of communication, culture and participatory citizenship

"LBTinEU was a project both for me and the city of Bram that travelled us to Europe. Although our communities are experiencing different operating modes, in this project our differences have been strength since they have enabled us to enrich each other best practices and experiences developed in our communities. Each event has helped to highlight very different themes from one municipality to another. From Malta’s event to begin retaining theme that would be addressed throughout the project and for Bram we wanted to highlight citizenship with council youth and intergenerational activities. In Lousa personally I was impressed by the great importance given to support of disability, for Italy I will retain the tourist wealth, local products including local brand that can Mammola’s  akin to the Cathar brand developed by the department of Aude, Greece has helped us understand to address environmental issues, preserve and highlight the natural environment by simply using the existing or going further with programs like Life. A project that deserves to implement a second phase in order to deepen all the points that have been raised during these exchanges. I sincerely hope that the ties will continue over time and that other projects around this shall begin."

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