Activists’ Corner

by Theodoros Douloumpekis

PES Activists Greece talking public property in Neapoli-Sykies!

Last week, on 28 and 29 September, PES Activists Greece actively engaged in a two-day conference about participation of citizens in the protection of public property, in the municipality of Neapoli-Sykies (in Thessaloniki), under the auspices of the Council of Europe (CoE).

It was organized by the Network for Participatory Democracy, which brings together 16 cities across Europe. Jorn Fritzenkotter, an expert in participatory democracy of the CoE, attended the conference, as did mayor, Simos Daniilidis and vice mayor and CoE expert, Antonis Saoulidis.  

The coordinator of PES Activists Greece, Theodore Douloumpekis, facilitated and coordinated a workshop about the need for citizens to participate in the process of public policy. There was debate about the definition of the concepts of “citizen” and “public property” and how protecting public property is everyone’s responsibility.

Theodore said: “Municipalities should be more open to citizens and make them aware that public spaces are theirs too”.

Eirini Maria Stamatopoulou, coordinator of the PES Activists’ group of Thessaloniki, facilitated and coordinated the workshop about ICTs as a tool to protect public property. She created an action plan together with all participants to put theory into practice.

The conclusions, the ideas and the recommendations resulting from these workshops will serve as input for the local authority in their future policy making.