From 14th to 17th of March, the FUTUREU project meeting took place in Gharb (Malta).
The meeting objectives were to bring together the partners from 6 partner countries and 31 local citizens to discuss, debate and share good practices and ideas.
The activity started with a welcome by host Genista research foundation Dr Mark Causon.
During the activity we addressed these issues:
- EuroMuncipalisim- what is it and its effects on citizens, a talk was given by Mark Causon followed by a discussion on the subject from a local perspective.
- Visit to the Gharb local council and meeting with the Mayor of Gharb Mr David Apap who has served as mayor for 25 years were we discussed citizen initiatives and collaboration between the council and the citizens. The Mayor gave an overview of the various initiatives undertaken and discussed with the participant’s good practices. A number of questions were asked to the mayor which he replied especially focusing on the importance of volunteers and collaboration and assistance by the council to various initiatives.
- The municipalist revolution was to be presented by Dr Eleonora de Majo however due to other commitments could not attend so her presentation was given by another speaker. It focused on the importance of starting from local initiatives which can create a ripple effect on a country level and then transnational.
- A workshop “New participation tools for building an inclusive Europe” EU policies and its application at local level was held with the participation of all participants.
- Discussion session- Collecting ideas for European Citizen Initiatives. Participants were grouped into 3 small groups and each group discussed and presented their ideas to the whole group.
- Visit to ta Dbiegi crafts village. During this session participants will improve knowledge about European cultures and particularly about Maltese culture, traditional practice of ceramic, glass making, iron forging, silversmith and pottery.
- Workshop and open discussion, participants were split into 3 groups and each group came up with a number of ideas for citizenship participation.
- Cine-Forum” were we discussed Citizen Participation in the EU including a debate on “new participation tools”. Through the ideas shared by the participants these were reflected in the form of conclusions to be able to later make some publication in social networks or some material for dissemination of the project.
- Workshop with local youth and international participants. «Euromunicipalism, beyond EU capital cities» Young stakeholders discussing and elaborating strategies for getting involved in the EU participation policies.
- HE Dr Mark Causon Ambassador of Malta to Denmark Ministry of Foreign affairs gave a talk on International Diplomacy as a tool to forge relations between cities.
- Discussion session- Participants were invited to discuss and share their good practices on cultural diplomacy initiatives.
- Workshop session were participants created a video of the project on «EU Civic Participation awareness video». The video has different spots: Documentary video divided into awareness spots on the importance of citizen participation in a Euromunicipalism environment and its impact on European policies. This video, as well as the rest of the activities, will be linked to the Future of Europe conference.
Panel 1 – «Stronger economy, social justice, jobs, education, culture, sport, digital transformation» – Recommendations
Panel 2 – «EU democracy, values, rights, rule of law, security» – Recommendations
Panel 3 – «Climate change, environment, health» – Recommendations
Panel 4 – «EU in the world, migration» – Recommendations
- Visit to Wied il-Mielah it-Tieqa ta’ Wied il-Mielaħ, limestone natural arch were the participants could see the 3 initiatives undertaken by the Gharb local council which turned a derelict valley for the benefit of the citizens through creating a proper path for easier access to visitors, embellished the natural arch area for tourist enjoyment, fixed and built a water channel so flood water is now diverted into the channel and the gathered water is used for free by the farmers, through this initiative the area is now a protected Natura2000 site and the citizens feel that it is theirs so not dumping is now taking place.
- A Tour of the Cittadella was organised. The Cittadella is medieval fortified city in Gozo, visiting lace making workshop, silver filigree workshop.
- Visit to Dwejra- the Inland Sea is one of Gozo’s most scenic, natural sea water pool with a deep, narrow, 80 metre long tunnel through the cliff leading to the open sea.
- Project coordination meeting were representatives of each partner present and other leaders who joined online discussed some specific topics