CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR EUROPEAN UNITY
– is the subject of a conference which took place within of the two-day General Assembly of the Association of Towns Awarded the Europe Prize which was originally intended to take place in Częstochowa and, due to the ongoing pandemic, was organised on a specially launched online platform.
The participants were present, the technology did not fail. The Moderator of the Assembly, both on 14th and 15th September, was Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk -the Mayor of Częstochowa, President of the Association.
Youth Forum was also held within the Genaral Assembly, and of course also in an online format.
The deliberations ended with the symbolic adoption of the Declaration on the continuation of cooperation between the Towns Awarded the Europe Prize. The content of the resolution – referring to the agreement concluded in Udine in 1984. – available in the annex.
The conference was dominated by the topic of the Covid -19 pandemic. The fight against the virus has become a new reality for citizens, local authorities and governments of individual countries. The ongoing pandemic has caused huge changes in daily life. The new conditions and restrictions are creating a lot of work and difficulties. Much time has been devoted to discussing the challenges caused by the pandemic and the possibilities of solving them. Topics related to the inter alia climate crisis, migration and the prospect of digitisation of cities and public institutions, were also discussed.
Tuesday’s meeting was concluded by a joint meeting of mayors and youth. The conference was an opportunity to share experiences, good practices but also concerns about the current situation in Europe.
– We would like Europe to be strong and united. We must uphold values such as the rule of law, equality of citizens, environmental protection, energy security, innovation – said Mayor Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk. – Thanks to them the Union will be more united, stronger and democratic. A divided Europe will lose its meaning. Cooperation and solidarity – this is our strength.
The Europe Prize has been awarded for 65 years. The enthusiasm to continue to apply for this honourable award is not fading away in European cities. This award is a testimony to the importance that many local authorities attach to European values. The meeting was attended by Gérard Dupaty, Mayor of the French city of Amilly, who is this year’s winner of the Europe Prize.
Mayor Matyjaszczyk – the President of the Association, also thanked the young people involved in the Forum. – He said: You will decide the future of Europe. Without divisions or borders. A common Europe is an opportunity for all of us, not a threat.