A delegation from the Municipality of Sciacca, consisting of the Deputy-Mayor, Carmelo Brunetto, the manager of the Economic Development Sector, Nando Rapisardi, accompanied by Paolo La Bella, entrepreneur, Diego Santaliana, ALDA, Ferhat Emil and Oya Otman, United Nations, went to Turkey to strengthen the friendship relationship with the Municipalities of Kirşehir and Mustafakemalpaşa.
This was the third step of an initiative launched at the beginning of the year in Turkey, which has also provided an exploratory mission of the Turkish authorities in Sciacca in early summer 2011.
The spa tourism, the use of the thermal sources to produce geothermal energy, cultural exchanges and trade were the main points of interest identified by Sciacca, Kirşehir and Mustafakemalpaşa Municipalities.
“We have laid the foundation – said the Deputy-Mayor Carmelo Brunetto – to build a bridge between our city and a friendly country, growing, attracted by our land, which has became a model of development to which Europe looks with great interest” .
Specifically, the partnership with the Turkish cities was formalised with a memorandum of cooperation in four areas.
Local economic development, with the aim to transform the economies of the cities from agriculture to services sector; to exchange information and technical expertise in the area of geothermal energy including illness treatments, wellness treatments and heating systems; to develop trade relations to foster and to promote the Municipalities’ respective leading sectors including, but not limited, to the area of food (dairy products, frozen food), agro-technology; dairy products technologies; vineyard technologies; textile; furniture; automotive spare parts; to build projects concerning environment and nature conservation.
Culture and Tourism, with the aim of the touristic promotion in the areas such as sea, ski-resorts, thermal tourism and history in the respective towns; the preservation of historical sites; the development of festival organisation skills; the promotion of local gastronomy; the development of joint participations to festivals in Italy and Turkey including exchange of artists and folkloristic groups, the exchange of students and mutual school visits, activities to promote civil society dialogue; youth related activities through the EACEA’s programmes (Lifelong Learning Programme, Eurydice, Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Media, Culture, Europe for Citizens andYouth in Action).
EU Funds and Project Management, with the ultimate aim of contributing to further developing cooperation between Italy and Turkey (even through specific future twinning programmes Italy-Turkey).
Other areas, as municipal services: exchange of staff and best practices.
The Municipality of Sciacca, Kirşehir and Mustafakemalpaşa have identified the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT) and ALDA as supervising organisations of the cooperation actions.
This initiative was made possible thanks to the project LAR II (Support for the further implementation of the Local Government Reform Programme in Turkey – Phase II) run by the United Nations, the Union of Municipalities of Turkey and the Ministry of Interior Turkey.
In the coming weeks (7th-9th October and 24th-29th October) the project LAR II foresees new meetings in Turkey with the signing of a further partnership agreement between the municipalities of Brindisi, Monfalcone, Karadeniz Eregli and Zonguldak.