The citizenship fair organised in Malta on 29th to 31st October within the project TIC TAC was a great success. Around 100 participants coming from the wide Europe attended the 3 days conference dedicated to active citizenship and democracy in Europe.
This event was the final event of the project TIC TAC, which aimed at increasing awareness about the European Union, the Europe for Citizens Programme and opportunities for increasing citizen participation at local and European level. It was involving 23 local authorities and civil society organisations coming from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.
Imislawa Gorska, Vice President of ALDA, chaired the first day of conference and presented the work of ALDA and the TIC TAC project. Then Mr Jimmy Magro, Executive Director of Local Councils Association in Malta, and co-organiser of the event welcomed participants. Dr Stefan Buontempo, Main Spokesperson for Local Government, Labour Party and Dr. Beppe Fenech Adami, Parliamentary Assistant, Ministry of the Interior of Malta took successively the floor. Ms Mary Gaerty closed the session with a presentation of the Council of Woman in Malta, which is an organisation aiming at empowering women in the island.
The second day was articulated around 8 workshops covering different aspects of citizens participation at local and European level and presenting tools for increasing this participation in the old continent. The first part was dedicated to the cooperation between local authorities and civil society organisations through town twinning and decentralised cooperation. Three workshops presented tools to encourage citizens’ involvement, such as the Europe for Citizens Programme, volunteering and the European Citizens Initiative (ECI). Mr Gerald Häfner, Member of the European Parliament, stressed on the crucial importance that European citizens take the opportunity of the ECI to discuss the main issues and challenges faced by Europe above the frontiers. The democracy in Europe will therefore be stronger.
TIC TAC partners were strongly involved in the event. For example, the Leafair Community Association organised a workshop showing how they work in Ireland for integrating people in local communities while the Centre for Institutional Development (Macedonia) presented their best practices and shared their experience in increasing the direct citizen participation in decision making process at local level. The Association for European Partnership coming from Bulgaria organised a workshop on the solidarity between generations.
In parallel to the workshops, a fair was organised and TIC TAC partners held a stand, where they could promote their activities and share their experiences with participants.
During the third day, Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA presented the strategy 2014-2020 for the Europe for Citizens Programme. The event was closed with a speech made by Mr Cohen , President of the LCA Malta. Biljana Zasova, Senior Coordinator of projects in ALDA made the synthesis of this three days conference and closed the event by reminding the crucial role of citizens participation for a strong democracy in Europe.