Samos hon­ored with a Euro­pean Di­ploma

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY TA­NIA GEORGIOPOULOU

Samos has re­ceived a Euro­pean Di­ploma from the Coun­cil of Europe. Be­sides the pres­tige as­so­ci­ated with this in­ter­na­tional award for pro­tected ar­eas, it will also boost the eastern Aegean is­land’s pro­file in Europe.

This means more Euro­pean tourists and more op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­cor­po­ra­tion into Euro­pean pro­grams, ac­cord­ing to Samos Mayor Michalis An­gelopou­los, who says this is the main rea­son why the is­land mu­nic­i­pal­ity de­cided to ap­ply for can­di­dacy for the award at the be­gin­ning of the year. “Samos is an is­land on the fron­tier of Europe. The Coun­cil of Europe rep­re­sents 47 coun­tries with hun­dreds of thou­sands of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, prov­inces and com­mu­ni­ties. With this dis­tinc­tion, Samos has been put on the map of Europe. It’s a way for us to show­case what makes us a unique and de­sir­able place with­out hav­ing to re­sort to in­suf­fer­able lo­cal­ism,” An­gelopou­los adds.

The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Samos was rec­og­nized as one of seven Euro­pean mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that will re­ceive the 2017 Euro­pean Di­ploma. This year’s other award win­ners are the Ger­man mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Bergka­men and Den­zlin­gen, Italy’s Ponte San Ni­colo, Poland’s Ostrow Wielkopol­ski and Mo­raw­ica and Ser­bia’s Kikinda (Vo­jvo­d­ina). The in­sti­tu­tion pro­motes and rec­og­nizes lo­cal gov­ern­ments and cities that pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion and open­ness with other ar­eas in the fields of ed­u­ca­tion and cul­ture. It also rec­og­nizes par­tic­i­pa­tion in Euro­pean and in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions as well as lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions. It’s an at­tempt to get Euro­pean ci­ti­zens to re­al­ize the good that re­sults from co­op­er­a­tion for them­selves and the com­mon fu­ture of Europe. “If we want to have a com­mon Euro­pean fu­ture, we must get to know one another bet­ter, stand to­gether and build upon the things that unite us and the cul­ture that shapes us,” said the mayor of Samos upon ac­cept­ing the award at a cer­e­mony in Stras­bourg.

Samos is the birth­place of the an­cient math­e­ma­ti­cian Pythago­ras, as­tronomer Aristarchus and philoso­pher Epi­cu­rus and for cen­turies served as a bridge con­nect­ing ideas, cul­ture and prod­ucts, as well as an in­ter­na­tional trade cen­ter. Its geopo­lit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance is rooted in its prox­im­ity to the shores of Asia Mi­nor and the fact that it is the clos­est Euro­pean is­land to Asia. It has al­ready sub­mit­ted its ap­pli­ca­tion to be­come a cul­tural cap­i­tal of Europe in 2021.

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