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THE PROCESS TO TWINNINNG'S INSTITUTION IN NAOUSSA

Chronologically Naoussa started the twin-towns activities in 1992, when it twinned itself with the French city Faches-Thumesnil in December as a result of the Greek Local Community's initiative. Naoussa continued the twinning activity with Naoussa of Paros in October 1993 implementing an old proposal of creating links between two homonym Greek cities. Since Faches-Thumesnil participated in a wider network of twinned cities, Naoussa along with Naoussa of Paros joined the collaboration and contacts with the cities: Stolberg (Hartz), Stolberg (Rhld) of Germany, St. Neots of England, Hodonin of Czech Republic and Cattolica of Italy.

Since then, many meeting and exchanges between the twin-towns have been realized such as official delegations of Mayors and Municipal Advisers, multiethnic teams of event animators' preparation and of course the regular summer meetings of young teams. In these meetings, young people live together in one of the twin- towns of the network for many days, get known with the particular characteristics and people of each place, come in contact from each other and develop interpersonal relations through the particularity of each one.

Through the initiatives of the Twin-towns Committee of Municipality Naoussa, hundreds of our fellow-citizens, young people in the majority, have already participated in these exchanges while the prospects of this activity are even more encouraging. Other activities that have been undertaken during these years are the exchanges of cultural character, the presentation of printed material in local and international exhibitions aiming at the promotion of the city and the submission of common proposals in subsidized programs of European Union. Thus, the exchanges of various categories of citizens lead to the creation of a positive climate between the cities of the network which is essential for the growth of relations that will result in the desirable outcome: the development of EUROPE OF CITIZENS.

These actions or our twin-town network were so appreciated by the European Committee that Municipality of Naoussa was rewarded the GOLDEN STARS OF TWIN-TOWNS' INSTITUTION at Dublin in October 1995.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE TWINNING AND ITS PROFITS

The great honor of the "GOLDEN STARS OF TWIN-TOWNS' INSTITUTION" reward by the European Committee indicates that our city is pioneering activated through the philosophy of twin-towns' institution as it is supported by the European Union. Naoussa doesn't stop in old citations but proceeds with new objectives to the achievement of a common dream, the creation of United Europe, which constitutes an imperative necessity for the future. The basis of this creation should not derive from the powers that are directed by governmental centers but from the needs and priorities of local societies.

Thus the Municipality of Naoussa distinguished the necessity of the European Committee's expansion to the Eastern countries and decided to proceed in the twinning with the cities Zgorzelec and Podgorica, so that the questioning of the further development of the institution will be faced more globally. In particular, it is stressed that the socio-economic problems, as the increase of unemployment, marginalization of social teams, poverty, drugs, diminution of life conditions, insecurity, increase of racism and fanaticism along with the fear loosing the national identity, complicate the development of solidarity feelings as the E.C. wishes, and be at risk of generating crises through the emertion of false national pride.

However, the sovereign position of the City as human institution is daily confirmed and the Sustainable Growth, the welfare, the social affinity of populations' majority and finally the determination of our future with the renewed vision of humanity and culture's progress is sought through the City.

Therefore the main objective is the strengthening of relations between European Nations through the format of a common European identity but in the basis of local communities that will progressively lead to the creation of the EUROPE OF CITIZENS. The human dimension will be the most important factor in this process that will help in the development of the local independence and initiative for the settlement of those socio -economic problems.

RECENT ACTION

The last period the Twin-town Committee of Naoussa developed its activities aiming at the promotion of our city along with the further tightening of its relationships with other twinned cities.

In particular, the annual exchange of missions of 14-16 years old adults has already been consecrated in order to develop and tight the relations between the young people of Naoussa and Zgorzelec.

Moreover, an application file is prepared every year in order to have exchange programs of young people organized through subsidizing programs of the General Secretariat of New Generation.

An exchange program of young people with subject: "Equality of two sexes- stereotypes and discriminations" was materialized at Naoussa in 2007 through the subsidy of the General Secretariat of New Generation and the Institute of Youth of European Union. 4 European cities attended this exchange program.

Furthermore, not only visits at the twinned towns are realized but also Naoussa welcomes corresponding missions with the intention to approach these cities.

Finally, there is a continuous correspondence and opinions exchange with the twinned cities Fas Toumenil in France, Asenofgrand in Bulgaria, Zgorzelec in Poland, the Turkish city of Pergamon with which our Municipality has signed protocol of friendship and collaboration and the Spanish Terrassa in order to collaborate in the industrial heritage sector and likely proceed in twinning in the future.



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