Sunday, 23 November 2008

Saturday, 15th November to Sunday, 23 rd November 2008 / Olympiada - Chalkidiki

“Balkanvision” - a training course on Intercultural Dialogue (Action 3 - Youth in the world / 3.1 - Cooperation with Neighbouring Partner Countries / Training and Networking / GR-31-38-2008-R3 & 3.1.2/R3/2008/7)


Participants

Ivana Vitovskiv & Matija Polančec / Croatia - Croatian Youth Hostel Association (info: http://www.hfhs.hr/)

Dejan Neshevski & Zoran Dimitrovski / F.Y.R.O.M. - Intercultural Dialogue Center (info: http://www.cid-mk.org/)

Irina Janevska & Nenad Velkovski / F.Y.R.O.M. (info: http://www.youthpeer.org.mk/)

Natalia Todorova Bojanova, Lora Liudmilova Georgieva & Viktoria Milenova Mihova / Bulgaria - International Initiatives for Cooperation (info: http://www.iic-bg.org/)
Jelena Cebic & Vildana Devic,
Bosnia & Herzegovina - SPOT

Paunescu Beatrice-Roxana & Tomoescu Ion Alin / Romania - Youth of XXI-th Century

Aleksandar Banjanac / SerbiaBalkan IDEA Novi Sad

Marina Stojadinovic / Serbia - Young Researchers of Serbia (info: http://www.mis.org.yu/)

Olga Fylaktaki, Anestis Kariofilidis & Giorgos Koutsokostas / Greece – United Societies of Balkan (info: http://usbngo.wordpress.com/)


Trainers
Daniela lovric /
Croatia - Youth Centre for non-formal education (info: http://www.cnc.hr/)
Jelena Mocevic /
Bosnia & Herzegovina - SPOT

Nevena Gojkovic / Serbia - Ethnicity Research Center


United Societies of Balkan staff

Aristodimos Paraschou, Efi Simiakaki, Giorgos Lambrakis & Christina Kontaxi (info: http://usbngo.wordpress.com/)


more info: http://usbngo.wordpress.com/

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Thursday, 30 October / EKBY - Thessaloniki

The announcement :

In the frame of the three-year ‘Action plan on management issues of Natural Environment’ and more specifically in the frame of Action ‘Training Program’ of the Ministry of Environment, Planning & Public Works, the realization of which has been undertaken by the Greek Biotope / Wetland Centre (Goulandris Natural History Museum), the seminar ‘Environmental Licensing in Protected Areas’ was held on the 30th of October 2008 in the building of the Greek Biotope / Wetland Centre in Thessaloniki. The aim of the seminar is the briefing of executives of services of administration in subjects that concern the environmental licensing in protected areas, aiming at the formulation of in common criteria to encounter. Participants would be executives of administration of whom the work is related directly or indirectly with the environmental licensing.

The programme:

- Environmental Licensing in Natura 2000 areas /Stavroula Vanikioti, Management of Natural Environment Department - Ministry of Environment, Planning & Public Works

Specifications and processes for the approval of Environmental Impact Assessments & Estimation of impacts for tourism installations / Rebeka Mpatmanogloy, General Environmental Issues Department - Ministry of Environment, Planning & Public Works

Special Spatial Planning for Industry / Lena Karka, Spatial Planning Department - Ministry of Environment, Planning & Public Works

Estimate of impacts from hydroelectric dams / M. Koutrakis, Fisheries Research Institute - National Agricultural Research Foundation

Estimate of impacts in the environment from road works and compensatory measures & Protection of the wild fauna in the frame of manufacture and operation of road works / Thalia Valkoyma, EGNATIA ROAD S.A.

My question had to do with the SPA ‘DELTA AXIOU-LOUDIA-ALIAKMONA-ALYKI KITROUS’ that includes the wetland of Kalochori, a region in the Prefecture of Thessaloniki.

a) Stavroula Vanikioti said that the Ministry has sent the list of the Hellenic SPA’s to the European Union and that there will be an adoption of them as has already happened with the Commission’s Decision of 19 July 2006 adopting, pursuant to Council Directive 92/43/EEC, the list of sites of Community importance for the Mediterranean biogeographical region [Official Journal of the European Union L 259/1, 21.9.2006, pp.1–104]

b) As a reply to my saying that at this time the region is planned to be part of the General Town Planning both Rebeka Mpatmanogloy & Lena Karka said that this can happen.

After all it was just a training programme ... to formulate common criteria for the encounter of problems related to environmental licencing in protected areas ...
* more info: http://www.ekby.gr/ekby/el/EKBY_News_Announcements_el.html

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Monday, 6 October to Wednesday, 8 October 2008, Bitola and surrounding areas / FYROM

Arrive late Monday evening to contribute in what was formally called: ‘LEARNING PARTNERSHIP – FROM REGION TO REGION – PART II’. A visit to the neighbouring country after an invitation from BIOSFERA BITOLA (info: http://www.biosfera.org.mk) and my friend Neshad.


My stay there had everything: small sightseeing in Bitola, Meeting with Emilia Dimitrovska, PR of the Municipality of Bitola (info: http://www.bitola.gov.mk), visit to Prespa and have lunch in Professor’s house, go along the west side of the big lake Prespa, visit St. Naum, visit the Ohrid region and lake, walk around Volvox and speak about many wonderful ideas for cooperation along with the German colleagues, Ludmila Wieczorek (http://www.loki-schmidt-stiftung.de/), Heike Markus Michalczyk (http://www.naturundumwelt.info/) and Silvia Schubert (www.anu-hamburg.de/).


The call is open for cooperation!














The photos are a courtesy of Ludmila Wieczorek

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Tuesday, 23 September to Saturday, 4 October 2008 / Nord-Ostsee Deutschland

Summer School: ‘Coastal Seas under Pressure’ - http://coast.gkss.de/events/summerschool08/index.html


PART I - Tuesday, 23 September to Saturday, 27 September / Lauenburg – Germany

…at Die Jugendherberge Lauenburg: http://www.jugendherberge.de/jh/lauenburg-zuendholzfabrik


23/9 Arrival / Goetz Floser, GKSS ‘Welcome in Lauenburg’


24/9 Geology Day

Kay – Christian Emeis, UH – Institute fur Biogeochemie und Meereschemie & ZMAW ‘A short (?) and eventful history of the Baltic Sea

Self-presentation of students I

Paul Overduin, AWI ‘Reactions of the Arctic Coast to Climate Change’

Jeremy Lloyd, UD ‘Climate Change signals in Arctic Sediments’


25/9 Physical Oceanography Day

Friedhelm Schroeder, GKSS ‘Ferry Box’*

Friedwart Ziemer, GKSS ‘Radar for Current and Seastate measurements’

Wolfgang Schonfeld, GKSS ‘Remote Sensing of coastal waters’

Goetz Floser, GKSS ‘Tour through GKSS’

Canoeing at Elbe River

* http://ferrydata.gkss.de/


26/9 Chemical and Oil Pollution in Coastal and Marine Systems Day

Ralf Ebinghaus, GKSS ‘The problem of persistent pollution - introduction and experimental approaches’

Armin Aulinger, GKSS ‘The problem of persistent pollution - statistical and modeling approaches’

Detlef Schulz-Bull, IOW ‘Chemical Pollutants in the Baltic Sea, occurrence and distribution’

Doris Schiedek, NERI ‘Oil and Gas in the Arctic’*

Veronika Hellwig, GKSS ‘Impact of contaminants on marine mammals’

Evening concert: IRISH FOLK Tom Monaghan, Helena Floser

* Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme / Arctic Council – Oil & Gas Assessment: http://www.amap.no/oga/


PART II - Saturday, 27 September to Saturday, 4 October / BüsumGermany

Settled at Haus Möwenschrei: http://www.haus-moewenschrei.de/

Having dinner at Die Jugendherberge Buesum http://www.jugendherberge.de/jh/buesum (avoid it!)

Bicycling (^) everyday…


27/9 Visit to Multimar Wattforum, Tonning http://www.multimar-wattforum.de/


28/9 Terp et al. Day

Dirk Meyer, FTZ ‘Büsumer Freilicht-Deichmuseum* & settlement history of Dithmarschen’

Klaus Ricklefs, FTZ ‘Trip to Friedrichstadt Eidersperrwerk, Tonning’

* http://www.buesum.de/themen/buesummaritim/buesumerfreilichtdeichmuseum/index.php


29/9 Energy Day (Klaus Vanselow, FTZ - Klaus Ricklefs, FTZ & Goetz Floser, GKSS)

Visit to WIND TEST Company

Visit to RWE DEA*

Visit to Seehundstation Friedrichskoog**

*RWE DEA - Dieksand Land Station http://www.rwe.com/generator.aspx/mittelplate/landstation-dieksand/language=en/id=604816/landstation-dieksand.html

**Seehundstation Friedrichskoog http://www.seehundstation-friedrichskoog.de/

30/9 Nutrients & Biology Day

Justus van Beusekom, AWI ‘Decadal changes in nutrient supply and primary production in the North and Wadden Sea

Günther Nausch, IOW ‘Nutrient concentrations, trends and their relation to eutrophication in the Baltic Sea’*

Ulrich Bathmann, AWI ‘Ecosystem shifts in Polar Regions due to climate change’

Self-presentation of students II

* State and Evolution of the Baltic Sea, 1952-2005: A Detailed 50-Year Survey of Meteorology and Climate, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Marine Environment (http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0471979686.html)


01/10 Biology in the North & Baltic Sea Day

Ragnhild Asmus, AWI ‘Ecosystems in the Coastal Zone - global and regional aspects’

Andreas Baer, UK ‘Aquaculture’

Klaus Ricklefs, FTZ ‘Geological History of the Wadden Sea

Visit to Sudfall – FTZ Research vessel


02/10 Ecosystem Modelling Day

Carole Lebreton, GKSS ‘Ecosystem Modelling: Basics’

Carole Lebreton, GKSS ‘Ecological Modelling: Exercises’*

Jian Su, GKSS ‘Optimizing coastal ecosystem models: a case study in the German Bight’

Hermann Lenhart, ZMAW Hamburg ‘The European Regional Seas ecosystem model (ERSEM)’

Wilfried Kuhn, ZMAW Hamburg ‘Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in the North Sea – a study using the ecosystem model ECOHAM’

Hermann Lenhart, ZMAW Hamburg ‘Ecosystem Modelling in Relation to Eutrophication’

Wilfried Kuhn, ZMAW Hamburg ‘Modelling Larvae Growth and Dispersion’

* Scilab: http://www.scilab.org/


03/10

Goetz Floser, GKSS – GKSS ICON: Integrated Coastal Observational Network*

Stefanie Maack, IOW ‘ICZM role play’

Barbecue and goodbye party

* http://www.coastlab.org/


04/10 Departure




We: Jay Anand, Sajmir Beqiraj, Jan Busch, Sami Domisch, Daniela Henkel, Magdalene Kempa, Roberta Malavenda, Nima Moin, Christina Müller, Corneila Plagge, Rajesh Kumar Ranjan, Cem Senduran, Alessio Soria, Nadeshda Tondorova, Ingo Weinberg, Christina Kontaxi


Abbreviations:

GKSS - GKSS Research Centre (info: http://www.gkss.de)

FTZ - Research and Technology Centre Westcoast (info: http://www.uni-kiel.de/ftzwest/)

AWI - Alfred-Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research (info: http://www.awi.de/)

IOW - Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde / Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde (info: http://www.io-warnemuende.de/)

NERI / DMU - Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser (info: http://www.dmu.dk/)

ZMAW - Zentrum für Marine und Atmosphärische Wissenschaften (info: http://www.zmaw.de/)

UH –Hamburg University (info: http://www.uni-hamburg.de/)

UK – University Kiel (info: http://www.uni-kiel.de/)

UD - Durham University - UK (info: http://www.dur.ac.uk/)


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Wednesday, 10 September to Sunday, 14 September 2008, Lebanon

2nd Encounter of Euro-Mediterranean Youth in Lebanon “Environment in a Global Frameset” The Encounter was organized by the Euro-Mediterranean Platform – Lebanon (info: www.euromedplatform.org ), the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) – Lebanon (info: http://www.feslb.org/ ) and the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO – ECSDE) (info: http://www.mio-ecsde.org/ )

In brief:

- - - Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Mr. Georges Abi Saleh, Representative of Euro-Med Platform – Lebanon
Mr. Samir Farah, Representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – Lebanon
Mr. Patrick Laurent, EU Ambassador in Lebanon

Mr. Antoine Karam, Minister of Environment – Lebanon
Keynote Presentations ‘The Mediterranean Environment: Status and Challenges”
Mrs. Barbara Tomassini, Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO – ECSDE)

Mr. Habib Maalouf, Lebanese Association for Environment and Development (LAED)

- - - Thursday, 11 September 2008

Mr. Joe Haddad - Presentation of participants and ice breaking games
Dr. Chafic Choueib, Lebanese University - Concepts and frameworks of sustainable development
Mrs. Carol Chouchany Cherfane, Economic and Soci
al Commission of West Asia (ESCWA) - Promotion of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Euro-Med region: policies and institutions (info: http://www.escwa.un.org/)
Mrs. Morgan Strecker, UNEP/DTIE - Youth Training Kit by UNEP/DTIE: YouthXchange (focus on energy, waste, water, and fair trade) (info:
http://www.youthxchange.net/)
Mr. Salman Abbas, NGO advocacy and lobbying on environmental issues

- - - Friday, 12 September 2008


Dr. Nicolas Efstathiadis, SENSE - Forest fires and sustainable forest management (info:
http://www.sense.org.gr/)
Mrs. Kinda Mohamadieh, Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) - Trade and environment (info:
http://www.annd.org/)
Mr. Hassan Jaber, NGO - ALMEE - Climate change and renewable energies
Mr. Habib Maalouf, LAED & Mrs. Christina Kontaxi, MIO-ECSDE - The Mediterranean Sea; preservation of the marine and coastal environment

Role Play (1): Mrs. Iro Alampei, Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO – ECSDE)
Role Play (2): Mrs. Kinda Mohammadieh, Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND)

- - - Saturday, 13 September 2008

Visit to Eco-village (info: http://www.ecoecovillage.com/)
At National Public Library in Baakleen:
Mr. Pascal Abdallah, Responsible Mobility - Eco-tourism project/ campaign (info: search up on facebook…)
Mr. Nizar Hani, LMT Association - Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT) project (info:
http://www.lebanontrail.org/)

- - - Sunday, 14 September 2008

Mr. Samir Farah, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) & Mr. Ziad Abdel Samad, Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Evaluation and Recommendations for follow-up activities

In total 41 youth from 11 Mediterranean countries and 29 organizations, NGO’s etc. participated:

1. Lebanese Association for Human Rights, Lebanon (info:
http://www.aldhom.org/ )
2. Lebanese Family Planning Association, Lebanon (info:
http://www.lfpa.org.lb/ )
3. Lebyouth, Lebanon (info:
http://www.lebyouth.net/ )
4. Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering, Lebanon
5. Amel Association, Lebanon (info:
http://www.amel.org.lb/ )
6. Progressive Youth Organization, Lebanon
7. Lebanese association for democratic election (LADE), Lebanon (info:
http://www.ladeleb.org/)
8. Lebanese Red Cross/Youth Department/Environmental Program Lebanon
(info: http://www.redcross.org.lb/)
9. Cultural Movement Antelias, Lebanon (info:
http://www.mcaleb.org/ )
10. Association Libanaise pour l'Education et la Formation (ALEF), Lebanon
11. Lebanese Committee for Environment and Development, Lebanon
12. Union of Progressive Women, Lebanon
13. Norwegian People’s Aid, Lebanon (info:
http://www.npalebanon.org/)
14. Health Work Committees, Palestine (info:
http://www.hwc-pal.org/)
15. Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), Palestine (info:
http://www.pngo.net/)
16. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Egypt (info:
http://www.cihrs.org/)
17. Moroccan Association for Youth and Development, Morocco
18. Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Morocco (info:
http://www.isesco.org.ma/)
19. CARE International Jordan (info: http://www.care-international.org/)
20. Association des Femmes pour la Recherche et le Développement - AFTURD, Tunisia
21. IMED - Istituto per il Mediterraneo, Italy (info:
http://www.imednet.it/)
22. ECO, Italy
23. Centre for the Cooperation in the Mediterranean – The Permanent Office of the Mediterranean Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Spain (info:
http://www.mediterraneumrc.org/)
24. Les Francas, France (info :
http://www.francas.asso.fr/)
25. Solidarité Laïque/Ligue de l’enseignement France (info:
http://www.solidarite-laique.asso.fr/)
[La ligue de l'enseignement du Morbihan (info :
http://www.laligue-morbihan.org/)]
26. UNESCOCAT, Spain (info:
http://www.unescocat.org/)
27. Jusos, Germany (Young Socialists in the SPD, info:
http://www.jusos.de/ )
28. Mediterranean SOS Network, Greece (info:
http://www.medsos.gr) 29. Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and sustainable Development, Greece (info: http://www.mio-ecsde.org/ )
The photos are a courtesy of Barbara Tomassini

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Tuesday, 12 August 2008 International Youth Day

International Youth Day 2008: - YOUTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE: TIME FOR ACTION

12th of August is considered an International Youth Day since 2000. On 17 December 1999 the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon closes his message for the International Youth Day with the following: “On this International Youth Day, I urge young people around the world to invest their energies and bright ideas into shaping a safer, more sustainable planet”.

Todays, European Youth Forum (YFJ) press release was entitled: ‘International Youth Day Climate change: the clock is ticking’. Bettina Schwarzmayr, President of the European Youth Forum noted – among others - that “Climate change is a clear example of how the well-being of younger generations is being compromised by the lifestyles of prior generations”.

More info:
United Nations: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/iyouthday.htm
European Youth Forum - 12 August 2008 press release

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Friday, 18 July to Sunday, 27 July 2008 / Olympos Karpathos / Greece

Summer volunteer program 2008 in Northern Karpathos & Saria Island.

Following the volunteer program in 2007, MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network (info: http://www.medsos.gr/ ) renewed the cooperation with the Management Agency of Karpathos & Saria* for the 2nd summer program.

For 8 day in total, two groups of volunteers [A΄ group (18/7/08 – 24/7/08): Victoria, Lia, Rika & Katerina / B΄ group (22/7/08 - 27/7/07): Theofilos (group leader), Valia, Chryssoula, Maria, Alkistis, Nikolaos, Klairi & Maria] worked in the pathways, cleaned beaches and organized on their own games in the afternoon for the children in the Management Agency Office in Diafani. The C΄ group has now taken over.








The A΄group had the chance to participate in the local fair of Saint Elias (20/7), with acknowledgements to Mr. George Zografidis, responsible for the small church on the top of Profitis Elias Mountain (719 m).

Both groups participated in the 1st workshop “The development prospects of the protected area of Karpathos – Saria and the significance of the Management Agency” (23/7), where MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network was invited to present last year’s volunteer work program.

I must thank the - partly new - human chain responsible for the protection of the area Eirini – Sisi – Thodoris & George – Ntinos – Manolis. People in Diafani were again more that great to us! Girls where dressed in traditional costumes with the precious help of Mrs Anna Nioti. Many thanks to Yiannis V. Hatzivassilis (http://www.hatzivasili.gr) for giving us the opportunity to learn more about Olympos tradition through his freshly opened museum. This year’s program was the reason I was looking for to go back…
What’s next?

* (Management Agency of the Northern Karpathos, Saria and the surrounding marine area / NATURA 2000 Network – code GR4210003)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Friday, 11 July 2008 & Saturday, 12 July 2008

MedSOS (http://www.medsos.gr) volunteer & group leaders’ seminar – summer volunteer programmes 2008

Seven (7) group leaders and six (6) volunteers gathered on Friday 11th afternoon at MedSOS office. Eirini, Anni and Nikos (the president) from MedSOS welcomed all of us making short remarks about the reasons in implementing the program as well as the expected outcomes. Following, an exercise named “What will I put inside my backpack” started in order for the participants to reveal what they plan to carry along. After filling a list, they were asked to join in groups according to the programme they will attend and proceed in comparing and maybe end up in sharing some items from their list. Information regarding the transportation mean, hour of departure and other info were also gathered in order for the group leaders to coordinate their group by best means. At the end a small white paper was given to everyone to write down, in anonymity, something that he/she would like or he/she is afraid of facing during the programme or whatever else he/she would like to say but not out loud! The papers were gathered, put in envelopes separately and were kept for Saturday’s seminar. The next thing to speak about was what MedSOS is? Participants expressed right and false ideas regarding MedSOS giving us the opportunity to explain thoroughly, among others, what is the relation between the volunteer of MedSOS and MedSOS itself.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seven (7) group leaders attended Saturday 12th morning the outdoor seminar. A quick name and ice-breaking game (stand in line according to the alphabetic order of names, height, experience in non-formal education, shoe size) and an energizer (mission impossible) was chosen for the start.

After that a line with a YES and a NO at each end was formed on the ground. The following questions were addressed and participants were asked to move on either side.
a) Everyone can be a good leader
b) The group leader should help volunteers reach the conclusion he/she wants to
c) The group leader should leave his/her personal values at home
d) Practise is the best school
e) The seminar has as a scope to transfer (and) knowledge
f) In a seminar there should be recipes given to leaders

The answers were as follows, giving us the opportunity to debate on the different opinions expressed regarding the role of a group leader.
a) 4 YES – 3 NO
b) 0 YES – 7 NO
c) 0 YES – 7 NO
d) 7 YES – 0 NO
e) 5 YES – 2 NO
f) 0 YES – 7 NO

Furthermore we discussed: Who is the best group leader? What is the role of the group leader? (friend, teacher, trainer, colleague, organizer, supervisor…why?) Does my answer suites my shelf? Why I filled up the application?

Next thing to do was to speak about the “best volunteer”. In a big carton, the group leaders were asked to write down the characteristics - according to their view – of the best volunteer. At the end, one by one, gave a short description of the best volunteer.

A team building activity, well known as “Sinking sand” was the next thing to do. Although participants didn’t obey fully the rules and weren’t quiet as they were passing the sinking sand they did a good job.

Each leader got by e-mail the previous week a hypothetical exercise that included a short note about the program, a question regarding possible misunderstandings and 2 or 3 risk management cases (all of them have happened in the past in similar experiences). After finishing “Sinking sand” each leader expressed what would be his/her reaction to the risks given and debate started. Two more possible risks were given and each group leader was asked to make a draft program taking into consideration all the above as well as the notes the volunteers made the previous day. Two people referred to the privilege a group leader has to set out of the group a volunteer...

At the end a small talk was made regarding the value of … evaluating a program not only to MedSOS but for ourselves primarily. Maybe at the end of the summer an evaluation of all the summer volunteer programmes would be a nice idea…

I hope this short seminar provided experience hints and most of all … precious time for the group leaders to prepare for the summer volunteer programme they were chosen for.

I would like to thank Pepi & Sofia, Fania & John, Mariantina & Konstantinos and Theofilos for attending the seminar.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Wednesday, 11 June 2008 / Greece

The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by the Greek Parliament

The results…

The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the Heads of State or Government of the 27 Member States in Lisbon on 13 December 2007. The Treaty of Lisbon amends the current EU and EC treaties, without replacing them. It will provide the Union with the legal framework and tools necessary to meet future challenges and to respond to citizens' demands. After the official signing on 13 December 2007, the treaty will still not apply until and unless it is ratified by each of the European Union's 27 member states. It is up to each country to choose the procedure for ratification, in line with its own national constitution. The target date for ratification set by member governments is 1 January 2009 — a few months before the elections to the European Parliament.

In Greece, New Democracy (Conservative Right) & Panhellenic Socialist Movement - PASOK (Socialist) voted in favor, while the Communist Party of Greece - KKE (Communist), the Coalition of the Radical Left - SYRIZA (Leftist) and the Popular Orthodox Rally - LAOS (Far Right) voted against. In detail, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement - PA.SO.K (Socialist) declared the wish for a referendum. Former Prime Minister and current PASOK MP Costas Simitis said that George Papandreou (current leader of PASOK) decision is not in keeping with the policy of the governments of his father, Andreas, and Simitis himself, which had always opted for the ratification of treaties to take place in Parliament. As a response, George Papandreou no longer considers Costas Simitis as a deputy of the Socialist party. What would happen if there was a referendum and the Greeks voted against the treaty of Lisbon? The Coalition of the Radical Left - SYRIZA (Leftist) declared that Greeks should vote in favor or against the treaty and that the government is afraid of the people and has fear for democracy. The Communist Party of Greece - KKE (Communist) is against EU and against everything it represents. The Popular Orthodox Rally - LAOS (Far Right) claimed that with the treaty, many decisions will be taken in Brusseles.

Members of the European parliament…

In 2004, 63,11% of the population voted in Greece while the mean rate of participation for the rest European Union member states was 44,6%. Following the results of the elections, Greece has 24 members in the European Parliament. Out of the 24, 11 are members of the European People’s Party, 8 are members of the Party of European Socialists, 4 are members of the Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left and 1 is member of the Independence/Democracy Group. It’s worth noting that the 3 out of 4 members of the Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left are members of the Communist Party of Greece – KKE.

As a conclusion…

The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty didn’t receive the proper attention in Greece. Media gave more attention to the disagreement between Simitis and Papandreou than to the treaty itself. If a referendum was organized, who would (+could) explain to Greeks that the European Union is based on the rule of law and everything derives from treaties, which are agreed on voluntarily and democratically by all Member States? The treaty of Lisbon follows the Treaty of Nice, which follows the Treaty Amsterdam, which follows the Treaty of Maastricht and so on and so on…

Coalition of the Radical Left – SYRIZA: “No to EuroTreaty – Referendum now!”


More info:
EUROPA – Treaty of Lisbon
http://europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Thursday, 5 June 2008 - World Environment Day*

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June each year to increase environmental awareness and action. This year’s focus is on climate change, with the theme “CO2 – Kick the Habit! (Towards a Low Carbon Economy)”.

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General, said - among others - on his message for World Environment Day 2008: Addiction is a terrible thing. It consumes and controls us, makes us deny important truths and blinds us to the consequences of our actions. Our world is in the grip of a dangerous carbon habit. The message of World Environment Day 2008 is that we are all part of the solution. Whether you are an individual, an organization, a business or a government, there are many steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. It is message we all must take to heart.

In Thessaloniki, no-one focused on carbon dioxide but most env authorities, locals, citizens and the private sector participated in the celebration of world environment day 2008.



What about organizing GREEN WEEK 2009 all together?



* World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme.