12th Intergovernmental Meeting of 7 States

12th Intergovernmental Meeting of the Representatives of the seven UNESCO Emblematic Communities of the Mediterranean Diet

Agros (Cyprus), Brač and Hvar (Croatia), Soria (Spain), Koroni (Greece), Pollica (Italy), Chefchaouen (Morocco), Tavira (Portugal).

Online 21st December 2022

National delegations:

Croatia: Mirna Bojić and Mladen Kuhar (Ministry of Culture and Media) and Jelena Ivanišević (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research).

Cyprus: Antonis Tsolakis (Mayor of Agros), Thekla Papantoniou (Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO) and Niki Kafkalia (Representative of the Emblematic Community of Agros).

Greece: Dimitris Maniatakis, Vicky Inglezou (Maniatakeion Foundation / Representative of the Emblematic Community of Koroni), Γιούλα Σαρδέλη δημοσιογράφος Δήμου Πύλου-Νέστορος / Gioula Sardeli (Press Office municipality of Mayor of Pylos-Nestor Municipality Mr Panagiotis Karvelas).

Italy: Stefano Pisani (Mayor of Pollica), Sara Roversi and Camilla Carioli (Future Food Institute / Center for Mediterranean Studies “Angelo Vassallo”) 

Morocco: Abdelali El Bakali (Environment and Cooperation Department of CHEFCHAOUEN)

Portugal: Cristina Neto (Representative of the Emblematic Community of Tavira / Head of Culture, Heritage and Museum Division of Tavira), Ana Maria de Freitas e Amorim Ribes DSTAR / DDAAFA (Direção-Geral de Agricultura e Desenvolvimento Rural), Maria Custodia Correia (Head of the division of Diversification of Agricultural Activity, Training and Associations), and Joana Leal (Cabinet of Ministry of Agriculture and Food)


Guest Speaker:

Pier Luigi Petrillo Chairman of the World Committee of Experts of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO – Unesco Chair Holder on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Comparative Law.



The Mayor of Pollica, Stefano Pisani, welcomed the participants of the meeting and highlighted the commitment of Pollica and other local communities of the Municipality in safeguarding MD heritage and values. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of close cooperation among the members of the MD Network. 

Mayor of Pollica and Sara Roversi in December, they met one-on-one with Mayors Antonis Tsolakis, Salma Mohamed Chahboun Sefiani, Ana Paula Martins, and Panagiotis Karvelas gathering the common will to establish a Permanent Secretariat to care:

  • Management of weekly meetings
  • Media coordination
  • Newsletter editorial coordination (editing, artwork, management of mailing list)
  • Website maintenance
  • Organization of International events to promote MD in the world
  • Managing communication with focal points
  • International press release
  • Grant writing and international fundraising

While Coordination will continue to take place by rotation, led by one of the network’s Emblematic Communities. The Emblematic Community in Charge will continue to have the following responsibilities:

  • Annual management of the intergovernmental panel
  • Thought leadership of the network
  • International spokesperson 
  • Dedicated interview and visibility

A very important meeting because it aims to celebrate a year of significant achievements, such as the event held at the United Nations in New York, curated by the Emblematic Community of Pollica, but also to open up to new opportunities for the future.

1) to expand the network of Emblematic Communities by accepting new applications.

2) establish a Permanent Secretariat to manage the joint initiatives of the Communities

3) put the EGTC into operation, following the initiative of the Italian Emblematic Community, in 2013 The Municipality of Pollica (Italy) and the Municipal Department of Koroni of the City of Pylos-Nestor (Greece) signed the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation. 

The mayor then congratulated the great work done throughout the year, with weekly Friday meetings to align joint communication and valorization strategies and the outstanding work done by the entire team in creating the new site promoting the principles and values of the Mediterranean Diet. 

Mayor Pisani encouraged the audience to increase opportunities for Cooperation in EU Projects and then turned the floor over to Sara Roversi to share the milestones achieved during the year of Italian coordination.

Key Note by Pier Luigi Petrillo Chairman of the World Committee of Experts of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO – Unesco Chair Holder on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Comparative Law.

Presentation of activities on the national and emblematic community level. The delegations presented reports on the activities carried out in 2021/2022

  1. Next Coordinator of Common Actions

The Mayor of Pollica ends the year of coordination that passes, with the approval of all participants, to Cyprus.

  1. Next Steps – Proposals

The mayor of Pollica, after the approval given from Cyprus and before closing the meeting, wanted to give a recap on future opportunities saying:  

1) that he will share any requests to join the network of Emblematic Communities, and we will consider the opportunity together

2) and asking the Emblematic Communities for the official confirmation of their approval of the opening of the Permanent Secretariat.

All the communities of which positive prior opinions had already been collected from the mayors confirmed.

The Focal Point from Croatia abstained because they needed to get approval from the Mayors, and the representation from Spain did not attend.

Anyway, the majority of the Emblematic Communities Confirmed.