CoFE On “Culture-Tourism-Local Sustainable Development: How Can The EU Contribute To The Improvement Of Life For Local Community Members”

Greece, 1 April 2022:  EUROPE DΙRECT of Peloponnese, in collaboration with the City Network “SUSTAINABLE CITY,” the European Program “Ariane Condellis” of ELIAMEP, and Inter Alia (a civic action, nonprofit organization) organized a participatory workshop at Kalamata entitled: “Culture – Tourism – Local Sustainable Development: How can the EU contribute to the improvement of life of the members of the local community?” The event invited the residents of Kalamata, as well as stakeholders of Messinia, to share their experiences and thoughts to jointly formulate proposals for culture, tourism, and local sustainable development that can be implemented at the European level. The proposals discussed at the event will be uploaded to the European Platform for the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Tangible and intangible cultural heritage, contemporary artistic creation, and tourism are areas closely linked to the identity of the city of Kalamata, as well as key axes of local sustainable development. All relevant policies are primarily the responsibility of the Member States. However, the EU supports and complements the actions of national authorities, through a range of financial tools and European projects.

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a major ongoing European initiative organized by the institutions of the European Union and involves European citizens in a framework of democratic consultation for the future of Europe.

Through a series of actions, citizens from all over Europe are invited to share their ideas and contribute to shaping our common future by uploading proposals to strengthen EU sectoral policies that directly concern them on the platform specifically designed for this purpose. 

The dialogue was conducted in the form of a participatory workshop. Thus, the participants were also the guests! They discussed in groups individual topics on how they envision the European Union evolving in the future, formulated proposals, and then each group presented them to all participants.

The organizing team recorded the ideas and suggestions of the participants and will upload them anonymously on the platform specially designed for the Conference on the Future of Europe, where they will be available to the general European public!

Mr. Spyros Blavoukos, Head of the European Program “Ariane Contellis” of ELIAMEP and Associate Professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business, assumed the role of scientific facilitator of the discussion, while Ms. Vicky Inglezou, Director of Maniatakeion Foundation and Head of EUROPE DΙRECT of Peloponnese, was the keynote speaker. She analyzed the variable interrelationships between culture and tourism in the development of cultural tourism and in overall local sustainability, from a bottom-up/destination perspective. She also explained the role of culture as an actual tourism attraction and the potential for further growth in cultural tourism, and consequently, local development, using the Mediterranean Diet as an example.