Photo credit: Erika Magistro
6 – 7 October 2018

Act.Now co-organised Roundtable at the SabirFest in Catania

Fostering City-to-City cooperation between the Mediterranean shores and building active citizenship

On 6th and 7th October 2018, Act.Now, in cooperation with SabirMaydan, organised two roundtable discussions at the SabirFest in Catania, Italy. Local decision makers, members of civil society and institutional representatives discussed city-to-city cooperation between the Mediterranean shores and types of active citizenship for more resilient local communities. The annual festival, that took place at three locations in the South of Italy (Messina, Catania and Reggio Calabria), hosted 180 events, including presentations, workshops, panel discussions, live music and film screenings.

Photo credit: Janusz Ratecki | Civil Action Network & Erika Magistro

City-to-City cooperation between the Mediterranean shores

At the first session, local decision makers from divergent shores discussed promising practices and the challenges of diplomacy from the bottom up, in order to find out how to build international networks between cities on the shores of the Mediterranean, so initiatives that topple the contrasts can be launched and solutions to common problems can be found. George Antoun, Country Director of Mercy Corps Lebanon, and Host of the NOW Mayors’ Network was discussing with Christos Spiliopoulos, Special Councilor to the Mayor of Chios (Greece), Giuseppe Falcomatà, Mayor of Calabria (Italy), Nicola Irto, President of the Regional Council Calabria (Italy) and Gianluca Solera of SabirMaydan. The top-class roundtable was moderated by Anna Lodeserto, Co-President of SabirMaydan and Mathis Dippon, Project Coordinator of Act.Now.

Active citizenship for more resilient local communities

The second roundtable discussion was about understanding how to construct international networks between activists and civil initiatives across the Mediterranean shores, to democratise power and find solutions to common problems from the grassroots. Maurizio Caserta, Professor at the University of Catania (Italy), Mona El Hallak, Director of the Neighborhood Initiative, American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Lefki Lambrou, Project Manager at Home for Cooperation (Cyprus), Maria Mayrhofer, Director of (Austria) and Alice Valenti of the Movimento Partecipa Catania participated at the round table. The session was moderated by Viola Raheb, University of Vienna and Coordinator at Act.Now and Gianluca Solera, Co-President of SabirMaydan.

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