«Current translation pending review – For demonstration only».
Greeting, Report 2018 and Planning 2019 on the annual cutting of the House of Europe pie in Rhodes by its President, Mr. Michalis Kavuklis, held on January 23, 2019, at the Plaza Hotel.
2018: Year of development at local, national and international level
“Dear friends and members of the House of Europe,
On behalf of the House Board, I wish you a happy New Year, a European Year, a year when the sense of democracy and the consciousness of the citizen will lift us from the pitfalls that as a continent, as a nation, as a society, as a place we face.
The House of Europe in Rhodes has bid farewell to one year, 2018, which has been decisive for its development at local, national and international level. Its top, though internal, moment was the completion of a painstaking process of modernizing our Articles of Association, which began in 2011, and, due to financial hardship, remained behind all these years. Having now completed, our unsigned Charter is the tool that will guide us into the future.
Allow me to read to you our constitutional purposes, as they are now referred to in the House of Commons, in the same spirit, but formulated in words that today have a different meaning and perhaps a different meaning from 1999 when our first statute was written:
(a) the development and maintenance of economic, developmental, educational, cultural, technological and social relations between citizens and in particular of young people in the wider European and Mediterranean area,
- b) the promotion and development of the Common European Identity and the ideas and values that govern it, as expressed through the ongoing consultations and processes taking place in the bodies of the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe and other international organizations and movements dedicated to European Integration,
- c) the development and dissemination of programs and actions aimed at activating and integrating adolescents and young adults, the development and implementation of formal, non-formal and non-formal education programs and the inclusion of citizens of all ages in the digital agenda.
- d) the promotion and promotion of timeless Greek contribution and contribution to European Culture, as well as the promotion, promotion and preservation of the Greek Tradition, as an integral part of the vision of Multicultural Europe, as well as any other relevant tradition with tools for Cultural Diplomacy and the Dialogue of Cultures,
- e) the promotion, preservation and development of the special characteristics that make Rhodes and the Dodecanese a place of peace, dialogue and the coexistence of multiple cultures and traditions over time.
Through these goals one can understand certain things about the perception that the House has been operating for the last 19 years. It is an intense political body that promotes participation, extroversion, interaction, understanding, respect. Taking into consideration the Greek heritage and tradition, the restless, travel and diplomatic spirit of the Rhodians, the colorful backdrop of the Dodecanese, sails into a quest for a common European Vision, a Europe of Peace and Solidarity inside and outside, where each of the Mediterranean, it is our geographical area, our action, where we will learn, where we will teach, we will take the best elements of each place and try to bring them into our lives, to know what works and what does not in a society, to experience one cultural transaction in its realization.
“United Europe will not be built on its own,” as Robert Schuman said in his famous proclamation. It takes a lot of effort, step by step, and the goal of solidarity. As Jean Monnet points out, “beyond our differences and geographical boundaries are our common interests.” And that is what we must strive for. Recent history has shown that United Europe has put man at the center of the process. Yes, the nations have to compromise, give in to something else, often with great pain, but nowhere in the world in any other geographical area of the world, in any other historical period of humanity, an ordinary citizen does not have such excellent protection, so many rights, from the markets, other citizens or even the state itself. No other project has protected and shielded every citizen, respecting their identity and particularities, beyond the European Integration Project. And all this is a slow and painful process: as de Gasperi states, “the future will not be imposed by force, nor by the desire to conquer, but by the patient application of the democratic method, the constructive spirit of consensus, and respect for freedom.” And to get back to the corner of Europe, our Greece, and our acrobatic Rhodes and our beloved Home, Konrad Adenauer very accurately states that “when the world looks great and complex, we must remember that all great world ideas start from a small neighborhood.”
And this is the House of Europe, a neighborhood, a group of friends and active citizens who want to energize, democracy and Europe even more. We must shape Europe not others. We must as being active citizens. Then what belongs to us is created, because our future must not be created in our desolation! And the fathers of Europe are good and promising, but we as Greek foremost, that is, the biological heirs of the basis of Western Civilization must not forget Thucydides or Aristotle, who call useless an unconcerned citizen of their city.
And our biggest challenge is to energize our young people and young people through this process, through the action of the House of Europe in Rhodes. Someone will say, but you are young, the ones you are dealing with today. And I’ll answer, yes, you’re right. But we are young with a heavy debt: the lessons, morals and values that the founders and older members of the House have generously offered us, with the dear and always active, Mrs Marilena Sokianou and Anna Charitou, lessons, ethics and values we must move on, we must protect but at the same time evolve to inspire, in a few years or more new people to expand, grow, develop the work of the House beyond what our powers and will allow.
2018 has found us in a state of prosperity with many successes. We are very happy to say that he has ‘abandoned’ us even more. You can read most of them in the small Report distributed at the entrance and gave way to 2019 with great hopes and challenges.
Of course, our actions at the 9th International Rhodes Regional Conference on Simulation of Rhodes, better known as RhodesMRC, consisted of two conferences this year: a university that exceeded 450 people in attendance and a student of 200. 650 students, students and young scientists, from 13 universities and colleges, from Greece and abroad, from the high schools of Rhodes, Kos, and Symi, with a large scientific committee, are the largest corresponding winter semester in Meso hello, and the biggest in the calendar year. This year, in fact, the international validity of the event was confirmed by the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization’s auspices, NATO’s support and support, and the continued support of 8 foreign embassies in Greece, as well as its integration into the European Economic Year 2018 We are proud and mature to say with confidence, that through the RhodesMRC Rhodes is transformed into a center for the development of the Leaders of the Future, shaping individuals with an international understanding, understanding of the functioning of the international system and developing his skills in diplomacy, crisis, negotiation and decision-making. Well, all these Rhodes’ ambassadors for the rest of their lives.
We are also proud of the fact that the House of Europe in Rhodes is involved as an equal partner, representing Greece, at the same time, in two Erasmus + programs to develop strategic partnerships at European level and exchange good practices.
The first is “READ IT Active Citizens in Rural Areas” which aims to record and highlight citizen activation practices in rural and remote areas, a partnership of actors from Greece, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. Our contribution if we give the dimension of insularity and extreme seasonality to the economy. Two meetings have already taken place in France and Sweden in 2018, with the next one taking place in Rhodes in April and the program being completed in June in Poland.
The second program is an evolution of a previous program we have successfully completed, Expressions in Dialogue, which aims to capture and disseminate the benefits of integrating refugees and immigrants from the practice of live libraries, a methodology that those who have experienced will attest to the unique the way certain social groups are treated. The project includes partners from Greece, Estonia, Spain, Italy and a European network. The program started organically in Rhodes in September and will be completed in Rhodes in February 2020. In the meantime, four people will be trained in Tallinn this February, a local team for training and implementation of the program will be created, another meeting will take place in Magenta, Italy and a second training in October in Barcelona.
At the same time, they are now inviting us as a carrier to talk, to sit, to listen, from Naoussa and Thessaloniki to Odessa and Strasbourg. We create new partnerships, bringing new programs, and even more education, training and exchange opportunities for our friends and members. And our continued commitment to the European Network for Education and Training – EUNET, and the Anna Lindh Foundation, are the guarantee of always finding reliable partners, valid international partners.
Of course, we never forget the general public, the Rhodians who are practically the basis of our refuge. This year’s Europe Day, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Education Day, as well as our other events, bring the local public to excellent teachers and speakers, businesses and innovations, examples of good practice, which in addition to a better understanding of the world in what we live in can give us hope, or even inspire us to become the change needed to eliminate any ills we face. And through the new practice of # local2european events which for many of the participants has been an unprecedented and high quality experience, we hope that our citizens will engage in dialogue, talk, listen and receive answers. Here again I would like to thank our two Members, the Deputy Minister of Maritime and Island Policy, Mr Nektarios Santorinios, and the New Democracy Tourism Division, Mr Manos Consola, and the local representatives of SYRIZA, the New Democracy, the KINAL and ANEL Parliaments and the New Democracy their bravery to participate in our experiment.
And of course we don’t forget about Culture! The House has been bringing to Rhodes for five years the Eurochannel Short Film Festival and since 2017 has been co-ordinating the European Music Festival, which closes in 209 in 2019. Only for 2018, seven days of screenings and four days of music will be organized.
Hearing all of this, you will imagine a Rhodes Europe House with organized offices, staff, and many resources: money. Of course we have none of these. The House of Europe in Rhodes, although it has a roof, because of the poor condition of the roof of the house, dripping with all the rain, has virtually no space for storage, for operation, for development. There is no staff. We are all volunteers and happy to have other volunteers with us. Money: The House of Europe in Rhodes neither received nor received any money for its operation. Every action starts with a zero budget, every international program we run is funded directly by our partners or the EU, and whatever help we receive goes exactly to meet specific needs, with every transparency. And how do we make money? Unique sources of funding are our members’ subscriptions, your extraordinary contributions and your support with the lottery you will buy for our humble lottery or commemorative mug.
And also important: we try to make all our events free for the Rhodian public! With one exception: our great RhodesMRC conference! All of these new leaders we mentioned earlier pay to attend the conference, travel and stay in Rhodes at their own expense and trust us for a top-notch academic process. Costs, of course, have to do with feeding, materials and expenses of an international conference specification. From their anonymous ratings, they have given us over 90% positive ratings over the years. Each of our actions is characterized by the same appreciation, quality, originality, example of love with which all these things are done.
And how we get to such a rich account. We mentioned love for what you do, we have the ethics we learned, we have the volunteers we inspired, but we all have you. All of you who have chosen to honor this year with the Annual Awards of the House of Europe in Rhodes. We may feel homeless, but thanks to you every action finds us home, we may feel without means, but thanks to you, all our needs are met, we may feel few, but with you we become many. And the goal is to become more… A big thank you to all of you, who support your actions, and the goals we serve, by your institutional, service or personal motivation. For the sake of time saving, let me keep the relevant reports on the prizes. For those in distress, they can see the printed report we shared at the entrance, for all the thanks, hoping we haven’t forgotten anyone.
And in conclusion, let me talk about the future. 2019 has two very important milestones affecting our designs: the 10th Anniversary RhodesMRC 2019, already under preparation, we have already spoken with many of you to make it a permanent institution, shielded by changing conditions, and guaranteed for many years to come, as well as its anniversary release to break every record in quantity and quality. The second milestone is the European elections. Our big goal is to get people to talk, talk, get the answers they deserve and of course vote. We have already consulted with the Anodo Dodecanese European Information Center. to coordinate our actions and maximize the result. We need to re-understand that our vote matters, it has results, it makes sense and our abstinence has consequences, as it excludes us from the repertoire in a dance that we dance anyway. Our three-day event this year will take place on March 19, 20, 21, with the invitation and consultation for the European Music Festival always taking place on June 21, and our annual appointments will be soon followed by many more.
Be close to us. Contact us, subscribe to our mailing list, follow us on social networks, and if you like it, join us. We are not a closed group, but a House welcoming and open to anyone who believes in Europe and loves Rhodes.”