General Assembly of the Association of Towns Awarded the Europe Prize took place in Strasbourg, in the premises of the Council of Europe, on June 9-10. The Association is currently chaired by Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, the Mayor of the City of Częstochowa.
The meeting was attended by: Carmen Leyte, Chairperson of the Sub-Committee for the Europe Prize of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Ambassador Jerzy Baurski – Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the Council of Europe, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, representatives of Strasbourg authorities, 60 participants from various cities – laureates of the Europe Prize together with representatives of young people from those cities who deliberated during the Youth Forum.
The meeting (June 9-10) was divided into two parts. During the first part, the General Assembly was deliberating on the statutory points. Next, the representatives of Strasbourg and Izmir – the city of the 2022 Europe Prize Winner – took the floor. Much time was devoted to the exchange of experiences related to the tragic events in Ukraine. The scale of war damage was testified by remotely connected representatives of Kharkiv, Ivano-Frankivsk and the city of Khmelnitsky.
The second part was devoted to a conference on the impact of the pandemic on various areas of city’s functioning. Some delegations of member cities prepared special presentations, including Mülheim an der Ruhr, St. Pölten, Donostia-San Sebastián, Würzburg and Częstochowa. Thanks to the involvement of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in the organization of the event, the conference was simultaneously translated into English, French and German.
The exchange of experiences and good practices, including on the topic of combating the pandemic, will help member cities participating in the discussion to be more effective in meeting needs of their residents. The Resolution on peace in Ukraine showed unity in the pursuit of respect and promotion of the values that are on the basis of functioning of the EU, said President Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk during the meeting.
In the same time, the Youth Forum was held. Young representatives from member cities referred the ways in which Europe helps refugees from Ukraine.
The General Assembly of the Association of Towns Awarded the Europe Prize – after a break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – returned to its traditional formula of meetings, although some representatives were also connected online. The delegates of the member cities learned about the achievements of the Council of Europe and the history of the Parliamentary Assembly Hall of the Council of Europe in the Palais de l’Europe.