Deputy Director of Foreign Relations
The European Local Democracy Week is an enterprise of the European Council and European Council Congress which was initiated in October 2007. It is a European event that is carried out annually with participation from the local and regional governments of 47 European Council Member States. It is celebrated all around the world via a series of activities between 15th and 21st of October in order to keep local democracy vibrant, ensure participation of citizens in local matters, raise awareness by ensuring attendance to the activities centered on themes that are agreed upon every year and increase respect to local democracy and human rights all over Europe.
As it was done in 2011, the theme for the European Local Democracy Week was elected to be "Human Rights" for the year 2012 as well. Some of the local and regional governments that planned activities reflecting the theme formed a special program for these activities. For example they organized a series of special events under the main theme of "Human rights make for more inclusive communities" and ensured the participation of various citizen groups, especially young people, via the media of schools, universities and non-governmental organizations; a series of activities which involve the European dimension as to stress the importance of local governments in building a democratic Europe were arranged and these activities were planned in cooperation with European organizations.
The European Local Democracy Week events for the year 2012 under the theme of "Human Rights and Democracy" attracted considerable interest from European Countries. Only 18 institutions among many national and international organizations such as 89 local governments from 29 states, 36 non-governmental organizations and 25 youth groups were elected to bear the title of "12 Star Towns" of Europe. In the year 2012, during which we experienced the joy of becoming one of 2 local governments to achieve this title, we already started working in order to compete with all European countries to keep this title during the next year as well.
The title bearers were announced in the European Council's European Local Democracy Week Evaluation Report for the Year 2012 and the "12 Star Towns" awards were presented to their owners during the ceremony arranged at the 24th Congress of Local and Regional Authorities held between 19th 21st of March in Strasbourg, France.
Mayor Dr. Hasan AKGÜN, who is also one of the members of the Turkish National Delegation for the said congress from the year 2000, received our "12 Star Towns" award personally.
Besides granting the title of a "Star Town", the European Council also commented on how colorful, distinctive and original the events planned by Büyükçekmece Municipality were. We were invited to the European Council in Paris, France in order to share the details of our organization, which was described as inspiring for future participants from European states, and make a presentation of our events.
In the meeting at the European Council during which 2012 was evaluated, 2013 was planned and good examples were shared, Büyükçekmece Municipality, which was one of the 4 institutions among the world countries which made presentations in the meeting, was represented by our Director of Foreign Relations Selin Burçak ÜNAL. After the presentations, the activities of our municipality were praised by all council members.
Karbon Ayak İzi