The Municipality of Lezha at the Meeting of European Citizens
The Municipality of Lezha participated in the European Citizens Meeting, "Looking for Intercultural Chimera", held in Valongo, Portugal on October 16-20, 2017. This meeting was funded by the "Europe for Citizens" program, the "Twinning Cities" strand, first call for 2017.
Citizens of several twin cities met to discuss diversity, multiculturalism, human rights and challenges faced by the EU and aiming to influence the daily lives of participants by allowing them to learn from and inspire each other. The main purpose of the meeting was to strengthen cultural sensitivity and to deepen the knowledge on the issue of discrimination and the recognition of the anti-discrimination practices implemented by each partner.
Participants faced the way they categorize the world around them, emphasizing stereotypes, and how often this leads to discriminatory behaviors. The seminar programme was designed to provide the opportunity to exchange cultural knowledge, group work on fundamental discrimination, reflection on life in a multicultural Europe, especially on the rights of immigrants and refugees. The partners themselves included a clear mosaic of Europe and different membership phases, coming from the founding states, Formigine (Italy), the enlargement before the fall of the iron curtain, Valongo (Portugal), the enlargement after the fall of the iron curtain, Mioveni (Romania) and one candidate country of Lezha (Albania). Also present at the meeting were young people of different nationalities from EVS, a new practice of the European Union.
The Municipality of Lezha was duly presented at this meeting, easing stereoptypes about our country and taking the commitment of all parties to continue further cooperation with our Municipality, with a group of young employees, Hekuran Koka, Elisiana Frroku, Gentjan Zhubi , Marjana Brunga, Zachary Burdeau (Peace Corps), Gjovalin Marku, Nertila Nikolli, Florinda Kola and Lindita Frroku. In addition to the dignified presentation and open minded discussions, the guests were amazed by the presentation of Lezha with a short film shot prepared by the Tourism Sector in the Municipality. Part of the meeting was also acquaintance with the good practices of the three Portuguese cities, such as Valongo (the welcoming town), Matuzinjo and Porto, the latter being the best destination in Europe for 2017