Following the initial establishment of the CIVINET Policy Advisory Committee in December 2020 (see here), on the 17th of June 2021 the PAC met for the second time and elected an Executive Committee with a Chairperson, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Associate Member.
Below are the statements of the elected politicians.
1) Chairperson: Maria Androutsou, Mayor of Agios Dimitrios
It is a great honour to be elected as Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the CIVINET Network, validating in this way the commitment of the Municipality of Agios Dimitrios on issues of Sustainable Urban Mobility. The issues of sustainable, inclusive and fair urban mobility should rank very high on the agenda of Greek cities.
The CIVINET Network has proven that with its expertise and experience, it shares with us the same vision for more sustainable, resilient and friendly cities. I consider the collaboratively generated knowledge very important and useful, in which CIVINET has been at the forefront of all these years, because this is the only way to win the bet not only on the SUMP but also on a total redistribution of public space that is safe and inclusive of all.
2) Vice-Chairman: Grigoris Katopodis, Mayor of Vyronas
I chose to make my candidacy available to the CIVINET network, because the Municipality of Vyronas is now entering the battle of Sustainable Mobility and SUMPs dynamically, finding this option as a one-way street for an environmentally friendly and socially fair urban redevelopment of our city. The CIVINET network, although newer than other Greek networks, has the potential to transfer to the Greek local government the European experience of decades and to connect us more directly with the hubs of innovation. I am very grateful to all my colleagues who have honoured me with the role of Vice Chairman of the CIVINET Political Committee and I pledge to provide the Network with all the help and substantial support it will need on the difficult and ambitious path it has chosen.
3) Secretary: Georgios Sultis, Deputy Mayor of Larisa
The SUMP is a global trend in urban regeneration, aiming, among other things, to reduce car use and create a new reality in mobility. Larisa was one of the first cities in Greece to develop a SUMP, while at the moment projects are underway that are approaching the implementation of a significant percentage of the SUMP intervention area. The implementation of the SUMP is a difficult task because it touches and breaks down attitudes and habits that have existed for many years.
The commitment of the Municipality of Larisa to urban mobility issues is long-standing and, in this context, we participate in both the European network of cities CIVITAS and its Greek part CIVINET.
We believe that cooperation and exchange of experience is an important contribution and support for the successful implementation of each city’s SUMP. For this reason, we decided in our municipality to get actively involved in the political committee of CIVINET. It is an honour for Larisa to participate in the new Executive Committee from the position of Secretary and we will contribute our best for the representation of the Network in Greece and abroad.
4) Associate Member: Kallistratos Grigoriadis, Deputy Mayor of Veroia
My election on the political committee of CIVINET CY-EL (member of the European initiative CIVITAS) indicates the commitment of the Municipality of Veroia to sustainable mobility but also the recognition of the need for stronger participation of local government in the European framework in order to properly define policy priorities, to reflect local contexts and to create a strong local leadership. CIVINET is a useful tool, providing both knowledge and access to local, national and European funding instruments for sustainable mobility, ensuring that sustainable mobility remains at the top of the agenda and is widely accepted by policy makers, key stakeholders and citizens.
As the secretariat of the Network, we believe that the Network is turning a very important page and is now moving to a higher level of political formation and representation, having the honour and the fortune to have the support of very important representatives of Local Government.
Moreover, the election of a female politician as Chairperson is a remarkable choice of our Political Committee members, which should be highlighted in a distinctive way.
The formation of the CIVINET PAC from 9 Municipalities, combined with the fact that 4 Greek local authorities in the CIVITAS PAC (Mayor of Vari-Voula- Vouliagmeni, Mayor of Rethymnon, Mayor of Karditsa, Deputy Mayor of Trikkaion) are now participating, while on current Civitas projects, we have the participation of 6 Greek cities (Ioannina, Platanias, Athens, Trikala, Thessaloniki, Drama), which document a significant increase in the interest of Greek local authorities in sustainable mobility issues and indicate a remarkable commitment of Greek cities to move forward swiftly in this field.
The meeting was attended by elected officials and their colleagues from the Municipalities of Agios Dimitrios, Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni, Veroia, Vyronas, Larisa, Nea Smyrni, Pallini, Penteli and Rethymnon, as well as a representative of the Panhellenic Union of General Secretaries “Kleisthenis”, which will form the Technical Support Team of the Network together with selected executives of the above municipalities.
We wish everyone a creative term and every success in the challenging task of changing Greek cities for the better!