European Youth Capital winner - Thessaloniki 2014
WELCOME to Thessaloniki, Greece
Thessaloniki is the center of youth, both in Greece and in the wider Balkan region. Over recent years, Thessaloniki has been hosting major youth projects and events, numerous education and training actions targeted at NGO’s staff, and their information networks.
The city has a well-developed youth sector, comprising of youth NGOs, informal youth initiatives and a very active students’ community taking important initiatives on social and civil issues.
The number of students amounts to 150 000 and together with the young residents of the city, Thessaloniki has 200 000 young people representing almost 50% of the central municipality’s population and 1/5 of the city’s total population.
Thessaloniki as European Youth Capital
The concept that was chosen by the City for the European Youth Capital year is "Time". Through the notion of “time” the organisers aimed at promoting the city’s history and role in South Eastern Europe, as well as its future perspectives, development and transition towards its social revitalisation. The proposed 2014 programme comprised of a wide range of actions, carried out around four pillars: creation, participation, special social groups and new social movements, aiming to enhance European involvement, employment, university life, cultural empowerment, volunteering and social/political engagement of young people.
The Thessaloniki EYC 2014 annual programme was designed to bring out the full dynamics of active youth and exploit links with European youth policies and instruments, both through informal and formal actions.
The European Youth Capital 2014 has brought a significant change for the city and its young people. Thessaloniki Youth Centre has been built to welcome young people with creative activities, hobbies and techniques. Thessaloniki 2014 addressed a very important topic of the European election via international workshop 20-22/ 2/2014: (E) U VOTE FOR YOU (TH) STRATEGIES bringing young people from Italy, Portugal, Romania and Greece. Its main subjects were the European elections, the European Parliament and what young people require from the new EP with the aim of strengthening the participation of young voters in the 2014 elections.
During the process a number of volunteers (3000) took part in the European Youth Capital actions, most of them were never before involved in any form of volunteering and many of those are still active in the city. The list goes on because the year did bring sustainable change for the city and its young people seen up until today.
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