Reports

PROTOCOL

MEETING OF THE PRESIDIUM

OF THE ASSOCIATION OF TOWNS AWARDED THE EUROPE PRIZE

4 NOVEMBER,  2016, Mülheim-an-der Ruhr  (Germany)

Participants:

1.​ Igor Terekhov – moderator, representative of the presiding city, the Vice-Mayor of Kharkiv; Kharkiv (Ukraine)
2.​ Maria Osinska – secretary, Deputy Director of International Cooperation Office of Kharkiv City Council; Kharkiv (Ukraine)
3.​ Alina Shenogolets – Head of Department  of International Relations and European Integration of Kharkiv City Council; Kharkiv (Ukraine)
4.​ Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk – Mayor of Czestochowa Czestochowa (Poland)
5.​ Katharina Kulisiewicz – International Cooperation Department Head Czestochova (Poland)
6.​ Adam Knapik – International Cooperation Department officer Czenstochowa (Poland)
7.​ Ulrich Scholten – Mayor of Mülheim-un-der Ruhr Mülheim-un-der Ruhr    (Germany)
8.​ Sabina Kuzma – officer of a Section for connections with Twin-Cities Mülheim-un-der Ruhr    (Germany)
9.​ Herbert  Hofauer – Mayor of Altötting Altötting (Germany)
10.​ Nikol Schindler – International Connections Department deputy director Altötting (Germany)
11.​ Ramasan Kabasakal – International Connections Department director Ankara (Turkey)
12.​ Doris Fröhlich – City Council Deputy Darmstadt (Germany)
13.​ Monika Schmitt-Sittmann – an officer of a Section for Inter-Cultural and International Connections Darmstadt (Germany)
14.​ Prisca Barthel ·         – a specialist of a Secretariat of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Agenda:

  • information from the Presiding city;
  • determining of the date of the General Assembly and the Youth Meeting in 2017;
  • determining the theme of the General Assembly and the Youth Meeting in 2017;
  • fixing the date of the Meeting of the Presidium of the Association in 2017;
  • selecting the 3 best designs of the emblem of the Association to present them at the General Assembly in 2017 in order to make the final decision.

Reports:

– the Moderator, representative of the presiding city, Vice-Mayor of Kharkiv, Igor Terekhov, who greeted all the present  and gave the floor for a welcome speech to the Mayor of Mülheim-un-der Ruhr Mr. Ulrich Scholten and a specialist of a Secretariat of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Ms. Prisca Barthel;

– Ulrich Scholten greeted all the present and wished them to work efficiently. Ms. Prisca Barthel greeted all the present and also told about the activity of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to improve the procedure of receiving the Prize of Europe (an on-line form to fill in, additional languages to submit applications, decreased number of criteria from 9 to 4, development of a new and easier, and modern variant of the award itself – the Prize of Europe,  involvement of towns through dissemination of information in social nets Facebook). Ms. Barthel also introduced Gerona (Spain) as a new member of the Association of the Towns Awarded the Europe Prize since 8 July, 2016;

 

– after the speech of Ms. Barthel, Mr. Igor Terekhov announced the agenda of the meeting, the authorized representatives of the present towns (6) voted unanimously for approving of the agenda. In the absence of objections Mr.Igor Terekhov proceeded to the first question of the agenda and informed the present that on 22 August, 2016, in Kharkiv, there was opened a Regional Office of the Association of Towns Awarded the Europe Prize and thanked the towns of Czestochowa, Alttöting and Ankara for visiting the city of Kharkiv and participating in the official ceremony of the opening of the Office.  Mr.Terekhov also noted that during the ceremony of the opening of the Regional Office in Kharkiv, the participants had an honor to meet the Ms. Mayor of the new member of the Association – a Spanish town of Gerona, which was awarded the Europe Prize this year, as Ms. Barthel commented, and during the opening of the Office there was signed an Agreement between the Mayors of Kharkiv and Czestochowa on cooperation in the area of tourism.

Mr.Terekhov presented a report about the work done by Kharkiv as a Presiding City concerning the modernizing of the web-site of the Association, in particular, development of its new structure, which includes a separate section dedicated to activity of regional representative offices of the Association and a platform for exchange of experience in implementation of international projects and search for partners to implement such projects with use of financing from European funds.  Mr.Terekhov also attracted attention to the question of preparing materials in order to make a stamp, the problem of  lack of official confirmation  of the Association’s registration and proposed to address Ms.Barthel as a representative of a Secretariat of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to provide assistance in acquiring the official confirmation of the Association’s registration to make the stamp.

– The Mayor of Czestochowa Mr. Matyjaszczyk  noted that the Association had existed since 1984 without the official registration, and formalization of the relations required  carrying out of  certain obligations such as a headquarters in one of the towns, membership fees and confirmation by every town-member of its participation. That was why in the opinion of Mr. Matyjaszczyk  the open form was more effective for implementation of various initiatives.

– Ms. Barthel in her turn asked a question about the reasons of the origination of the problems with the official registration of the Association.

– Mr.Terekhov supported the Mayor of Czestochowa Mr. Matyjaszczyk  and to answer the question of Ms.Barthel  said the following.  The Official registration does not presuppose introduction of strict criteria such as obligatory membership fees.  Every country has its own rules of law and legislation concerning the Association’s activity, and we faced this problem, when opening the Regional Office of the Association in Kharkiv. Thus, to open a Regional Office of the Association as an international organization, it is necessary to have a confirmation of its registration at the place where it was formed.

– Mr.Hofauer supported the idea of registration in Strasbourg and stated that he did not see any contradictions in the question.

– Ms. Fröhlich noted that the issue had been raised before, and the question of membership fees had also been discussed earlier, and its solution at the Meeting was an optimal one.

– Mr.Terekhov again underlined that the confirmation of the Association’s registration did not lead to payment of membership fees.

Thus, according to the Statute the Presiding City assumes responsibility for covering all expenses related to the modernizing and contents of the web site of the Association. According to the resolution made in Klaipeda, Kharkiv developed a platform on the web site to exchange information, which will be a new impetus for implementation of joint projects.

– Mr. Matyjaszczyk proposed to have an interval to discuss this question. Mr.Terekhov supported the proposal and announced a 5-minute break.

– After the break Mr. Matyjaszczyk supported the initiative to obtain the confirmation of the Association’s registration with the present Statute.

– Mr.Terekhov took the initiative to apply to Ms. Barthel with a request to be given the authenticate documents confirming the foundation of the Association of Towns Awarded the Europe Prize.  Mr.Terekhov put the question to the vote. The authorized representatives of the towns present (6) unanimously voted “for”.

In the absence of objections and additions, Mr.Terekhov proposed to move on to the second question of the agenda of the meeting: determining the date of the general Assembly of 2017. Mr.Terekov reminded that at the meeting of the General Assembly in Klaipeda there was made a resolution that the general Assembly and the Youth Meeting of 2017 will be conducted in Kharkiv on 6 – 9 June, 2017. The authorized representatives of the towns present (6) voted unanimously “for”.

In absence of  objections and additions Mr.Terekhov proposed to proceed to the third question of the agenda of the meeting: determining the theme of the General Assembly and the Youth Meeting of 2017. Mr. Terekhov announced that 2 proposals were received concerning the theme of the General Assembly: from Kharkiv and Czestochwa, which, in his opinion, overlapped and supplemented each other.

Kharkiv suggested the theme: “Improvement of the Public Services System Provided by the Municipalities to the Community”. The theme proposed by Czestochowa is “Local Governments Facing New Challenges of the Social Policy in Europe” and includes such problems as aging society, people with special needs, healthcare, education, civil sector, in particular, budget for participation, local initiatives, public organizations and etc., social assistance, family support,  housing policy and etc. Mr.Terekhov noted that all the named problems are the subject of public services, which are provided by a municipality to the community. That is why he proposed to combine the two themes into one and put to vote the following variant of the theme: “Improvement of the Public Services System Provided by Municipalities to Community in the Context of New Challenges of Social Politics in Europe”. Mr.Terekhov addressed the members of the Presidium to express their opinions and proposals on the question.

– Mr.Kabasakal supported the idea and noted that the suggested topics are very important and broad. It presupposes a practical aspect, such as, observation of best practices of a hosting-town and towns-participants. Mr.Kabasakal voiced a problem of immigration as part of the social issues of the proposed theme, which is a hot topic for many countries today.

– Mr.Terekhov noted that currently this issue was very important for everyone including Kharkov. Thus, Kharkiv hosted about 300 thousand of Internally Displaced Persons from the Anti-Terrorist Operation area. Mr.Terekhov stressed that that was a very serious challenge for the city and a stability test; thanks to the government of Germany a Module Settlement for the IDPs was built in Kharkiv. The Social Services through district administrative centers assist the integration of these people.

– Mr. Matyjaszczyk expressed his agreement, that the combined theme would allow discussing all the important problems and issues, and most importantly would give an opportunity to the towns to share their experience and positive practices. Thus, Mr. Matyjaszczyk proposed to divide the course of the General Assembly into 4 blocks, such as: considering theoretical questions, conducting a discussion, learning about implemented projects and visiting locations, introduction of new towns-members of the Association; he also proposed to support the idea of the combined theme.

The authorized representatives of the towns present (6) voted unanimously “for”. Mr.Terekhov announced that the theme of the General Assembly to be conducted on 6 – 9 June, 2017, in the city of Kharkiv was the following: “Improvement of the Public Services System Provided by Municipalities to Community in the Context of New Challenges of Social Politics in Europe”.

– Mr.Terekhov proposed to proceed to the next question of the agenda of the meeting: the theme of the Youth Meeting and voiced the only theme received from the city of Kharkiv: “Youth Policy in the Culture Area. To be Trendy while Preserving History”. Mr.Terekhov underlined that in 2009 the European Commission conducted a study of  the Youth’s access to culture in 27 countries – EU members, which demonstrated that quite often access to culture  is seen as a form of organizing “leisure-time” of young people, and the “culture policy” proper is mostly focused on introducing “classical” forms of art and cultural “heritage” to the youth, but not on the development of modern culture and new forms of creative activity. That is why, the subject to be discussed under the suggested theme could be start-ups in culture area, development of urban-cultures and informal theatres.

In the absence of comments Mr.Terekhov put the question to vote. The authorized representatives of the towns present (6) voted unanimously “for”.

– Mr.Terekhov announced that the theme of the Youth Meeting was approved and noted that the Youth Council operating with the support of the Mayor of Kharkiv would be involved in the preparation of the Youth Meeting.  It is a consultative body, and its members are active young people of Kharkiv. The Council’s mission is to consolidate the youth of Kharkiv, create a bridge for communication between the local government institutions and representatives of public organizations, student self-government and school organizations.

In the absence of objections and additions, Mr.Terekhov proposed to proceed to the forth question of the agenda of the meeting: determining the date of the meeting of the Presidium of the Association of 2017. Mr.Terekhov reminded that at the meeting of the General Assembly in Klaipeda a resolution was made that the Presidium of the Association will be conducted in Altötting, Germany, in 2017.  Mr.Terekhov gave the floor to the Mayor of Altötting Mr.Hofauer for him to suggest the date of the meeting.

– Mr.Hofauer proposed to conduct the Presidium on 7 – 9 December, 2017 in Altötting (Germany).

– Mr.Terekhov thanked Mr.Hofauer and proposed to vote on the motion. The authorized representative of the towns present (6) voted unanimously “for”.

In the absence of objections and additions, Mr.Terekhov proposed to proceed to the fifth question of the agenda of the meeting: selecting 3 best designs of the Association’s emblem to present them at the General Assembly in 2017 for the final decision to be made.

Emblem designs were submitted to the secretariat from Kharkiv, Czestochowa and Altötting. Mr.Terekhov thanked the leaders of these towns for their work and asked to show the designs of an emblem on a screen and gave the microphone to Maria Osinska to read comments to the designs.

On the screen there were 2 emblem designs presented by Altötting, and Ms. Osinska read the comments to each of the designs, provided by Altötting.

– Mr.Matyjaszczyk presented 4 emblem designs offered by Czestochowa, which had been selected during a contest of designing the Association’s logo conducted in secondary comprehensive schools of the town; he pointed out that the emblem designs were developed by secondary school students.

– Mr.Terekhov presented 2 emblem designs, which won the first and the second places at the contest conducted in Kharkiv.

– Mr.Terekhov thanked for the presentations of the designs and asked to show all of them on the screen for all the Presidium members to be able conveniently choose the 3 best out of them; he also proposed a voting procedure, according to which every Presidium member named 3 designs, which in his/her opinion deserved to be presented at the General Assembly.

The Secretariat registers the number of points received by each emblem design. The 3 emblem designs with the biggest number of points will be presented at the General Assembly for further voting

In the absence of objections Mr.Terekhov put to vote the proposed procedure of selecting an emblem design.

The authorized representatives of the towns present (6) voted unanimously “for”.

– Mr.Terekhov proposed to proceed to the voting, asked to show the list of the present towns and all the designs on the screen, then, he gave the floor to the Mayor of Altötting Mr.Hofauer:

Mr.Hofauer selected emblem designs under the numbers 2, 4, 8.

Mr.Kabasakal selected emblem designs under the numbers 1, 4, 7.

Mr.Matyjaszczyk selected emblem designs under the numbers 4, 6, 8.

Ms.Fröhlich selected emblem designs under the numbers 2, 4, 6.

Mr.Scholten selected emblem designs under the numbers 1, 4, 7.

Mr.Terekhov  selected emblem designs under the numbers 4, 6, 7.

Mr.Terekhov announced completion of the voting and asked the secretary to count the votes and announce the result.

The secretary announced that according to the result of the voting:

1-​ 2 votes;

2-​ 2 votes;

3-​ 0 votes;

4-​ 6 votes;

5-​ 0 votes;

6-​ 3 votes;

7-​ 3 votes;

8-​ 2 votes

Mr.Terekhov asked to show the emblem designs, which will be presented at the General Assembly in Kharkiv in 2017, on the screen: 2 emblems from Czestochowa (number 4 and 6) and 1 emblem from Kharkiv (number 7).

Mr.Kabasakal and Mr.Matyjaszczyk thanked the Mayor of Mülheim          Mr. Scholten for the hospitality and Mr.Terekhov for the organization of the meeting.

Ms.Barthel thanked all the present and requested a copy of the protocol of the meeting of the Presidium to be sent to her.

Mr. Terekhov summed up the fulfilling of the agenda of the meeting, thanked all the present for efficient work and announced that the meeting of the Presidium of the Assembly of Towns Awarded the Europe Prize was adjourned.