To support the authorities in their efforts to modernize the administrational structures in Greece, the Greek and the German government together created the “German-Greek Assembly” (“Deutsch-Griechische Versammlung”, “Ελληνογερμανική Συνέλευση”). In the middle of November, it convened for the third time, this time in Thessaloniki.
For the first time, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) participated in the assembly, presenting itself and the projects it has implemented so far to support the liberal parties as well as civil society in Greece. With kind support of our Greek partner organizations, FNF also hosted a workshop on “The Interaction of Civil Society and Local Administration”. Gregory Vallianatos and Antigone Lyberaki, both Greek civil society advocates, explained why civil society engagement is so important for the process of restructuring Greece, and encouraged their civil countrymen to become active. Additionally, Vasilis Sotiropoulos, the Ombudsman of the City of Athens, Volker Görzel, a member of the Cologne City Council, and Andreas Feld, civil society expert of the FNF, participated in the fruitful discussion about the possibilities of a task sharing between civil society and local authorities. As a special guest, Yiannis Boutaris, the Lord Mayor of Thessaloniki, was among the audience.
Even though the Greek-German Assembly was disturbed by protesters of the radical left, all participants made it home safely.