12.10.2023

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer held bilateral contacts in Brussels yesterday and attended the 21st European Regions and Cities Week, which brought together local administrators from various regions of Europe.

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer was in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, yesterday. Mayor Tunç Soyer attended the 21st European Regions and Cities Week, which brought together 7 thousand local administrators from Europe. Speaking at the conference of the international partnership working for students’ access to healthy and nutritious food, including the Association of Social Democratic Municipalities and the Sustainable Cities Network ICLEI, Mayor Tunç Soyer explained the practices in Izmir to the participants, including members of the European Parliament.

During his visit to Brussels, President Soyer had meetings with the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the EU, Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı, President of the Socialist Group of the European Committee of the Regions Christophe Rouillon, European Parliament Permanent Rapporteur on Turkey Nacho Sanchez Amor, European Commission Turkey Director Henrike Trautmann and ICLEI Brussels Office Director Peter Defranceschi. During the meetings, the opportunities of municipalities to create a positive agenda in Turkey-EU relations were evaluated, and it was emphasized that local governments play a crucial role in maintaining the economic, political, cultural, technical cooperation and neighborhood relations between Turkey and European Union countries.

Priority digitalization and climate crisis

During Mayor Soyer’s meeting with Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı, the prominent issues that were discussed entailed Izmir becoming a finalist for the European Youth Capital 2026 and that Izmir applied to the NEXT MED Cross-Border Cooperation Program in the Mediterranean Basin, which includes cities on the Mediterranean coast, with many projects from Izmir. President Soyer stated that in the NEXT MED Cross-Border Cooperation Program in the Mediterranean Basin, priority is given to digitalization and combating the climate crisis.

“Izmir’s Port is important for Turkey’s exports”

At the meeting where Mayor Soyer and European Commission Turkey Director Henrike Trautmann came together, the European Fund for Sustainable Development, Maritime decarbonization fund, electric ferry, bus fleet projects, and renewable energy projects that are important for both Izmir’s urban economy and the fight against the climate crisis were discussed. Talking about the importance of Izmir’s Port for Turkey’s exports, Mayor Soyer also emphasized the importance of international fairs in Izmir.

He also talked about agricultural development projects

President Soyer told ICLEI Brussels Office Director Peter Defranceschi about Izmir’s agricultural development projects that combat both poverty and drought simultaneously. At the meeting, views were exchanged with ICLEI on implementing a training program on inclusive and sustainable agricultural policies that many local governments across Turkey can benefit from.

The importance of solidarity and cooperation

At the meeting with Christophe Rouillon, President of the Socialist Group of the European Committee of the Regions, the importance of solidarity and cooperation between local governments was emphasized. In addition, the main topics of the meeting were the issues of increasing and expanding cooperation and dialogue between municipalities in the EU and Turkey.

President Soyer exchanged views with European Parliament Permanent Rapporteur on Turkey Nacho Sanchez Amor about spending more time and financial resources on projects such as Erasmus+ that support civil society and young people. Stating that municipalities are qualified institutions that will create bridges between European countries and societies, Nacho Sanchez Amor said that youth-oriented Erasmus+ programs are an important resource for both citizens and municipalities to benefit from. Nacho Sanchez Amor added that he considered Izmir’s application for the European Youth Capital as an opportunity to build bridges between societies. Having completed his meetings and meetings, Mayor Soyer returned to Izmir.

European Week of Regions and Cities

Held for the 21st time this year, the European Week of Regions and Cities is organized annually in Brussels by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions within the scope of EU Cross-Border and Regional Cooperation. In 2022, 272 sessions were held, 528 partner institutions/cities, and 20 thousand elected local politicians, local administrators, and experts participated in the events.

 

President Soyer held contacts in Brussels

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