Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Ekrem İmamoğlu, transferred the term chairmanship of the B40 Balkan Cities Network, of which he was the founding chairman, to Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis. B40 Balkan Cities Network, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) Ekrem İmamoğlu It was founded in November 2021 by
The founding chairman and first host of the B40 Network, again in November 2021, by the President of IMM. Ekrem İmamoğlu made. Imamoglu; He handed over the term presidency of the B40 Network, which was established to cooperate in areas such as crisis management, tourism, economy and culture and to develop the concept of city diplomacy, to Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis.
B40 Balkan Cities Network Athens Summit, IMM KadıköyIt was held in Technopolis, a campus similar to the "Museum Gazhane", which was put into service in . İmamoğlu made a speech at the meeting that brought together the mayors of 23 Balkan cities, 48 of which were founding cities.
Expressing that the interest and participation of the Balkan cities in the B40 Network makes him happy, İmamoğlu said, “This strong participation shows how real and solid the B40 Balkan Cities Network is based on, and what an important need it is. This need is the desire to build a stronger and better future as Balkan cities. For me, just as Istanbul is the city of merchants, travelers, producers, creators and immigrants, so is the Balkans. It should be so.” said.
“When I look at the Balkan geography, it is not yesterday where kings, Caesars and sultans ruled”
Stating that the Balkan geography contains a huge global potential and future of cooperation, İmamoğlu said, “When I look at the Balkan geography, it is not the past ruled by kings, Caesars and sultans, but an equal, rich, happy, democratic and peace built by creative people from all backgrounds and beliefs. I see a full tomorrow. I see a region that can breathe, not just with the west, but with Asia, the Indian Ocean and Africa.” used his statements.
“Those who run our countries, even if they are not very aware of it”
İmamoğlu said, “When I set out for the B40, I aimed for the unity and cooperation of this richness and diversity. I said, 'Unity makes strength,'" he said, adding:
“We said that the rulers of our countries, the millions living in our cities and the new generation mayors who accept the primary responsibility of improving their quality of life, can achieve this, even if they are not very aware of it. That's why we laid the foundations of a sustainable union based on equality and democracy. I am very happy because we succeeded. I am very happy because when I look at the cities that came together in this hall, I see that we reached the point I aimed for when I set out with the vision of establishing the B40 Network, in a shorter time than I expected.”
“We must condemn the burning of the Qur'an together and strongly”
Saying, “The multinational, multi-identity and pluralist democracy model represented by the European Union is the common ideal of all of us,” İmamoğlu used the following expressions:
“I believe that in this period when democracy is experiencing a global crisis, all Balkan cities will be centers where democracy will sprout again. In line with these ideals and goals, I believe that the B40 Network will develop and sustain a climate of peace, democracy and tolerance among Balkan cities. We are passing through the days when the Qur'an was burned in other parts of the world. We must collectively and strongly condemn such provocative attempts.”
“We shared Suspended Invoice with Balkan cities”
İmamoğlu summarized the activities and future plans of the B40 Network during their period and stated that they shared knowledge and experience with member cities.
Noting that one of these shares is the “Pending Invoice” application, İmamoğlu said, “We share the 'Suspended Invoice' application, which is the social solidarity platform of Istanbul, with the member cities that want it. Thus, we are very happy to be instrumental in spreading the feeling of cooperation in the cities of the B40 Network. I believe with all my heart that; Thanks to the many projects we will carry out with the cities of the B40 Network, we will increase economic cooperation in our region and create a more people-oriented, more efficient and more effective local government model.” he said.
“I propose to establish B40 green development bank”
İmamoğlu shared a project they developed in this context with the mayors of the cities that are members of the B40 Network and expressed his proposal with the following words:
“Disasters due to climate change have proven the need for a green transformation that is compatible with nature and resistant to climate change. I propose to establish the 'B40 Green Development Bank' in order to manage the green transformation process in the Balkan geography and to further our cooperation. Although our scales are different, each of us has to carry out the green transformation in our cities. With green transformation projects, we can increase the ability of our cities to adapt to global climate change policies and sustainable development goals.”
“I transfer with peace of mind”
Sharing the details of the development bank he proposes to be established, İmamoğlu said, “As the number of B40 members increases, there will be an important need for the year 2023 to simplify the decision-making processes and discuss and decide on the mechanisms that will ensure the fair and equal transfer of the term presidency from one country to another. Let our technical teams discuss all these issues; project it; make it flesh and bone. It is with great peace of mind and pleasure that I hand over the term presidency of the B40 Network to my friend Kostas.” finished with his words.
“There is a need for a 'Balkanization' movement”
Athens Mayor Bakoyannis thanked and congratulated İmamoğlu for activating such a historical need, and pointed out that the Balkan countries are facing similar problems as their cities.
Emphasizing the importance of the Balkan cities, which have different ethnic structures and religions, to act together against the attacks against them, Bakoyannis determined that a "Balkanization" movement is needed in this context.
Bakoyannis stated that the European Union structuring, achieved by the European countries that have determined their borders by fighting each other in the historical process, will set an example for this movement and said, “No child in the world is born with grudge and hatred against an ethnic group or different beliefs. Our 'Balkanization' process will be our bridge of solidarity and communication. Our vision; There will be peace, prosperity and stability to the Balkans. Our aim; to highlight local communities. Every member who joins our network will solidify this foundation.” said.
Municipalities participating in the B40 Athens Summit
To the B40 Athens Summit, outside of Istanbul and Athens; Belgrade, Bijeljina, Burgas, Canakkale, Durres, Dimitrovgrad, Edirne, Plovdiv, Karnaboat, Kardzhali, Kirklareli, Laktashi, Lefkada, Lesbos, Patras, Podgorica, Pula, Sarajevo, Thessaloniki, Sofia, Split, Stara, Tekirdag, Tirana, Troyan, Skopje, Veliko, Zenica, Kotor, Niksic, Zagreb, Piraeus, Trikala, Nea Smyrni, Kumanova, Pilea-Hortiatis, Veria, Corinth, Karditsa, Central Corfu and the Diapontian Islands, Ayios Dimitrios, Chalcida, Zografu, Kalamata, Paleo Faliro, Pallini , Argos-Mikines and Avlona joined the municipality.
European Committee of the Regions President Vasco Alves Cordeiro, Eurocities President and Florence Mayor Dario Nardella and Eurocities Secretary General Andre Sobczak also watched the summit as representatives of international organizations.
Günceleme: 23/01/2023 15:02