Dissemination event held in Drama, Greece by ANTIGONE – Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non–Violence, 27th May 2013
Held at “Amphitheatre Draminon” in the building of administration in the city of Drama,the aim of the event was to raise awareness about the progress of the project and the perspective of the development of the European bicycle route EuroVelo 13 in the province of Drama.


Mr Giorgos Farfaras, administrator of Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki and responsible person for National EuroVelo Coordination Center for Greece opened the event and presented the action and research plan of “Iron Curtain Trail”. The general presentation of the project was made by “ANTIGONE”.

Representatives of the municipality and prefecture of Drama,  representatives of development agencies and tourist enterprises, ecological NGOs as well as representatives of local TV and educational institutions participated in the event.

Mr Farfaras opened the event presenting the benefits bicycle use in the fields of the ecology, security and health. He presented the statistics of the use of car and bicycle in various European cities mentioning that the use of bicycle is a matter of political willing.

He also referred to the “Pedelec Electric Cycle” (PEC) and to the contribution of the bicycle in the commercial transportation and tourism. As an example, he presented the Spanish “Via Verde” through which touristic routes are organized for vulnerable groups. Following, he presented a study of the European Commission that concerns the interest for bicycle routes and he discussed about the 14 routes of EuroVelo and the requirements that are needed so as for a route to be considered EuroVelo.

Furthermore, he referred to the use of bicycle as a matter of culture and to the necessity of the existence of institutions to promote facilities, routes and favorable conditions for every municipality and prefecture territory. In the end he mentioned the BYPAD system that checks the quality of the bicycle policies.

Representative of “ANTIGONE” NGO made the general presentation of “Iron Curtain Trail” project that involves the connection of various countries related to the Cold War and located in South East Europe with a long distance cycling route of 9.000 km. It was indicated that one of the main targets of the project is to extend, improve the access and promote cycling route EuroVelo 13.

All project partners were introduced and the participation of the Prefecture of Macedonia and Thrace as an observant partner was pointed out during the presentation. Targets and main activities of “Iron Curtain Trail” concerning research and development of the final route such as the promotion of sustainable tourism and transportation, implementation of activities for the communication of the project activities as well as creation of a cycling friendly service network were pointed out.  

Mr Farfaras took on to present the guidance on the EuroVelo route development process and the conditions under which a cycling route can be considered as EuroVelo.

After referring to Mr. Michael Cramer, European Parliament member who first conceived the “Iron Curtain Trail” project idea, Mr Farfaras and participants discussed on the potential specific cycling routes that can be developed in the area. Representatives of the prefecture of Drama and Serres discussed the capability to restore existing routes that could be included in “Iron Curtain Trail” cycling route. Mr Farfaras insisted on the fact that proposed cycling routes should be close to the borders and linked to Cold War monuments in order to integrate to “Iron Curtain Trail” EuroVelo 13 cycling route. 

Mr Farfaras presented “Cyclists Welcome Hellas” guide that consists an attempt for a creation of a cycling friendly services' network that brings together food and drink business, hotels, hostels as well as other relevant to cycling tourism services. He presented the basic conditions under which a service can be inscribed in “Cycling Welcome Hellas” and he presented Czech “Cyclists Welcome” system.

Mr Farfaras concluded by requesting the participation of all stakeholders both in planning the route and in all activities that are to be implemented under the framework of “Iron Curtain Trail” project. Followingly, participants posed their questions and discussed on the action and research plan presented by Mr Farfaras trying to indicate suitable areas and routes.