Half Time Project Conference: “Iron Curtain Trail: Sustainable mobility along the newest EuroVelo route” , South East Europe Programme, Thursday October 3rd 2013
On Thursday, October 3rd 2013, “Iron Curtain Trail” project Half Time Conference was held in the New City Hall of Thessaloniki with the participation of project partners, non governmental organisations (NGOs) and local development organisations, as well as regional and local representatives and relevant stakeholders as cycling associations, transport services representatives etc.

The Conference that was organised by the greek project partner “ANTIGONE-Information and Documentation Center on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non-Violence” had the aim to promote “Iron Curtain Trail” project and its objectives related to the connection of South East Europe regions with a long distance cycling route and also achieve a wide European cooperation for the development of EuroVelo 13 cycling route. 

Mr Giorgos Dimarelos, representative of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, welcomed the participants of the Conference before making an introduction on the perspectives of Thessaloniki being a cycling friendly city in the near future. Following, Mr Tibor Polgar from West Pannon Regional and Economic Development Nonprofit Ltd, leader partner of “Iron Curtain Trail” project, presented the main objectives and goals of the project concerning its implementation in South East Europe regions.

Thessaloniki’s Vice Mayor Mr. Andreas Kourakis also participated in the Conference greeting “Iron Curtain Trail” project and its objectives. After presenting cycling policies of the city that run under a Municipality project titled “Strategy of Everyday Life”, he spoke about the need for the citizens of Thessaloniki to shift into their culture into a cycling friendly one, also stating his deep will to collaborate towards changing Thessaloniki into a European City for pedestrians and cyclists.

During the Conference, Mr Adam Bodor, representative of European Cyclists Federation, introduced to the conference participants the common methodologies that have been developed through partners collaboration in “Iron Curtain Trail” project while Mr Roman Michalek from Regional Government of Burgenland presented existent and potential sustainable offers in tourism and transport related to cycling.

Best practices of South East Europe region were presented by stakeholders from Bulgaria and Hungary. Mr Evgeny Apostolov from Bulgarian Cycling Association, Mr Bela Nemeth from GYSEV Cargo Zrt and Mrs Maria Csikai from Hungarian Cycling Alliance introduced the audience to best practices concerning sustainable transport and sustainable tourism. Following, Giorgos Farfaras from ANTIGONE-Information and Documentation Center on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non-Violence presented relevant to “Iron Curtain Trail” transport and tourism projects in South East Europe Region and Mr Tibor Polgar closed the circle of presentations presenting the planning processes for the period 2014-2020.

“Iron Curtain Trail” Half Time Conference was covered by local and regional TV and press. In the Press Conference that was held under the framework of the Conference, Mr Adam Bodor (European Cycling Federation) presented the creation of the first EuroVelo route in Greece and its importance for sustainable tourism, Mr Tibor Polgar (West Pannon Regional and Econimic Development Ltd) introduced “Iron Curtain Trail” and Mr Giorgos Farfaras (National EuroVelo Coordination Center for Greece) presented the creation of “Cyclists Welcome Hellas” European cycle friendly service network.

Project partners, stakeholders and participants of “Iron Curtain Trail” project conference had the opportunity to raise questions and discuss the potential of a collaboration in the Round Table Discussion that run as the closing session of “Iron Curtain Trail” Half Time Conference.  

Agenda and presentations of the conference can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.