From 20 to 22 February 2013 the new Europe Direct Information Centers network in Greece held its first meeting in Athens.The 19 information centers that took up their mandate on 1 January 2013, simultaneously to the launch of the European Year of Citizens, gathered at the Representation of the European Commission and took part in a rich programme featuring lectures and presentations by representatives of the Representation of the European Commission in Greece, the Office of the European Parliament in Greece, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, as well as representative of the European information networks SOLVIT, EURES, Entreprise Europe Network – Hellas and Your Europe Advice.

On Thursday 21 February the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ms. Maria Damanaki, also addressed the meeting. Inter alia, Ms. Damanaki underlined that “the network is ideally situated to support the European Year of Citizens and to defend the European values, on which the European Union was built and which unfortunately are being weakened by the brutality of the crisis. You have the opportunity to work on a local level with the citizens and to listen to their worries and ideas. The network is the “first door” (one-stop shop) that every citizen can easily “knock” on in order to find information about the EU, its policies, its legislation and the funding opportunities it offers.”

On behalf of the center hosted at ELIAMEP the meeting was attended by Ms. Elizabeth Phocas and Ms. Alexandra Nikolakopoulou, manager and coordinator of the center respectively. At the opening session of the meeting Dr. Thanos Dokos, Director General of ELIAMEP, made the welcoming remarks.