Samos has received a European Diploma from the Council of Europe. Besides the prestige associated with this international award for protected areas, it will also boost the eastern Aegean island’s profile in Europe.
This means more European tourists and more opportunities for incorporation into European programs, according to Samos Mayor Michalis Angelopoulos, who says this is the main reason why the island municipality decided to apply for candidacy for the award at the beginning of the year. “Samos is an island on the frontier of Europe. The Council of Europe represents 47 countries with hundreds of thousands of municipalities, provinces and communities. With this distinction, Samos has been put on the map of Europe. It’s a way for us to showcase what makes us a unique and desirable place without having to resort to insufferable localism,” Angelopoulos adds.
The Municipality of Samos was recognized as one of seven European municipalities that will receive the 2017 European Diploma. This year’s other award winners are the German municipalities of Bergkamen and Denzlingen, Italy’s Ponte San Nicolo, Poland’s Ostrow Wielkopolski and Morawica and Serbia’s Kikinda (Vojvodina). The institution promotes and recognizes local governments and cities that promote cooperation and openness with other areas in the fields of education and culture. It also recognizes participation in European and international institutions as well as local organizations.
It’s an attempt to get European citizens to realize the good that results from cooperation for themselves and the common future of Europe. “If we want to have a common European future, we must get to know one another better, stand together and build upon the things that unite us and the culture that shapes us,” said the mayor of Samos upon accepting the award at a ceremony in Strasbourg.
Samos is the birthplace of the ancient mathematician Pythagoras, astronomer Aristarchus and philosopher Epicurus and for centuries served as a bridge connecting ideas, culture and products, as well as an international trade center. Its geopolitical significance is rooted in its proximity to the shores of Asia Minor and the fact that it is the closest European island to Asia. It has already submitted its application to become a cultural capital of Europe in 2021.