The project BEACON was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme "Europe for Citizens"
Participation: The project involved around 100 citizens, notably 50 participants from the city of Ta’ Xbiex Malta, and 47 participants from the city of Rocca di Santo Stefano, Italy.
Location/ Dates: The event took place in Ta’ Xbiex, Malta, from 17/07/2015 to 20/07/2015
The day of 17/07/2015 was dedicated to Introduction to Towns Identities The mayors of Ta’ Xbiex Local Council and Comune Rocca di Santo Stefano have showed a power-point presentation about the localities to each other. This included information on language, traditions, cultures, products, activities, religion and works of the councils. In the evening, all the participants visited Msida Village Festa (church, fireworks, procession) and Sliema Arts Festival (arts, crafts, music, shows).
The day of 18/07/2015 was dedicated to Citizen’s Meeting: Small Towns in the Mediterranean Celebrating Europe: European Identities and National Diversities The morning started by a workshop where citizens from the two localities have discussed challenges they are facing in their towns. Issues mentioned included governance, communal and environmental challenges, to which solutions based on EU policies and directives, were discussed. The Mayors have discussed how the town twinning cooperation can assist the towns in working together to advance opportunities. In the afternoon, the Italian delegation worked on the infiorata, a traditional method used to create artistic portraits with flower petals. This was showcased in the Connecting Through Culture Event in the evening, where all the embassies in Ta’ Xbiex joined forces to create a platform of cultures in one space.
The day of 19/07/2015 was dedicated to The impact of EU funding on sustainable city development An expert on EU funding was invited to deliver a workshop on EU funding opportunities, where citizens and members from the local councils could identify prospects on how to fund their projects. A vast number of project ideas were discussed, with the possibility of being implemented in the near future. In the afternoon, a tour was organized to showcase a number of projects funded by EU grants around Malta. In the evening, the Italian delegation was once again invited to attend the Connecting Through Culture event in Ta’ Xbiex, where the Mayors official signed the Town Twinning Agreement between the two localities.
The day of 20/07/2015 was dedicated to New Tools for Citizens’ Engagement This was the last day of the town twinning citizens’ meeting, where the Mayors of the two localities have reviewed what was implemented during the three days – points discussed, town twinning agreement, future projects, etc. – and developed a strategy on how the two towns will be working together. A set of official documents will be formulized to assist the two towns in this implementation. A token of the Maltese Islands was also presented to all Italian participants.