Employment, social entrepreneurship and the "collective spirit of an integrated Union"

My name is Georgios Kefalidis and I am from Greece, from Komotini, a small town in northern Greece, close to the borders of Bulgaria and Turkey. Since my students years I was interested about the idea European Union principals, so when I heard about the potential participation into the IVY program, I applied without any doubt. At this point, I would like to express my excitement to be a part of this European Union’s initiative program, IVY, because it combines the work experience with the education.

As I have been a volunteer for almost a month in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Xanthi, I would like to share with you the fact that the cooperation and integration between the Members States are the two main pillars in order to overcome and limit the phenomenon of the euro-skepticism.

More specifically, the Interreg program, I would like to stress that it provides the challenging opportunity, especially for young people, to be engaged with the principals of the E.U. in a practical way. My participation in this challenging program has provided me the chance to implement my believes and my knowledge that I gained through my personal experience and from my academic background. Simultaneously, Interreg assists in order to combat the high youth unemployment rates, talking mostly about the last ten years approximately, since the E.U. has been faced the economic crisis.

Concerning my current duties, I am engaged in the preparation activities and actions, regarding the organization of round table in Xanthi. This event has as a target to train the unemployed citizens of Xanthi and at the same time to contribute to raise the employment rates, by expanding the social entrepreneurship in the Cross-Border area. Further, it has the goal to create new opportunities which will be transformed into tools which can be used for the improvement of the effectiveness of the local and region development strategic policies which are linked with the economic growth in the area between Greece and Bulgaria.

Moreover, my participation to the Interreg program has provided me the chance to meet and communicate with new people, from different countries and with different professional status from me, which is very vital and crucial, because it helps me to learn, understand and spread new, fresh and innovative ideas. Likewise, the program builds new social alliances, by following the cross-border policy.

In conclusion, it leads the participants to raise the public awareness of their local communities by promoting, enhancing and reinforcing the collective spirit of an integrated European Union.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Xanthi

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