Network of ICT Collaboration of Municipalities of South Western Greece

During the last decade the 75 biggest Greek Municipalities (excluding Athens and Thessaloniki), exploiting the Structural Funds of the 3rd Community Support Framework, developed Metropolitan Fiber Optics Networks in order to cover the biggest part of the Urban area of the country. The initial target was to construct powerful and open networks within the Greek cities that link the buildings of the Public Sector (Public Administration, Schools, Hospitals, Sports and Cultural Centers etc) and at the same time these networks had the capacity to serve other domains (e.g. Telecoms, Banks, Commercial centers).

Since a dialogue with 75 different Municipalities was a very hard task that also acknowledged form the Municipalities, four initiatives of the cities of Trikala, Heraklion, Patras and Kavala/Xanthi undertook in order to cover the areas of Central Greece, Kreta and Aegean Islands and South Western Greece correspondingly that would jointly underprint the features of the areas that they represented and conclude in specific strategic directions that should be adopted by the Greek Government.



Main goal

As acting individually has a negative effect in strategic development and exploitation of the existing fiber optics networks, new collaboration schemes (Inter-Municipal Networks) were developed in order to promote the sustainable dialogue between Municipalities, but also maximizing their impact in National decisions or strategies.

The Greek Universities and Technological Institutions had the role of Technical Consultant during the construction of the Fiber Optics Networks inGreece. For this purpose several working teams set up per region, which consisted of scientists and consultants of different specialization (Electrical engineers, Civil engineers, economists etc.), supporting the work of Inter-Municipal Networks.

Municipality of Patras acting as the coordinator of the Network of South Western Greece started a dialogue with the rest 23 Municipalities of the region in order to conclude in specific remarks and theses on the plan of Greek Government.

The rest Greek Networks with the coordination of the Lead cities collected also the opinions and views of the Greek Municipalities in their regions and they concluded in a set of fundamental theses.

The coordinators of the networks along with theCentral Union of  Greek Municipalities, organized next a series of working meetings in order to debate on their theses and finally conclude in a single set of interventions on the Governmental Plan, focusing on the benefits of the local communities, the efficiency of the public administration and supporting of local economies.

When Greek Government at the beginning of year 2011 announced a plan for the exploitation and management of the Metropolitan Fiber Optics Networks, the Municipalities were able to submit robust and completed positions and participate actively in the consultation process that initialized.

Lessons learned

The creation of networking schemes and sustainable dialogue between public authorities with common problems or responsibilities can be very helpful for outlining sectoral policies or strategies. Contradictionary positions and fuzzy strategies can be also avoided through consultation processes and mixed working team (decision makers, experts, officers etc.), which are able to provide global and exhaustive approaches.

Recommendations

Location

Western Greece, Greece

Author

ADEP S.A. project team

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