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A Tree for Democracy. A Tree for Life  

Today, in a ceremony at the European Committee of the Regions premises in the presence of Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, outgoing President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), donated an olive tree to praise democracy and peace as European fundamental values and as a symbol of commitment to a greener future.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, outgoing President of the European Committee of the Regions and Governor of the region of Central Macedonia said: “This tree, named Olea Europa, is more than 100 years old. It has seen our European Union grow from the brink of war and, like our founding values, represents peace and democracy. It is a reminder that, as much as democracy, it is fragile and needs much love and care. It is also a tribute to the 1.2 million local and regional elected politicians, whom are the building bloc without which the European Union would not be able to stand strong and tackle the so many challenges we are currently facing. But this olive tree is also a ‘Tree for Life’, a symbol of the green transition we are engaged in and of the commitment of European cities and regions to deliver a more sustainable, clean and heathier environment for this and future generations.”

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament said: "​The olive tree is a symbol of peace, friendship and perseverance. These are the same values that are inspiring the heart-warming solidarity displayed by our European regions and citizens in reaction to the brutal war in Ukraine. Just like the tree is rooted in the ground, our project is rooted in our European regions. President Tzitzikostas, you have always rightly maintained that citizens are at the very heart of Europe."

Under the presidency of Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the European Committee of the Regions placed democracy and the Conference on the Future of Europe at the centre of its priorities. President Tzitzikostas also launched the Green Deal Going Local campaign and the ‘Trees for Life’ initiative, a call to action to support the reforestation and urban greening in the EU, which has already gathered more than 322,000 trees and which comes in support of the EU’s pledge to plant 3 billion additional trees by 2030. Green Deal Going Local aims at placing cities and regions at the heart of the EU’s climate neutral transition, ensuring no citizen, business nor territory is left behind.

Contact EP: Javier Jiménez Arbelo // javier.jimenez@europarl.europa.eu

Contact CoR: David Crous Duran //

david.crous@cor.europa.eu

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