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Learning cities in Greece: Serres joins the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

17 March 2016

Serres is the second city in Greece that has joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. It has followed the Greek city of Larissa in joining the Network.

The city has enjoyed a rich history since its foundation long before the Trojan War. Despite the financial crisis of the last decade, Serres remains a commercial trading centre for tobacco and agricultural products. Like other learning cities in Greece, economic stagnation and increasing unemployment are key challenges the city has to address.

Enabling citizens to reach their full potential through lifelong learning

The municipality of Serres views lifelong learning as an essential means of revitalizing the city’s economy. Through the implementation of the Beijing Declaration on Building Learning Cities and the Key Features of Learning Cities, Serres firmly believes in the creation and development of a learning city as a way to tackle challenges and further its development.

The city of Serres relies greatly on the involvement of stakeholders in building a learning city. Local education institutions, unions and clubs have been involved in identifying citizens’ needs and developing services that best suit the various target groups. With joint efforts from all sectors, the city plans to provide lifelong learning opportunities to its citizens, especially young professionals aged between 35 and 45, and to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to adjust to the new socio-economic reality.

By joining the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, Serres aims to build links with other cities in the Network and to share expertise, particularly with regard to the major building blocks of learning cities. The city hopes that being a member of the Network will enable it to improve its lifelong learning policies and regulations, to foster innovation and to create a knowledge-based society. In welcoming Serres to the Network, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the Network’s secretariat, commends Serres for its ongoing initiatives in building a learning city.