By CECÍLIA PIRES
RENEWABLE ENERGY, climate change and the environment are the themes for this year’s Algarve celebration of Europe Day on May 9.
Quarteira will be the centre of celebratory events organised by the local branch of the commission for regional development (CCDRAlgarve) in partnership with Loulé Câmara and other local organisations and companies, including The Resident, which is the official media partner for CCDR.
The celebrations will target the business communities and the general public, with the younger generations being invited to participate in the many activities scheduled for the weekend of May 9 to 11.
Catarina Cruz, director of the Europe Direct Centre and the Europe Enterprise Network (EE Network) in the Algarve, told The Resident that this annual event aims to increase people’s awareness about the European Union.
The annual theme is put forward by the European Commission and this year reflects the debate that is ongoing worldwide.
“Climate change and renewable energy are subjects that really must call for our attention,” she said. With that in mind, Catarina Cruz highlights the Expo Europa and Environment exhibition in Praça do Mar in the centre of Quarteira as one of the must visit events.
The fair opens next Friday, May 9, at 11am and runs until 11pm. It represents an opportunity for visitors to see the latest technologies in the renewable energy sector that are being developed in Portugal.
Also highlighted by the EE Network director is the seminar, A Europa, as Energias Renováveis e a Eficiência Energética, focusing on energy efficiency. This will present some of the financial services available in Portugal to finance greener investments by private individuals and businesses.
The technological solutions being developed by local private and public organisations as well as successful case studies of energy self-sufficiency, such as the Vilamoura Golf & Garden Resort, from Oceânico Developments, will also be featured.
To illustrate the multicultural message that is also part of this year’s theme, “we will have children of 12 different nationalities coming from 10 schools of the Algarve who will paint a mural dedicated to renewable energy on Friday morning”, said Catarina Cruz.
On Saturday and Monday, visitors will be welcomed by the 27 flags of the EU members placed at the village’s main roundabout. Visitors will also be invited to participate in street theatre events, Portuguese traditional dancing and film exhibitions. At the nearest beaches, organisers will call for volunteers to help in symbolic cleaning operations throughout the weekend, while eco-friendly vehicles will be available for people to try out.
Catarina Cruz is confident that this year’s celebration of Europe Day will be enthusiastically celebrated in the Algarve and that Quarteira will become the centre of the region for the day, with thousands of visitors expected.