The Smile of the Child
Member: NGO Premium
Voluntary Children's Association
10, Zinonos Eleatou Street, GR-151 24 Maroussi, Athens, Greece
“The Smile of the Child” met the President of the Hellenic Republic, H.E Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos on the protection of children in Greece
“The Smile of the Child” became official partner to DG ECHO announced the President of the Greek Organization to the President of the Hellenic Republic.
A meeting was held today between the President of the Hellenic Republic, His Excellency Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, and the President of the Board of Directors of “The Smile of the Child”, Mr. Costas Yannopoulos.
The aim the meeting was to inform the President of the Hellenic Republic about the work of “The Smile of the Child” during the 1st Semester of 2017, the latest developments and priorities for the protection of children and families in need.
Briefly, Mr. Yannopoulos informed the President of the Hellenic Republic about the following issues in the framework of the necessary accountability to every Greek citizen:
- During the 1st semester 2017 “The Smile of the Child” supported 60.543 children and their families in the critical areas of violence, health, disappearance and poverty through a nationwide network of services in the levels of preventing and tackling serious issues of children.
- “The Smile of the Child” is the first national, Greek Organization which becomes official partner to DG ECHO. Following a thorough control and evaluation from DG ECHO in the areas of Administrative Adequacy, Financial Management and Adequacy, Technical Adequacy, as well as Experience and Efficiency, “The Smile of the Child” became an official partner by signing the Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA). As partner of DG ECHO “The Smile of the Child” will undertake actions of humanitarian aid in line with the principles of 21 years of operation, thus, giving emphasis to the quality of its services, impact and the transparency of its actions.
- “The Smile of the Child” with ordinary citizens as its main supporters is obliged to pay enormous taxes on a longstanding basis for the services provided free-of-charge to every child and family across the country.
Commenting on the announcement of Mr. Yannopoulos in regards to the signing of a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the European Commission the President of the Hellenic Republic underlined: “The recognition of “The Smile of the Child” from the European Union means not only recognition, but also solidarity.
This fact shows that the rule of solidarity in Europe starts to function in a substantial way. We all understand in Europe that the problem is not only Greek. It is a wider problem. The principle of solidarity is not something abstract”.
Part of the official statement issued by the Hellenic Presidency is available below:
“Mr. President of the Hellenic Republic, I am very glad to announce to you today that “The Smile of the Child” few days ago became the first national Organization which signed a Framework Partnership Agreement with DG ECHO of the European Commission following a thorough process of evaluation and certified procedures. From now onwards we are direct partners with DG ECHO and we have the possibility to utilize forces on emergency situations in order to tackle the refugee crisis. In this way we hope that we will be able to solve many problems”.
For over 21 years basis we have been responding on a 24 hours basis in order to give solutions to children. We do so always in cooperation with the institutional actors and public authorities. I would like to announce that during the first semester of 2017 we managed to support more than 60.000 children in the levels of preventing and addressing serious cases.
We did so, based on certified procedures and we are evaluated from different bodies, both from national and international Organizations. Unfortunately all these years we are obliged to pay taxes to the state despite the fact that we are not dependent on any political party, but our role is to serve the institutional actors. It is unjust, Mr. President, to be under this situation”.
The President of the Hellenic Republic:
Thank you for the information. May you have all the power and strength to overcome the difficulties. This is the most important, above all, in order to fulfill your mission. Secondly, you will have our support in this struggle in order to ensure that the state policy vis-à-vis Organizations like “The Smile of the Child” will be treated in terms of taxation, in a proportionate way to their role.
And I am saying this because the special treatment, particularly on the issues of taxation, that Organizations like “The Smile of the Child” should have, is a constitutional mandate. The Constitution according to article 4 provides that natural or legal entities shall contribute to the public burdens in line with their forces and, of course, according to their mission. Different things cannot be treated in the same way. We are all aware of this.
I am also aware that your Organization as well as other Organizations active in this field have our support in this matter and I believe that this will be solved.
I would also like to highlight that the recognition of “The Smile of the Child” from the European Union, this linkage with the European Union, means not only recognition, but also solidarity.
This fact shows that the rule of solidarity in Europe starts to function in a substantial way. We all understand in Europe that the problem is not only Greek. It is a wider problem. The principle of solidarity is not something abstract. It’s a rule in full power that needs to function in the midst of these difficult times so that the EU can exert its diverse role. Europe has principles and values that needs to serve and, of course, at its focus should be the people.
I am very glad that you have received this support and recognition. And this will be an additional force in bringing your mission into reality.
Thank you once again”.