Project DECISIVE – Development of Cypriot Twinning Capacities through Active Volunteering
After discussing with different associations of local authorities around Europe, we have decided to exploit and develop in Cyprus and Chios the methodology used in Flanders: it is the citizens themselves that voluntarily prepare and run twinnings. This method not only alleviates the administrative burden from municipalities but also strengthens the citizens’ feeling of ownership over the projects.
DECISIVE, therefore, focused on developing voluntarism and transferring knowhow from Flanders to Cyprus and Chios, through training sessions in Cyprus and Belgium.
Potentially interested citizens from each municipality were: students or graduates who want to work on EU affairs or Public Administration / Finance, retired Municipal or Public Administration officers, unemployed who want to develop new skills or any other active citizen who wants to get to know closely the functioning of his Municipality or of the European Union. Officers and elected municipal officials were also eligible.
The volunteers and officers were trained in Cyprus and Belgium during three training events. The first one took place in Cyprus with the participation of 250 volunteers. After this first training session, a group of 39 Cypriot municipal officers and volunteers along with one representative of f TEDK Chios travelled to Brussels for a series of practical training sessions. A final conference took place again in Cyprus with the participation of 150 volunteers who have formed teams, which will be in cooperation with their municipalities, in order to implement twinning projects. Their work is facilitated by the Union of Cyprus Municipalities through the creation of aa “matching”.
Project results and conclusions
For 12 months, the Union of Municipalities and Communities of Flanders from Belgium (VVSG), the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities of Chios Prefecture from Greece (TEDK Chios) and the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, tried to see whether they could apply in Cyprus and Greece the methodology which is followed by many municipalities in Flanders, when they are involved in twinnings. The main results and conclusions of this effort are available here.