DECISIVE Project: 9th of May Dissemination Activities – 11/05/2010

Within the framework of the DECISIVE project -for the training of volunteers and municipal personnel of Cypriot Municipalities for the development of twinnings with municipalities from other EU countries- and on the occasion of the 9th of May (Day of Europe), the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Cyprus undertook dissemination actions for the project.

More precisely, informational material was distributed and information on the project was given to the public, during two events that were organized for the Day of Europe.

The first one was organised on the occasion of the “European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion”, by the European Institute of Cyprus, the European Parliament Office in Cyprus, the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, the Press and Information Office (PIO) and the Municipality of Limassol and consisted of a series of events in the framework of the celebrations of the Week of Europe, which took place from 3 until 9 May in Limassol and Nicosia.

The festivities culminated with a big concert at the Grigoris Afxentiou Square in Limassol District (Independence Avenue) on Saturday 8th May, with jazz, rock and Greek music. Along with the concert, entertaining activities for children were held and, at special stands, the organizers along with Member States’ embassies of the European Union, provided information on Europe to the public. Information material on the DECISIVE project was also distributed from the stands.

On Sunday, May 9, an event was also organized by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, for the Day of Europe in the gardens of the Presidential Palace, in cooperation with the European Parliament Office in Cyprus, the European Institute of Cyprus and the Press and Information Office. The event was held under the auspices of the Presidential couple of Cyprus.

During the event, information material was distributed from the organizers, speeches were given by the President of the Republic and other officials, and a concert was held by the band of the Police. During this event, informational material on the DECISIVE project was also distributed, always in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.

DECISIVE Project: First training seminar in Cyprus – 21/05/2010

On the 18th of may, the first training seminar of the DECISIVE project was organized in Cyprus. 250 volunteers that the municipalities of Cyprus had designated, participated in the seminar and were trained in drafting proposals for funding through the “Europe for Citizens” and other European programmes. The seminar was held at the Mediterranean Beach Hotel in Limassol.

The seminar started with a general introduction to European programs and a presentation of the “Europe for Citizens” programme and the DECISIVE project.

There was also a presentation on the organization of town twinning in Flanders (Belgium), where the best practices of the City Malle (Belgium) were shown. Among others, presentations were held on: the story of the twinnings of Malle, the active involvement of volunteers through the twinning committee of Malle, and the success of the «Golden Bridge» project.

For this purpose, three trainers went from Flanders to Cyprus:
1. Anne Geens, an officer of the Vereniging van Vlaamse Steden en Gemeenten (VVSG). She explained the general framework of how municipalities in Flanders work with twinning committees and gave tips and hints as advice to Cypriot municipalities that wish to follow the same methodology.
2. Staf Verhoeven, president of the twinning committee of the municipality of Malle. As participants had the chance to see, Mr. Verhoeven is a very motivated volunteer who is running a project called “The Golden Bridge” with partner municipalities from France, Germany, Poland and the UK. As he explained, this project was also funded by the Europe for Citizens programme. Mr. Verhoeven explained how the municipality of Malle managed to establish an impressive series of activities with a high involvement of citizens.
3. Roger Rottiers, member and treasurer of the twinning committee of Malle. Mr. Rottiers is also a volunteer with a lot of experience, which he shared with the Cypriot volunteers.

At the event, speeches were also held by Mr. Yannis Antoniades, Secretary General of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities and Mr. Fanourios Pantelogiannis, Head of the Brussels Office of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities.

The participants were trained in applying for funding through the Europe for Citizens programme, as well as completing the eForm and the budget form.

Positive impressions were aroused by the interest of the participants, as demonstrated by the number of the questions posed, which were impossible to be answered due to lack of time.

After this first training seminar, a group of 39 Cypriot volunteers / citizens and municipal personnel, will be selected and participate in a study visit to Belgium, at the end of September 2010, for a series of seminars.

 

On the initiative of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, a meeting was held at its premises on May 26, gathering twinning officers from Cypriot Municipalities.

During the meeting the following issues were discussed:
• The “Europe for Citizens” programme.
• DECISIVE Project: debriefing on the first seminar and forward planning for the activities of the project.
• Information on the implementation of the SKILLS project.

Twinning Officers Meet in Nicosia – 31/05/2010

Most Cypriot Municipalities have a website, from which citizens or other municipalities can take all the necessary information on issues that concern or interest them.

What happens, though, when a foreign municipality is looking for a municipality in Cyprus in order to be twinned with or create a partnership for another project?

Up to now there are 2 options: Exclusively for twinnings, the solution can be provided by the website of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions http://www.twinning.org/. Cypriot Municipalities can upload their profile and partner search, in order for other municipalities in Europe and the world to be able to contact them. The twinning.org website is, however, addressed to all municipalities in Europe, which means that information relating to the municipalities of Cyprus can be ‘lost’ in the abundance of information.

For both Twinnings, and other European projects, there is also the possibility, for any municipality in Europe to contact the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, which will then transmit that information to all of its member municipalities, hoping that one of them will respond positively to the request.

As one can see, what was missing until now was a website that would focus exclusively on the municipalities of Cyprus and present their characteristics in an identical, coherent and understandable manner, so that anyone could quickly select among 33 municipalities in Cyprus, those who interest them the most in order to create a partnership or twinning link.

The possibility to create this website was given to the Union of Cyprus Municipalities through the Europe for Citizens Programme. This website, has now been created, is available online at: http://www.ucm.org.cy/Account_List.aspx and is being enriched with more information every day.

DECISIVE Project: First training session in Cyprus – Tuesday, 18 May 2010

On the 18th of May, the first training seminar of the DECISIVE project was organized in Cyprus. 250 volunteers that the municipalities of Cyprus had designated, participated in the seminar and were trained in drafting proposals for funding through the “Europe for Citizens” and other European programmes. The seminar was held at the Mediterranean Beach Hotel in Limassol.

The seminar started with a general introduction to European programs and a presentation of the “Europe for Citizens” programme and the DECISIVE project.

There was also a presentation on the organization of town twinning in Flanders (Belgium), where the best practices of the City Malle (Belgium) were shown. Among others, presentations were held on: the story of the twinnings of Malle, the active involvement of volunteers through the twinning committee of Malle, and the success of the «Golden Bridge» project.

For this purpose, three trainers went from Flanders to Cyprus:

  1. Anne Geens, an officer of the Vereniging van Vlaamse Steden en Gemeenten (VVSG). She explained the general framework of how municipalities in Flanders work with twinning committees and gave tips and hints as advice to Cypriot municipalities that wish to follow the same methodology.
  2. Staf Verhoeven, president of the twinning committee of the municipality of Malle. As participants had the chance to see, Mr. Verhoeven is a very motivated volunteer who is running a project called “The Golden Bridge” with partner municipalities from France, Germany, Poland and the UK. As he explained, this project was also funded by the Europe for Citizens programme. Mr. Verhoeven explained how the municipality of Malle managed to establish an impressive series of activities with a high involvement of citizens.
  3. Roger Rottiers, member and treasurer of the twinning committee of Malle. Mr. Rottiers is also a volunteer with a lot of experience, which he shared with the Cypriot volunteers.

At the event, speeches were also held by Mr. Yannis Antoniades, Secretary General of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities and Mr. Fanourios Pantelogiannis, Head of the Brussels Office of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities.

The participants were trained in applying for funding through the Europe for Citizens programme, as well as completing the eForm and the budget form.

Positive impressions were aroused by the interest of the participants, as demonstrated by the number of the questions posed, which were impossible to be answered due to lack of time.