Project SUSTAIN – Sustainable Training Activities on Twinning
The project was implemented by the Union of Cyprus Municipalities in cooperation with the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities of Prefecture Chios (TEDK CHIOS) – Greece in the framework of Europe for Citizens Programme (Action 1: Measure 2.2 Support measures). The aim of the project was to develop town –twinning partnerships, between the members of the two Organisations and towns from other EU member-states, through better access in European town networks and best practices for the citizens of the two island regions of the European South. The project started in January 3 2011 and was completed on 30th December 2011.
Type: EU Project
Location: Cyprus, Greece
Project No. 2010-2797
After a proposal submitted by the Union of Cyprus Municipalities (UCM) in the framework of the “Europe for Citizens” programme (Action 1: Measure 2.2 Support measures), the European Commission decided through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) to co-finance the cooperation between the Union of Cyprus Municipalities (UCM) and the Local Union of Municipalities and Communites of Prefecture Chios (TEDK CHIOS) – Greece, for the development of town –twinning partnerships, between their members and towns from other EU member-states. The project had a duration of 12 months, starting from the 3rd January 2011.
The project offered better access to European networks of towns and better projects to the citizens of two peripheral insular areas of the European south. In addition to that, the project permitted the creation of economies of scale, giving to the Municipalities of Chios direct access to Brussels –via the UCM Brussels office- without additional costs and to Cypriot municipalities the possibility to develop their own capacities to create and run European projects, without obliging them to buy the knowhow from private consultancies.
TEDK CHIOS and the UCM have started their cooperation a few years ago thanks to a twinning link between the Municipality of Chios and the Municipality of Kyrenia (respectively members of the two Unions). In 2009 the two associations signed a memorandum of cooperation. In 2010, TEDK CHIOS and the UCM worked together on the DECISIVE project which trained volunteers and municipal personnel on the creation and management of Twinning projects. During their cooperation in the framework of the DECISIVE project, the following facts have become evident: TEDK Chios had a remarkable know how on running EU projects and supporting its members in managing their own projects, but lacked access to Europe-wide networks and information flows. On the other hand, the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, through its Brussels Office, had created a vast network of partners able to provide access to information and Municipalities all around Europe, but did not have a mechanism to support its members in submitting project proposals and running the actual projects. The SUSTAIN project combined the comparative advantages of the two partners, thus creating profitable synergies for their members.
The project gathered to a comprehensive guide (edited in Greek) all information material (guides, websites, bibliography, best practices…) on twinning, in order to provide practical answers to local actors and citizens seeking to work on Town Twinning. The project also gave the possibility to Twinning stakeholders from the two partners, not only to learn from each other’s experiences, but to physically work within each other’s premises, in order to better understand each other’s processes. A common study visit to Brussels also gave them the possibility to meet the EACEA and understand the logic of Town Twinning and of the people working on it. You can read more information on the the activities and the results and conclusions of the SUSTAIN project from here.
UNION OF CYPRUS MUNICIPALITIES
The Union of Cyprus Municipalities is the main association of Local Authorities in Cyprus. Its core functions are to contribute to the development of local government autonomy, as well as to act as spokesman of local government interests vis-a-vis the central government and other national institutions. It also takes an active stand in the relations between Cyprus and the European Union.
TEDK CHIOS – Greece
The Local Union of Municipalities and Communities of Prefecture Chios (TEDK CHIOS) is the main association of Local Authorities in Prefecture Chios and the mainly local coordinator and policy maker for them. Its core functions are to contribute to the development of local government autonomy, as well as to act as spokesman of local government interests vis-a-vis the central government and other national institutions. It also takes an active stand in the relations between province of Chios, Greek Government and the European Union.
The Europe for Citizens Programme
The aim of the “Europe for Citizens” programme is to bring Europe closer to its citizens and to enable them to participate fully in the European construction. Through this programme, citizens have the opportunity to be involved in transnational exchanges and cooperation activities, contributing to developing a sense of belonging to common European ideals and encouraging the process of European integration. More information can be found at: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/citizenship/