In the framework of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, a press conference was held on November 1st, during which, the President of the Union of Municipalities and Mayor of Limassol, Mr. Andreas Christou, referred to the course of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities (UCM) from its founding up to today, its major milestones along the way and its aims for the future.
Mr. Christou said that the UCM has to continue to provide support and upgraded services to the Municipalities and Local Authorities of Cyprus and noted a number of areas, which the UCM considers important for its successful evolution: use of European programmes to the biggest possible extent, closer cooperation between Municipalities both for creating joint Municipal services and for jointly claiming European funding, further development of the cooperation with the Union of Cyprus Communities, cooperation with all Ministries and especially with the Ministry of Interior, in order to handle issues relating to local government and to update various laws that relate to urban development. Moreover, the Union of Municipalities aims to introduce e-government as “The project that will significantly improve the operation of Municipalities, thus increasing their efficiency and the communication between Municipalities and their citizens and creating significant savings of resources…”.
Then Mr. Christou mentioned some important milestones in the course of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, including the preparation of a draft for the Municipalities’ Law and provision for Municipal Elections, as well as the Cooperation Agreements with the Committee of the Regions, the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece, the Malta’s Local Council Association and the Local Union ofMunicipalities and Communities of Prefecture Chios (now Union of Municipalities of Northern Aegean Sea). Finally, Mr. Christou mentioned the setting up, in July 2005, of the Brussels Office of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, which daily monitors the European decision making process relating to local government and provides Municipalities with reliable information on funding opportunities and European programmes.