SUSTAIN Project: Drafting of a study outlining the current situation in Cyprus – 31/08/2011

During his 10-day visit in Cyprus (9-19 May), the expert of TEDK Chios had thoroughly recorded the situation in the Municipalities of Cyprus with regard to their involvement in Town-Twinning and other European Programmes.

This recording has now been documented into a study, which compiles the results of the meetings that took place in Cyprus involving representatives of thirty out of its thirty three Municipalities, including Mayors, Municipal Secretaries and municipal personnel. Five such meetings had been organized in Cyprus, where the municipalities were divided as follows:

• Nicosia, Strovolos, Ayios Dhometios, Aglantzia, Lakatamia, Latsia, Engomi, Idalion.
• Kyrenia, Morphou, Lapithos, Kythrea, Karavas, Lefkonikon.
• Limassol, Mesa Yitonia, Ayios Athanasios, Kato Polemidia, Yermasoyia.
• Larnaka, Aradippou, Athienou, Lefkara, Paralimni, Agia Napa, Deryneia, Akanthou, Lysi.
• Pafos, Polis Chrysochous, Geroskipou, Peyia.

In each of these meetings, the twinning coordinator of the Union of Municipalities, Ms. Kalia Martides, presented a summary of the SUSTAIN project and the “Europe for Citizens” Programme, while the presentation of the Greek expert, Mr. Kampouras, focused on the methodology of the project and facilitated the gathering of all the necessary information concerning the participation of Cypriot Municipalities in European Programmes.

The participants were then asked to describe the experience of their Municipality in European Programmes, the process they follow in order to participate in them and the problems encountered at all stages of their participation. Mr. Kampouras went through the steps of an application procedure (diagnosis of the Municipality’s needs, correct formulation of the central idea of a project, searching for a suitable call for proposals, partner search, submission and successful implementation of the project) and asked the participants to describe their experiences in relation to all these steps. All the discussions were then recorded in detail in the aforementioned study.

According to the expert’s conclusions, most of Cypriot Municipalities understand sufficiently the meaning, the importance and the added value of Town-Twinning and of the European Programmes in general.

In small Municipalities where the human and financial resources are relatively small, there seemed to be less awareness of the issue and its correct dimension. For this reason, the meetings highlighted from the beginning of the discussion the general concept of the European Programmes and what they offer to the implementing bodies.

All these observations and conclusions of the expert of TEDK Chios were included in the first part of his study, while its second part has been dedicated to proposals and recommendations, in order to improve the performance of Municipalities in the use of Town-Twinning and other European Programmes.