Nicosia Municipality - European Affairs Office
European Affairs Office

European Affairs Office


Nicosia Municipality, representing the capital of Cyprus which also happens to be the last divided capital in Europe, believes it necessary to be actively engaged in the wider European environment. As such it is incorporating a European dimension into its plans, objectives and activities, geared at successfully dealing with the challenge of reunifying and upgrading the city.
 
Attaching high priority to raising awareness within the municipality and among citizens with regard to European affairs, the Municipality established a European Affairs Office (city council decision, April 2003) which is staffed by municipal officers and a clerk.

The office is the central coordination and operational planning service tasked with rolling out Nicosia Municipality’s actions on European affairs.

Its competencies include:
  • Identifying European Programmes or other funding programmes which may be of interest to the Municipality, briefing the competent services and providing them support for planning, implementing and evaluating relevant proposals.
  • Assessing proposals for participation in European Programmes promoted by other agencies/cities, and assessing the feasibility of the Municipality’s involvement.
  • Applying for specific European programmes in collaboration with the competent services of the Municipality, and monitoring the proposals’ progress.
  • Obtaining the necessary material (research studies, technical know-how, information material) which may help achieve the Municipality’s goals within the European environment.
  • Seeking synergies at home and abroad for making the most of the potential offered by European programmes and Community Initiatives.
  • Representing the Municipality in international organisations and networks as a means to acquiring expertise from other European cities and regions, securing financing for joint actions, and participating in the roll-out of European Policy issues concerning the cities.
  • Developing bilateral relations with European cities by tapping into European Programmes that promote the development of relations (e.g. City Twinning 2005).
  • Monitoring European Policy developments which affect the Municipality, and internal circulation of printed material and other information tools about developments in Europe that affect local administration.
  • Developing relations, contact and cooperation with European Union bodies, services and agencies.
  • Briefing employees and municipal councillors on European affairs.
  • Briefing citizens on European affairs of interest to them and on the Municipality’s activities in European Programmes and the wider European environment.
  • Exploring the potential for implementing bi-communal programmes within the framework of European Union actions.
 Nicosia Municipality is a member of the following organisations/networks:
  • United Cities and the Local Government (UCLG)
  • Eurocities
  • Union of Capitals of the European Union (UCEU)
  • Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE)
  • Union of the Capitals of Central and South Eastern Europe
  • The Strasbourg Club
In 2013 the Council of Europe awarded Nicosia Municipality with the European Diploma. In 2014 the Council of Europe awarded the municipality with the Plaque of Honour and with the Flag of Honour in recognition of its efforts and actions and its active promotion of the European ideal during 2013. Nicosia Municipality was the first municipality among 600 cities to receive two awards simultaneously since the establishment of the Europe Prize.
 
The Europe Prize was set up by the Council of Europe in 1955. Each year the Council of Europe offers four awards to reward municipalities for their active promotion of the European ideal through EU activities, such as participation in European networks and organisations, twinning, European events, exchange visits, promoting European initiatives, implementing European programmes etc.