At the European Summit for the Municipalities, the Mayor of Deryneia

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At the 8th Conference of Regions and Cities that ended on Friday in Bucharest, Cyprus was also represented by an eight-member delegation, which consisted of Nikos Anastasiou, Mayor of Kato Polemidia, Isabella Tymbiou, Municipal Councilor of Nicosia, Nicosia, Nicosia , Andros Karagiannis, Mayor of Deryneia, Georgios Panagiotou, Municipal Councilor of Nicosia, Ikaros Mousiouttas, National Coordinator of the Union of Municipalities in Brussels, Eleni Loukaidou, Municipal Councilor of Nicosia and Stavros Dimotikos Syvrinou.

Ms. Tymbiou and Mr. Panagiotou were invited as young politicians with 98 other elected politicians, while the rest of the participants are members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) which co-organized the Conference with the Romanian Presidency and its Associations of Local and Regional Authorities Romania.

Eleni Loukaidou on behalf of the Cypriot delegation to the CoR told KYPE that the Conference addressed the main issues facing the EU today and discussed the future of the Union, especially after Brexit. He said the EU was at a critical juncture and the challenges were enormous.

"People feel that they are far from the decision-making center, they feel distanced. In Cyprus the citizens are closer to the municipalities and their communities and thus in this way they are closer to the decision-making centers. "Everyone in Brussels realized that they had to use the local level to reach out to the citizens and get closer to them," said Ms Loukaidou.

In view of the European elections, he noted that there is a great possibility that the composition map of the political groups will change and that extreme elements will enter, and this must be understood by everyone, including the risks involved, especially for the EU budget, because through the budget the vision of the Union is being realized.

"We want Europe to be built on the foundations of proximity, democracy, solidarity, Europe is its people and they want to improve their daily lives, their quality of life, so that is the sole concern of the institutions." write down.

He said, however, that the EU is not a panacea and we are here to correct the wrongs, because "when you build something, you look forward to the corrections".

Andros Karagiannis, Mayor of Deryneia, noted that politics is now done from the ground up and that is why local authorities must do everything possible to make the voice of the ordinary citizen heard, at local, regional and national level but also in the EU.

"One problem we face in Cyprus is the non-involvement of young people in political events, they accuse us of not listening to their views and in my position today I said that I support a mixture of young people with new ideas and old with their experience. "We also need to see how they will engage the public, perhaps with the voting right of some 18 or 16 countries," he said.

Asked about the involvement of young people in a healthy way, the Mayor noted that unfortunately the Social Media has changed the way of exercising politics and diplomacy, "since everyone can send the messages they want from their couch and from their phone and that's how he becomes a user and a journalist ".

He said that this is not the right way, noting that we must be accessible, go to the base of the world, talk to young people and listen to them, based on transparency and a 'clean front'.

Isabella Tymbiou described as very important the opportunity given to newly elected politicians to participate in the Conference. He said that there was an opportunity for exchange of views and experiences and that he believes that everyone goes back to their countries wiser.

Ms. Tymbiou said that all young people and not just the elected should have the opportunity to participate in such Conferences and discuss the need to become active citizens by participating and engaging. He said that the Conference provided the opportunity to participate in very interesting workshops where young politicians shared their experiences and made suggestions.

Famagusta.News / KYPE