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Nicosia takes on EU capitals presidency.

Byline: Marianna Pissa

NICOSIA is set to take over the rotating Presidency of the Union of Capitals of the European Union (UCEU) for 2009 after Dublin.

The theme of the Presidency will be "Inclusive and Sustainable Capital Cities". It plans to focus on the development and integration of marginalised neighbourhoods and socially vulnerable groups.

The Nicosia Municipality will organise will also organise a Standing Committee Meeting from April 27-29, 2009.

This is a preparatory meeting to highlight the objectives, content and organisation of the Annual Conference and General Assembly of the Union scheduled for October 29 to 31 in Nicosia. The Conference and General Assembly brings together the mayors and elected representatives of all the European capitals.

Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou yesterday said that, "The particular aim of our presidency is to send the message of the importance of the contribution of European capitals to build bridges against any divisions and exclusions.

"Upon taking the presidency, Nicosia aims to show the problems it faces being the last divided capital in Europe"

Mavrou added, "We will be given the opportunity to highlight the prospects of Nicosia, its character, and to develop initiatives and partnerships with other European capitals".

Mavrou said, "By selecting the theme [of inclusive and sustainable capitals] we seek to highlight the particular opportunities and challenges faced by European capitals in their effort to improve competitiveness, infrastructure, the quality of the urban environment and services for the welfare of their citizens, while ensuring a sustainable development and regeneration without territorial, cultural and socio-economic divisions and exclusions".

The coming conference is set to include academics, politicians and technocrat-experts, to present the different aspects: social, economic, political and cultural.

"We will seek to co-operate with UNICA, the network of Universities from the capitals of Europe, whose Chairman is the Rector of the University of Cyprus Stavros Zenios to analyse the dimension of the society of knowledge and use it at a guide for local development".

The UCEU was created in 1961 to preserve continuous links between the European capitals and to encourage communication between the inhabitants in order to develop the living feeling of European solidarity.

It is a unique gathering of Europe's 27 capitals and provides an exclusive opportunity for the Mayors, elected city councillors and senior administrators to address collectively issues of common concern.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2009

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Apr 25, 2009
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