By Andria Kades
A bi-communal Europe Direct Centre was inaugurated on Wednesday night in Nicosia at a ceremony at the Home for Cooperation with representatives from both sides of the divide.
Addressing the event, Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said “initiatives such as these act as a helping prelude to our eventual goal: The reunification of Cyprus within the arms of the European community.”
Part of wider network, Europe Direct aims to provide accessible, user-friendly information to EU citizens about their rights and opportunities, as well as on the priorities, policies and programmes of the European Union. Citizens in Nicosia can be served in Greek, Turkish and English.
“Empowered by the European values of democracy, justice, solidarity, respect of human rights and diversity, we remain focused and determined to achieve European fulfillment. We patiently await for a resolution to our national tragedy, the liberation and reunification of our country and our city,” Yiorkadjis said.
Speaking on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Harmancı stressed the importance of the EU in negotiations as technical advisors adding that more bi-communal projects and initiatives should be implemented.
“If there will be a solution soon, we will all have to work together”, he said, adding that, in order for projects to be implemented, EU financial support and guidance is needed.
Also speaking at the ceremony, which included a music programme by the bi-communal choir for peace singing songs in Greek and Turkish, Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus Georgios Markopouliotis said he hoped “residents of Nicosia from both sides of the Green Line will indeed use this tool we placed at their disposal.”
The centre will be organising events to inform citizens about EU programmes and to promote EU values and opportunities such as film festivals, a study fair, cycling and kid’s clubs.
The new branch was established in February 2015 by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research EDIC Nicosia is co-funded by the European Union.