Cyprus Mail

New youth council elections in Paphos announced

A new committee representing the youth of Paphos is due to be put in place in March, according to the local municipality.

“Due to the end of its mandate, elections for a new youth council is being announced,” municipal officer, Andri Christodoulidou-Tsartsali told the Sunday Mail.

The Paphos youth council comes under the umbrella of the Youth Board of Cyprus, (Onek), and is headed up by municipal councillor Giorgos Tselepos.

He was elected by Paphos municipal council, as is the case in other municipalities, and will hold onto his position. However, the committee members will change.

“The committee is made up of all sorts of youth organisations that have members of 35 years old or younger, and they have to join as members to the entity first, if they want to be eligible for the election,” explained Christodoulidou-Tsartsali.

Youth organisations interested in joining the members’ registry will have to submit their statutes, list of activities and a logo or stamp of their organisation to Paphos municipality by Friday March 1, 2019, she said.

The committee, (as is the case in municipal councils), is made up of 20 members and the president, she said. If more than twenty youth organisations register an interest in the places available, there will then be an election to secure the positions.

“Organisations that are not interested in joining the register of youth council members will not be able to participate in the electoral process, but all youth associations and organisations are able to propose ideas and get involved generally,” she said.

The Youth Board of Cyprus, (Onek), was established as a public legal entity in 1994 and in accordance with the Youth Board Law of 1994, that was voted by the House of Representatives.

It started operation in June 1994, when the first board of directors was appointed, offering various opportunities to young people for active participation in society, both in Cyprus and abroad.

Following that, more recently, the introduction of youth councils got underway in Cyprus in 2001, and the first ones were established in the municipalities of Paphos and Aradippou.

These entities aim to create an initiative to provide an opportunity for young people and organised youth clubs to be activated within a local authority, and for youth clubs, student organisations, young volunteers and social, political, cultural and environmental organisations to be actively involved in issues that affect them.

The aim is also to create a way for the youth to be represented in the decision-making process within their municipality or community.

“Young people have the opportunity to discuss and suggest the adoption of various issues and benefit from the implementation of different programmes, actions and infrastructure projects of their municipality or community,” she said, adding that they play an important advisory role.

The councils provide an invaluable connection between young people and the local authorities.

“We help the authorities identify any possible interests of the younger generation and also of problems affecting young people, and to then actively find solutions,” said Tselebos.

The youth boards are also responsible for preparing an annual action plan which includes a financial budget. They also recommend solution-policies in regards to problems that young people face in relation to the local authority.

They can also recommend the implementation of infrastructure projects, programmes and actions for the benefit of young people locally.

Actions taken can be economic, technical or informative and not in any way in competition with organised youth groups. They are generally more active in areas where these groups are not able to be.

The youth boards are financially supported by the local authorities supports and are also permitted to receive financial help from the private sector, such as grants for a specific programme or activity.

Specific programmes can also be sponsored by the Youth Board of Cyprus – YBC- through the Youth Initiatives Project.

So far, 23 municipal youth boards and three community youth councils have been established.

For more information: Paphos Municipality: Tel 26822854

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