In November 1990,
at a meeting of the representatives of the District Unions of
Communities, which took place in Limassol, it was decided to
create the Pancyprian Federation of Community Unions, a decision
which materialised in February 1992 with its registration as
an Association. In 1996, mainly for practical reasons, the General
Assembly decided to rename it Cyprus Union of Communities.
The primary objective of the Union is to contribute to the reinforcement
of the Local Self-Government institution, mainly by modernizing
the existing legislations under which the Local Authorities
in its Communities-Members are established and operate, either
as Improvement Boards or Village Commissions.
This objective was achieved to a large extent for the 71 Improvement
Boards with the 9 May 1997 amendment of article 6 of the Village
(Administration and Improvement) Law and the assumption of the
Presidency of the Improvement Boards by the Village Executive.
On 24 June 1999, the House of Representatives voted the Communities
Law (N. 86 (I)/99) Law and on 9 July 1999 it came into force
with its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic,
thus accomplishing the institutional modernisation of the Local
Self-Government. With the enactment of the above Law, important
changes are introduced in the administration system of the local
administration authorities, such as the concentration of the
administration powers of all the local affairs provided for
by the above Law in the Councils, including those being before
within the competence of the Improvement Boards, Village Authorities,
Health Committees and Water Committees, which ceased to exist
on the day the above Law came into force.
Furthermore, since its establishment, the Union has developed
a multiform and multilateral activity for the protection and
service of the well-intended interests of the Communities and
their inhabitants. To promote this aim, the Union has made every
effort to obtain financial assistance for the Communities and
secure the participation of their elected representatives in
the decision taking centres, so that their voice is also heard
where the decisions are reached.
Undoubtedly, the participation of the Cyprus Union of Communities
in the remarkable progress really achieved in the last years
in the area of Local Self-Government was important.
The Local Self-Government has to play its own important role
in the difficult times our homeland goes through, at the threshold
of the 21st century and in view of the big challenges of our
times, one step before our adhesion to the European Union. Our
mission in the new rapidly changing conditions is both to develop
our Communities and improve the standard of living of our inhabitants.
The Cyprus Union of Communities will continue to play its role
constructively as a collective organ and the representative
of the Communities abroad and inland. In this effort, the further
active involvement of the elected representatives of the Communities
in the collective organs, as well as the participation of the
plain citizens in the activities it realises, are an indispensable
act that will strengthen substantially its force and its voice,
so as to become more effective in its demands and be able to
take up the big challenges that are in front of us.
The present document describes in general lines the historical
background of the Union and its main activities since its foundation.
Since its foundation, the Cyprus Union of Communities has aimed
at solving the problems the municipalities face daily, both
at an institutional and financial level, and it struggles for
the rationalistic development of the communities, the improvement
of its inhabitants' standard of living, putting forward motives
encouraging them to stay in the communities and especially in
the mountainous and remote areas, in order to limit and dissuade
The Union of Communities does its utmost to influence the formation
of the policy at the stage of study and formulation of governmental
positions, so that the final decision taking embodies its views.
It is therefore in continuous communication and has contacts
with the competent ministries and other organisms, as well as
with the House of Representatives. One of the Union's important
functions is the representation of Communities abroad through
the participation in international organs of local self-government
and through its representation at various local and international
congresses. Among others, the Union of Communities also endeavours
to achieve further collaboration between the communities, a
fact that will turn out to the advantage of communities themselves,
especially as regards its finances. To this effect, it organises
evening parties and other district and regional activities,
to enable the presidents and members of the communities to meet
and exchange views, experiences and opinions about community
issues and further develop their relations.
The Union is also intensely active in the organisation of training
conferences designed for the presidents, members and secretaries
of the local authorities, especially on subjects concerning
the European Union and legislations. Indeed, the action of the
Union is intense and multidimensional, as it deals with all
the issues and problems the Communities are concerned with and
face. It makes continuous efforts to solve the numerous problems
the communities encounter every day, both on an institutional
and financial level, and it struggles for the rationalistic
development of the communities, the improvement of their inhabitants'
standard of living, putting forward motives encouraging them
to stay in the communities and especially in the mountainous
and remote areas, in order to limit and dissuade rural depopulation.
Generally, it promotes the statutory aims of its foundation,
which are the defence and promotion of the powers, interests,
rights and privileges of the members and, generally; the independence
and self-sufficiency of the local authorities of the country.
At the meeting of the village authorities which took place in
Limassol in 1981, in order to discuss and deal with some issues,
the necessity was felt to organise the communities, both at
a regional and Pancyprian level, to deal jointly with the multiple
problems they encounter. Later, in 1988, first in the district
of Limassol and afterwards in the districts of Larnaca, Nicosia,
Paphos and in the unoccupied area of Famagusta, the constitutional
congresses of the Regional Unions of Communities took place,
by which temporary councils were elected with the mission to
organise electoral congresses and the registration of the Unions.
They were followed by the electoral congresses by which the
first administrative councils of the Regional Unions of Communities
were elected. According to the relative provision of their statutes,
they were composed by nine members, the president, the vice-president,
the secretary general, the treasurer and five members.
During the following months, the administrative councils
of the Regional Unions of Communities organised both congresses
on a regional level and joint meetings and congresses of all
the Regional Unions at a Pancyprian level. At the joint meetings
and congresses, the need was ascertained for the establishment
of a supreme collective organ for the representation of the
Regional Unions of Communities and, by extent, of all the communities,
dealing in a responsible way with the common problems the communities
face, both at an institutional and financial level and always
struggling for the rationalistic development of the communities.
This action was considered to be necessary, it formed a subject
of discussions, negotiations, meetings of the councils and Regional
Unions of Communities, which took place from 1988 to 1990. A
final decision for the establishment of the supreme collective
organ of the local authorities of the communities with the name
of Pancyprian Federation of Unions of Communities, was taken
in November 1990 at a meeting that took place in Limassol and
at which all the Regional Unions of Communities were represented
by their presidents and treasurers, who composed the first temporary
administrative council of the Federation under establishment.
The first concern of the Federation was the assumption
of its essential role as a collective organ of defence and service
of the interests of the communities, to constitute the means
of information and exchange of useful views and experiences,
to enable the Village Executives and the members of the local
authorities of the Communities to face the various problems
appearing daily in almost all the communities.
Among the priorities of the Union were, from the beginning,
the financial self-sufficiency and self-administration of the
Rural Local Self-Government Organisms and the involvement of
the elected local authorities in the decision taking centres
for issues concerning the communities. They succeeded with much
labour : the Federation, the Government and the House of Representatives
recognised its essential role and, as a collective organ, it
started to be invited in all the committees dealing with issues
concerning the Communities. This resulted in the increase and
extension of the Federation's activities and volume of work.
Thus, the Federation went on and rented offices in Nicosia and,
in July 1993, it engaged Mr. Panayiotis Damianou as secretary
of the Federation. In October 1994, a Statutory Congress took
place in Agros, with a new Administrative Council which had
been previously elected at the elections of the Regional Unions
of Communities. At this congress it was decided to rename the
Pancyprian Federation of Unions of Communities and give it the
name Cyprus Union of Communities.