The Municipality of Athienou, with the help of a partner from Greece and with partners 4 other cities from Europe, submitted a proposal as a Lead Partner, within the framework of the EUROPE FOR CITIZENS Invitation, to the “Cities Network” action. The proposal of the municipality AGORA was submitted before the closure of this call on 01/03/2019, when 130 valid proposals were submitted. Only 18 out of the 130 valid proposals were approved, or 13.4%, and the Municipality of Athienou’s application is among them.

It is a great success for the Municipality of Athienou, which succeeds in the approval of a second program as a lead partner, through the horizontal programs of the European Union, which, in addition to the substantial result for Athienou, helps to raise European funds for Cyprus, something which other big municipalities do not succeed.

Apart from the Municipality of Athienou, the Municipalities of Smolyan Bulgaria, Cinicello Balsamo of Lombardy – Italy, Santa Maria Da Feira of Portugal and Athens of Greece participate in the program.

The AGORA program concerns an open dialogue in a public space, through the experimental method of dialogue and participation as in Ancient Athens. This activity promotes the European Union understanding and the democratic engagement of the participants. It benefits the participants by facilitating the effective aspect of learning while it enhances interpersonal relations and promotes interpersonal rewards. Moreover, it produces improved communication and discussion skills within the group and produces a more integrated view of the broader context within which sociological concepts fall. This activity also promotes individual discovery in learning.

The budget is €143.640 and is 100% covered by European funding. The program will last for 2 years and the first meeting will take place soon, at a time to be determined, in Athienou.

Workshops with clay inspired by the archaeological collection of the Museum – 29.7.19

10 years Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou

Workshops with clay inspired by
the archaeological collection of the Museum


The Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou in cooperation with the Διατεχνών Arts & Culture organizes on Monday 29th of July 2019 two workshops with clay:

Creating a flat pigeon bird from white clay and decorating it with linear and geometrical motifs using carving tools.
Time: 9:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Ages: 5 years old and over
Cost: 12 euro

Making a small wine jug from white clay following the ancient techniques.
Time: 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Ages: 8 years old and over and adults
Cost: 14 euro

For more information and booking, call at 24524002 or email at [email protected]

Workshops will take place if the required number of participants is fulfilled.


The following projects are currently being carried forward for the Municipality of Athienou.

  1. Creation of an Excursion Area in the vicinity of Archangelos Church.

A contract has been signed with the successful tenderer and the project has begun. All costs will be covered by the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 through the Forestry Department.

  1. Completion of pavement construction on the roads of the Industrial Zone.

The tender has been awarded to the lowest bidder and the signing of the contracts is expected to take place in the next few days. The start of the construction will begin and the project will be completed shortly. All costs will be covered by the Ministry of Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism.

  1. 3. Selection of an Architectural Office for the preparation of plans for the 1st phase of the Central Churches’ Square.

After the collaboration of the Department of Urban Planning and Housing, the Municipality of Athienou announced a tender for the selection of an architectural office for the preparation of the plans for the construction of the 1st Phase of the square, costing €2 m. for construction. It is a Town Planning Project, in which the Municipality contributes 20% at the stage of the study and in the construction phase. The construction of the Project has been approved in the State Budget Framework 2019-2021.

  1. Reform the Municipal Market and turn it into a Multifunctional Cultural Center.

The Department of Urban Planning and Housing is preparing to launch a tender for the selection of a contractor for the construction of the Project in the coming days. It is a Town Planning Project, in which the Municipality contributes 20%, both at the stage of the study, which has been completed, and at the construction stage. The Project has been approved in the State Budget Framework 2019-2021.



On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, a visit by the new Ambassador of the United States of America, Mrs Judith G. Garber, is scheduled to take place in Athienou.

The visit will take place on the occasion of the continuation of archaeological excavations at the Archaeological Site of Malloura at Athienou, from the Archaeological Mission of Davidson University of North Carolina, which are continued every year without interruption since 1990, under the supervision of Professor of Archeology, Michalis Toumazou, originated from Athienou.

Mayor of Athienou Kyriakos Kareklas and the Head of the American Archaeological Mission Professor Michalis Toumazou will welcome the Ambassador at the Kallinikeio Municipal Hall at 10:30. There will be a joint visit and tour to the Archaeological Site of Malloura, but also to the workshop of the Archaeological Mission. Mr Michalis Toumazou will explain and present the archaeological richness of the area and the findings of the mission over the years, while the Ambassador will meet the Davidson University students.

A visit to the Municipality of Athienou will take place next, where the Mayor will have a brief meeting with the Ambassador and he will explain her the issue of the opening of the Pyroi passage and the injustice for the region from its not opening for 45 years, requesting for her help to reach its opening.

The visit will end with an official lunch that the Mayor will offer in honor of the Ambassador and his escort, at a traditional Athienou restaurant.

PRESS RELEASE – Meeting of the European Project YOUROPE

The 4th meeting of the European Project YOUROPE took place on 11 and 12 June 2019 in the city of Noto, Sicily, Italy, in the context of the “Europe for Citizens” initiative, in which the Municipality of Athienou is participating as a partner. YOUROPE is a network of 8 European cities that focus on young people and their role in the present and the future of Europe. The aim is to contribute to the fight against Eurosceptic rhetoric by encouraging participants to engage in dialogue and work out an inclusive rhetoric at local level. The main actors are young people from each region who work with experts (eg academics, journalists, etc.) to learn about media communication strategies, EU policies and strategies and the free expression of their views, in order to achieve great impact at local and regional level, making the new European ambassadors in their own city.

The Municipality of Athienou at the meeting, which took place with great success, was represented by the President of the Municipal Youth Council Mr. Dimitris Ierodiakonou and the Municipal Councilor Mr. Petros Kolias.

The meeting was attended by representatives of cities or institutions from Noto – Sicily, Italy, which hosted it, Warsaw – Poland, Ljubljana – Slovenia, Agia – Greece, Sofia – Bulgaria, Brussels – Belgium and Athienou Municipality. During the meeting were done creative workshops and presentations-debates on how Europe addresses the challenges of the EU, actions among the participants for positive rhetoric towards Europe, planning of the next meetings and network actions, and much more.

Program actions are 100% covered by European funding.




On Thursday and Friday, 11 and 12 April 2019, the 3rd International Meeting of all Partners of the YOUROPE Program, within the framework of the Europe for Citizens initiative, will take place in Athienou. The aim of the program is to unite roads for a better understanding of young people about Europe and the elimination of Euro-skepticism.

The meeting will include representatives of other 7 European cities participating in the Program, in addition to the Athienou Municipality, which will host the meeting. These are the following:

Altea – Spain (lead partner), Warsaw – Poland, Ljubljana – Slovenia, Elassona – Greece, Sofia – Bulgaria, Noto – Sicily – Italy and Brussels – Belgium.

During the meeting, the participants will attend a round table-game-creative workshop on “What does the EU do?”. Experts and participants will discuss the implementation of EU policies at regional and local level. They will also play the Scavenger hunt “Where is the EU?”, where they will be divided into groups and will be asked to find the EU flag on municipal buildings built with European funding and to realize the importance of EU funding local initiatives.

They will also participate at the Creative Lab “My Wishes”, where they will be encouraged to freely express their wishes about the European Union through instagram.

The Head of the Office3 of the European Parliament in Cyprus, Mr. Andreas Kettis, iss invited and he will present at the Meeting the subject “The European Elections 23-26 May 2019 and Their Stakes for the Future of Europe”. Also, students from the Lyceum of St. George Larnaca will make a presentation, a European Parliament ambassador for participation in the campaign “This time I vote”, to convince citizens to vote in the EU elections, along with two songs by the students.

In his speech, the Sociology Doctor Michael Angelo will speak on “EU Challenges”.

The International Meeting will take place at the premises of the Athienou Municipal Youth Center and the kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou.

All participants from abroad will be staying in Athienou, in agrotourism lodgings that have been created in the Municipality and will be hosted throughout their stay by the Municipality of Athienou.

The actions of the Program are 100% covered by European funding.

‘Volunteering Cities’ a Powerful Model for European Cities

To develop the innovative policies necessary to face the currently emerging multidimensional social needs in cities such as elderly and children care, social isolation and depression, poverty, addiction, just to name some, it is necessary to create collective learning processes based on exchange and peer to peer learning.

European social policies have been in a central position in the last Cohesion Policy frameworks. However, the last mid-term report has shown that in spite of a general improvement of the economic indicators, poverty and social inclusion have not registered the same positive evolution. In this framework, the community involvement and participation is getting an increasing importance either to identify the problems with more accuracy, but also to create the solutions that are closer to people in need and more adequate to the problems.

In order to facilitate the peer learning among cities, URBACT has promoted the Transfer Networks. “Volunteering cities” is one of the 25 transfer networks approved by the URBACT Secretariat in April 2018. This network is led by the city of Athienou (CY) that was awarded URBACT Good Practice in 2017.

Transfer of the volunteering governance model

The transfer network “Volunteering Cities” aims to promote the transfer and adaptation of this Good Practice, consisting of volunteering structured and intergenerational processes, to the partner cities as leverage to improve social inclusion, to fight poverty and raise better levels of citizens’ quality of life in a more cohesive society. In this structured participative Governance Model to design and implement the municipal social policy, the volunteers play a key role.

Municipal Council of Volunteerism (MCV)

Framed within a national Programme, Athienou city has established a Municipal Council of Volunteerism (MCV), chaired by the Mayor, with 48 members elected by the community (local organizations, political parties, parents associations, church and sponsors). The MCV is an umbrella Council for four programs, each one with its own Council of volunteers, supporting the programs ‘staff in their tasks and responsibilities. The four programs are: an Elderly Home, a Center for Adults with initiatives related with occupational activities for isolated people and day care activities, the Municipal Nursery Center and the Social Welfare Committee. This latter Committee, chaired by the Mayor and with a close collaboration with the Social Welfare Office and the Ministry of Education, is a kind of a social department of the municipality but working with a participative structure. 

Kyriacos Kareklas, Mayor of Athienou and Lead Partner of the present Transfer Network states that “Although, volunteers take the decisions, the committee operates under strict standards, it reports for its actions and it is audited by the legal authorities. Since its establishment in 2012, an average of 40 individuals is supported at any given time. The support is also in full collaboration with the rest of the programs of the MCV”.

The MCV as a whole uses a bottom up approach, with the institutions achieving a vertical and horizontal integration that allows the volunteers to take decisions with the necessary validation.

Intergenerational work: a sustainability factor

A key sustainability factor of these initiatives is the intergenerational element, joint initiatives of different age groups of the community. The children begin very early to participate in volunteering activities as well as are also beneficiaries of volunteering activities fostering a continuity culture from generation to generation. As an example can be mentioned the weekly regular visits of the children to the elderly home in order to have some joint entertainment activities with the old people. Another example is the frequent visits that volunteers make to schools with storytelling initiatives to encourage the volunteering engagement of children and young people.

A strong corporate social responsibility of local companies

Furthermore, there is an additional element based on a strong Corporate Social Responsibility component from the main Employers’ Associations of the Region. This rather extraordinary support given by the private sector to the social welfare of the region has some reasons. In the first place it is necessary to mention that the economic tissue of the area is essentially based on agriculture, cattle breeding and other related industries. For instance, this Association is providing the Elderly Home with 30 liters milk a day and 20 Kg meat a week free of charge. These sectors are essentially family rooted with a strong intergenerational succession in the businesses. This succession feeds the continuation of the existing cohesive culture and the solidarity principle in the society; another relevant factor is the isolation of the city due to the special geographical location in the middle of the United Nations buffer zone between Cyprus and the Turkish occupied territories, around 80% of the agricultural area of Athienou.

Kyriacos Kareklas also says, “Athienou Good Practice was generated in the city for many years. Its key-strength is the inter-generational collaboration, in which different age groups of both volunteers and individuals facing social problems, work together towards a sustainable evolution of the quality of life within local society”.

The Transfer Network

The network involves seven partner cities that are geographically distributed across Europe in order to enable a wider testing of the necessary approaches in different contexts and Governance Models: Capizzi (IT)) and Athy (IE) are already full partners in the first 6 months phase of the project and Ratlin (PL), Altena (DE), Altea (ES), Arcos de Valdevez (PT) and Pregrada (HR) as network enlargement partner cities.

The biggest challenge for the transfer network is the identification of the elements and methodologies for the transfer that suits better each one of the partner cities having in consideration the wide variety of socio-economic characteristics. The population varies from around 3,000 inhabitants to 23,000, the volunteering structures are differently organised and the social hot spots are also diversified (high unemployment rates, brain drain, ageing population…).

To be able to face the above mentioned challenges it is fundamental to create the conditions for a wide involvement of stakeholders and to promote their empowerment and capacity to participate in the identification of the good practice elements that can support adding value to the already existing volunteering structures. To do this, each city is setting-up an URBACT Local Group (ULG), a group of the stakeholders that can play a key role in the transfer process. The ULG’s will be the necessary vehicle to foster integrated and participative approaches to the urban policies thematic areas Social inclusion and Governance, and for the elaboration of an implementation action plan. The main elements emerging from this very early stage of the work seem to be: improving participative decision mechanisms using volunteers, if possible by reinforcing the respective institutionalization, reinforcement of intergenerational actions in the volunteer activities, intensification of the private sector citizenship and the reinforcement of the volunteer work in the implementation of the municipal social policies.

At a further stage, in the second phase of the Network, the ULGs will be the key success factor for the implementation of the Action Plan of the Transfer Network during the respective 24 months duration.

More on Transfer Networks methodology.

The spirit of volunteerism

Through the practice of volunteerism the Transfer Network is based on a participatory approach that uses the main resource of a community, the citizens themselves, and focuses on their social needs and priorities. The spirit of volunteerism promotes a strong sense of solidarity and cohesion to a group and as a consequence a sense of belonging to a well-functioning community context. The Transfer Network offers a well-defined horizontal integration at the level of the cities and their inhabitants, as well as a vertical integration of volunteerism within the governance structure.

To finish we would like to highlight that Mr. Kareklas stated: “The URBACT Transfer Networks are a great challenge to promote the transfer of the Good Practice in the other cities. We understand that transferring is not an easy process, but with the help of the Lead Expert and our willingness to accomplish it, we are confident for the good job we will finally have. URBACT gave us a great opportunity and we are all planning to go on to succeed”.

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The Municipality Athienou announces that a request for financing free Wi-Fi installation in the Municipality area has been approved. The application was submitted to the European Funds Unit of the Ministry of the Interior, acting as the Contractor of the Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organization and as Implementing Unit for the Managing Authority (Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment) of the Rural Development Program 2014-2020, under the 3rd Call for Proposals of Measure 7 of the RDP 2014-2020 for Status 7.3 ‘Upgrading the existing broadband infrastructure through the provision of wireless access to key locations in rural areas’, which was launched on 23 April 2018 with a deadline for submission of applications on 31 May 2018.

Specifically, the project “Development of Internet Access Wi-Fi (Internet) in Municipalities and Communities” was approved in Measure 7 of the RDP 2014-2020 and it will be implemented by the Department of Electrical and Mechanical Services of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, with an approved eligible budget of €589.050. The project is expected to serve communities and municipalities in rural areas, including the Municipality of Athienou, with a total population of more than 100,000.

The project budget will be co-financed by 53% from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and 47% from State resources.

At the same time, the Municipality submitted a timely application for funding another internet access point in its area, within the framework of the WiFi4EU program. This request was not approved and the Municipality will re-apply for funding in the new year, when the call will reopen.