As of September 1st 2009, a new unit has been operating at the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) of Cyprus, namely, the European and International Affairs Office (EIAO). The Office is responsible for coordinating, developing and implementing policies of all Departments and services of the MoEC as well as cooperating organisations like the Cyprus Sports Organisation, the Youth Board of Cyprus, Cultural Services and other governmental departments, such as the Department of Antiquities and the competent authority for Audiovisual within the Ministry of Interior.
The European and International Affairs Office, serves as a contact point within the Ministry for the development, coordination and implementation of educational, cultural, youth and sports policy objectives of the Government of Cyprus, both at the bilateral and the multilateral level.
EIAO’s mission is to contribute to a successful and creative participation of the MoEC in the European and international scene, on matters related to its competences.
Therefore, a current major aim of EIAO’s mission is the preparation for the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2012 (1 July - 31 December 2012).
The EIAO, in close collaboration with the Departments and Services of the MOEC, prepared and drafted the 18-month Trio Presidency Programme. To this end, EIAO is responsible for monitoring its implementation and for shaping the priorities of the Ministry of Education and Culture for the 6-month Presidency Programme of Cyprus in relation to the current and inherited EU agenda.
During the Cypriot presidency, EIAO plans to highlight issues such as solidarity, social cohesion and active citizenship, equality and respect for civil and human rights and sustainable development. The Cypriot presidency is planning to tackle the issue of literacy and equal access to education.
Further to the above, EIAO, in cooperation with the Departments/Services of the MOEC, monitors and coordinates the implementation of the Calendar of Events to be held in Cyprus during the Presidency, in cooperation with the Cyprus Presidency Secretariat. The Calendar includes Informal Council Ministers’ meetings, meetings at Director General level and several conferences. EIAO in collaboration with the Departments and Services of the MOEC is responsible for drafting the agenda of the above meetings, aiming at the smooth functioning of the Union and ensuring consensus among Member States.
A synopsis of the aims of EIAO:
To contribute to the maximisation of internal coordination of the Ministry as well as the coordination with other organisations and services in Cyprus and abroad.
To propose recommendations for the shaping of policies and to prepare, after consulting the Minister of Education and Culture, the reports and documents to be presented on behalf of the Ministry in European and International Councils, meetings, conferences etc.
To propose the development of specific actions for implementing policies of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
To inform schools, cooperating organisations, services or people for issues concerning European and International Affairs.
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