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New National Training Strategy for Cyprus

Good administration is a key component of good democratic governance, as states in the recently adopted CM Recommendation (2023)5 on the principles of good democratic governance. One of these principles - Principle 8 – is Leadership, capability and capacity. It refers to regular training needs assessments and training strategies as elements of compliance.   In line with this principle and in view of the imminent implementation of the Local Government Reform, the updated TNA (Training Needs Analysis) and NTS (National Training Strategy), prepared according to the relevant toolkits of the Council of Europe, were presented in Cyprus.

A TNA was conducted in Cyprus from February to October 2023, followed by the drafting of the NTS, as part of the Council of Europe's project “Enhancing Local Government Reform in Cyprus”. On 15 December 2023, the Council of Europe experts guided more than 60 representatives from the Cypriot municipalities, communities and relevant ministries through the main findings of the TNA and the recommended strategy to strengthen local governments’ capabilities and capacities. The documents include references and comparative analyses, shedding light on shifts in respondent perspectives and sentiments over the previous six years.

“The continuous training and capacity building of local authorities’ elected representatives and staff, taking into consideration the needs that exist in the new framework for local authorities, is necessary and should be institutionalised” said Mr Antonis Economides, Head of the Local Government Directorate of the Ministry of Interior.

“Training and capacity building needs remained mainly unchanged since 2017; however, there is a wide agreement among local public officials that the reform is an essential step towards democratic governance. Thus, the milestone of July 2024 will be significant to set up the framework for the NTS’s implementation”, said Dr. Loizou, one of the experts.

The presentation was followed by a workshop on the Public Ethics Benchmark tool aiming to adapt this important CEGG instrument to the Cypriot municipalities’ context. The workshop, that was a first step of an important process to help local authorities to improve local public ethics standards and compliance with them, will continue with the municipalities conducting a self-assessment exercise to create a National Benchmark on Public Ethics.

The project is implemented by the CEGG and funded through a Voluntary Contribution by the Government of Cyprus, under the “Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026” financed by the European Union.

Nicosia, Cyprus 15 December 2023
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