Capacity building and assistance for the running of the newly established General Secretariat for European Affairs
The European Commission supported Cyprus to put in place an efficient and permanent mechanism to facilitate effective EU affairs coordination as well as to improve Cyprus’ meaningful input to EU processes.
The support took the form of sharing good practices among EU Member States, providing training to the administration and drafting a detailed action plan. This included recommendations regarding the organisational structure of the General Secretariat, its internal processes, inter-ministerial communication and process workflows, as well as change management.
The General Secretariat was established in February 2019 within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Support is provided to help operationalise and embed its central coordination role within the Cypriot administration as regards EU Affairs. Another long-term impact of the project is to enhance the General Secretariat’s role in monitoring infringement procedures, acting as a preventive and control mechanism for a better transposition of EU law.
Support was delivered under the Structural Reform Support Program by Expertise France, inter alia by mapping the General Secretariat’s “as is” situation; organising workshops to present good practices from relevant EU Member States. Other support included drafting an action plan on the General Secretariat’s organisational structure, internal and inter-ministerial process workflows, change management and training needs; organising workshops for targeted groups within the Cypriot administration; delivering management and coordination training.
Moreover, the project was extended to allow for a more in-depth analysis covering the entire Ministry of Foreign Affairs to identify areas of improvement with regards to policy obligations towards the EU.
As a result of this project, Cyprus can now more effectively coordinate their position vis a vis EU institutions through a performing General Secretariat. This will facilitate the formulation, development and implementation of inter-ministerial coordination of policies and strategies in order to define a common and unified national position on EU issues. Furthermore, the project supported and facilitated the creation of a national strategy on EU affairs.