Our ESU was welcomed in Cyprus
Our ESU Vice-President Antonios Demetriades, who is also the President of the Senior Citizens Organization of Cyprus (OSCC), invited ESU President An Hermans and Secretary-General Guido Dumon from 13-15 October to participate in an event to mark the United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) and to make some contacts with leading persons in politics to discuss policy issues related to older people. It was about: long-term care, fighting poverty and loneliness, cooperation between generations, digitalization…
We exchanged views about the role of seniors in society, their active participation, and their need for care with Averof Neophytou and Harris Georgiades, President and Vice President of the political party DESY. They both underlined the important role of seniors in their party and the importance of cooperation at the European level when it comes to geopolitical problems. In Limassol, – ‘the most southern city of the EU’ according to Savvas Stouppas- we visited a non-governmental initiative to respond to psychological and cultural needs of seniors. Very interesting was the visit to the University and the clear proposal of Prof. Panayiotis Zaphiris, rector of the Technical University of Limassol to develop activities together. We will certainly explore this idea further. We had several visits and exchanges with local board members of seniors’ associations speaking about their activities in the association and telling what several decades of Turkish occupation in the North of Cyprus meant for their personal life and that of their families.
Our visit to Kyriacos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister to the President and responsible for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, took us to the heart of our recent concern about “digital equality for all”. The minister explained the ambitious plan to optimise digital participation for all and how seniors will be able to take advantage of the support and coaching offered in local communities.
The “highlight” of the whole week was a meeting in a large auditorium “Cine Studio” of the University of Nicosia on the occasion of the UNIDOP. Our host was Prof. Constantinos N. Phellas, Vice-Rector of the University. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou took the event under her wing. An important delegation of Cypriot seniors and representatives from the political, economic, and cultural sectors of society gathered and enjoyed several speeches that all emphasized the role of seniors and the need for cooperation between generations to develop a sustainable, fair and inclusive society. Professor An Hermans, one of the speakers, addressed the role of the EU in tackling demographic change. And… as ESU Vice-President Antonios Demetriades said “We are sure that these recent meetings will certainly have repercussions for the ESU, at the European level as well as in Cyprus.” We thank our Cypriot friends for making this all possible