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Dialogues

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This Seminar is supported by the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS (2007 – 2013).

The Decision no 1672/2006 establishing a Community Programme for employment and social solidarity – PROGRESS was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 24 October 2004 and published in the OJ on 15 November 2006. Its overall aim is to support financially the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in the employment and social affairs area as set out in the Social Agenda and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy goals in these fields.

PROGRESS mission is to strengthen the EU contribution in support of Member States’ commitments and efforts to create more and better jobs and to build a more cohesive society. To that effect, PROGRESS:

- provides analysis and policy advice on PROGRESS policy areas;
- monitors and reports on the implementation of EU legislation and policies in PROGRESS policy areas;
- promotes policy transfer, learning and support among Member Stated on EU objectives and priorities;
- relays the views of the stakeholders and society at large.

The seven-year Programme targets all stakeholders who can help shape the development of appropriate and effective employment and social legislation and policies, across the EU-27, EFTA-EEA, Croatia, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and EU candidate countries in Serbia.


Must be specified:
“that it reflects the author’s view and that the Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein”

Within the contest of the 2007 European Year of equal Opportunities for All, the European Union has invited interested parties, within the context of a public competition, to submit proposals for the promotion of national awareness raising activities in the fields of antidiscrimination, diversity and equality. The Social Welfare Services under the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance of the Republic of Cyprus, have submitted a proposal for the implementation of such activities, which was positively evaluated. The programme is being financed by the European Union by 80%. The duration of the programme is one year. The Republic of Cyprus covers the rest 20%of the expenses. The objective is to raise awareness and to enhance mobilization of all stakeholders in policy making and develop a mutual process of cooperation and learning in this field. It aims at combating discrimination on the grounds of racial and ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

The year 2007 constituted the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and it was an opportunity for renewing of common vision for Europe where all persons will enjoy a life free of discriminations and inequalities. Within this context, the European Union has invited interested parties, within the context of a public competition, to submit proposals for the promotion of national awareness raising activities in the fields of antidiscrimination, diversity and equality.

The Social Welfare Services under the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance of the Republic of Cyprus, have submitted a proposal for the implementation of such activities, which was positively evaluated. The duration of the programme is one year and is expected to be completed within the year 2008. It is being financed by the European Union by 80%, and the Republic of Cyprus will cover the rest 20% of the expenses. The cost of the programme is €105 766,22.

The activities to be undertaken during the completion of this project, lay within the context of the two Directives, the Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin and the Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and education, which are the two pillars of the EU anti-discrimination legislation.

The result of the efforts of fighting discrimination was the growth of an overall legislative regulation in European level. However, further efforts will be needed to ensure that the principle of non-discrimination is implemented effectively across the European Union. Discrimination on the grounds of racial and ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation continues to be a daily reality for millions of people who live and work in the EU. In addition, new challenges have emerged since the adoption of the current instruments for combating discrimination at European level.

The Social Welfare Services, within the context of the above Programme, aim at raising awareness and enhancing mobilization of all stakeholders in policy making and developing a mutual process of cooperation and learning in this field.

The following table includes and describes the activities which have been already completed and the activities to be undertaken within the concept of the above described programme.

ACTIVITIES

NameActivity
Conference 13 December 2008
Press Conference
The Minister of Labour and Social Insurance of Cyprus announced the launching of the activities concerning the Programme “Dialogues”
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination21 March 2008
Face-to-face information
This year the Social Welfare Services have organised events, where they provided information to the public related to discrimination issues ("Have you ever thought the world with only one colour?",
"
Dialogues". In the central locations of the major cities of Cyprus, Social Welfare Officers provided informative material and information to the public.
In Eleftheria Square in Nicosia the day was celebrated along with music by the Tat-TNABAR-Ethic Group. The Minister of Labour and Social Insurances honoured the event with her presence.
National Awareness Conference concerning the directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC and their transposition to the national law27 March 2008
Conference
Dimosiographiki Estia, Nicosia
The Minister of Labour and Social Insurances addressed the Conference.
One of the main speakers in the event was Mrs Brigitte Degen, Representative of the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission.
National Awareness Activities Seminar related to diversity, discrimination and equality issues26 March 2006
Seminar
SPE Agias Filas, Limassol
One of the main speakers in the event was Mrs Brigitte Degen, Representative of the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission.
National Awareness Activities Seminar related to diversity, discrimination and equality issues on the grounds of race and ethnic origin28 May 2008
Seminar
Sandy Beach Hotel, Larnaca
The Directive 2000/43/EC was analyzed and several issues were discussed concerning the efforts of combating discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin.
Cyprus National Exhibition23 – 31 May 2008
Face-to-face information
During the above mentioned days Social Welfare Officers were present at the Cyprus National Exhibition providing the visitors with information
Face-to-face informationPolicemen of the Cyprus Police Force – Neighbourhood Policemen – provide and will provide through the year 2008, face-to-face information concerning the Programme
National Awareness Activities Seminar related to diversity, discrimination and equality issues on the grounds age or sexual orientaion1 July 2008
Seminar
Galata Village Centre
The Seminar was held in mountain regions of Cyprus, in an effort to provide information to people who live in more remote areas of Cyprus. These areas are populated by a great number of older people who need our support and all the information concerning their rights. The discussion between a Church Representative and the President of the Liberating Movement of Homosexuals in Cyprus concerning sexual orientation was very successful.
WebsiteFurther information concerning the Programme and the activities can be found in the web page www.mlsi.gov.cy/sws
StoryMay 2008
In May 2008 the launching of the competition was announced for writing a short story concerning issues of discrimination that will be addressed to children and young people, in an attempt to influence and sensitise them. The prize of the competition, which will end in August 2008, is a flight ticket to Brussels.
NewslettersAt the end of each activity a newsletter is prepared and published.