Cyprus University opens Brussels office

AS A sign of things to come, the University of Cyprus (UCY) will set up an office in Brussels to keep a closer eye on developments in research, education and culture while having a foot in EU decision-making.

The European Co-operation Office has the job of keeping the university informed on EU policies and creating close contacts with key figures in the European Commission and Parliament.

The UCY points out that a physical presence in Brussels would help increase co-operation with a host of other countries and promote collaboration on funding proposals. More importantly, a visible presence in the corridors of power would give the university a direct line to pressure groups whose sole purpose is to lobby the Commission and Parliament.

To promote its interests further, the university intends to forge co-operation with the Association of European Universities, the UK Research Office (UKRO) and the Wales European Centre (WEC).

The UKRO deals exclusively with policy on scientific research and education and is funded by a large number of research councils in Britain. The WEC is a regional organisation of higher education institutes, which lobbies European decision-makers in the interests of its members.

The University is currently looking into ways to co-operate with interested parties in Cyprus through the European Co-operation Office and newly formed Office for the Formulation of Proposals.

It is a recognised fact that lobbying in Brussels is the most effective method of influencing EU policy. A visible presence and collaboration with pressure groups is considered an essential tool to advancing the interests of each country, group or organisation.

One EU analyst said: “To advance the interests of Cypriot society and business, a greater presence will have to be felt in Brussels, sooner rather than later.”