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News article11 October 2023Representation in Cyprus

EU supports building bridges between the two communities in Cyprus

First joint Brussels visit of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot language professionals

language builds bridges

The Commission services have organised a first ever joint visit to Brussels for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot translators and interpreters during 9th to 13th of October. A group of 20 Cypriot linguists is learning first-hand what it means to translate and interpret for the EU. They experience the practical aspects of working in the multilingual environment of EU institutions, which includes sharing EU standards and best practices in translation and interpretation.

The group was welcomed by the Commission’s Director-General for Structural Reform Support, Mario Nava, who briefed the participants about the overall EU efforts to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus and the tangible benefits of EU support for the Turkish Cypriot community. This visit is one of the manifold EU-funded bicommunal initiatives aimed at improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, thus paving the way for reunification.

During the 5-day visit, the participants are meeting with the relevant services of the Commission and the Parliament, including with the Commission’s Director-General for Interpretation, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, the Commission’s Acting Director-General for Translation, Christos Ellinides, the Parliament’s Director-General for Translation, Valter Mavrič, and the Parliament’s Director-General for Logistics and Interpretation for Conferences, Agnieszka Walter Drop.

Amongst others, the group has an opportunity to explore the state-of-the-art digital translation tools and observe interpreters during the Commission’s midday briefing and the Parliament committees’ meetings. The programme also includes an exchange with the multilingual Belgian Chamber of Translators and Interpreters.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said on the occasion of the visit of Cypriot translators and interpreters: “Languages bring people closer to each other and are a powerful tool to foster stronger ties between the people of Cyprus. The European Union is working consistently on increasing contacts between the two communities under the EU aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. I hope that this experience in Brussels will inspire the Cypriot linguists from both communities to bring a message of cooperation and unity to the whole island.”



The EU aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the EU acquis. Between 2006 and 2023, €688 million have been allocated for projects under the aid programme.

The visit of the Cypriot language professionals is part of the “EU Linguistic Support project” under the aid programme, which aims to increase the quality, capacity and standardisation of translation and interpretation services in the Turkish Cypriot community. The project also delivers bicommunal workshops and events, helps to improve professional networks, and provides guidance on EU accreditation for interpretation. It promotes the establishment of a bi-communal professional association to bring Cypriot linguists closer together and align standards in all language combinations in Cyprus.

The aid programme is managed by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM).


For more information

EU Aid Programme for Turkish Cypriot community

Structural Reform Support


Publication date
11 October 2023
Representation in Cyprus