The Youth Board of Cyprus was established by Law in April 1994. Its Governing Board has seven members. They include a representative from each of the youth organizations of political parties represented in the House of Representatives and 3 members who are appointed directly by the Council of Ministers. The Minister of Justice and Public Order acts as the link between the Youth Board of Cyprus and the Council of Ministers. The Board's budget is covered by State subsidy. The Youth Board of Cyprus is a semi-governmental organization, independent from the civil service, with its own structure and staff. The Youth Board of Cyprus strives to promote progress and prosperity among all young people of Cyprus, irrespective of religion and ethnic origin, by dealing with their problems in an efficient way.

Programmes - Youth Card, Euro under 26 The Youth Card Euro 26 is a European Service for young people aged 13-26, which secures its holders discounts in more than 300,000 shops and companies in 42 European countries and in more than 500 shops/companies in Cyprus. At the same time, the Youth Board of Cyprus in collaboration with Laiki e-Bank has connected the Youth Card with the Visa Card. 'Cyprus - Aegean Sea: Myth - History - Arts' The Youth Board in association with the Ministry of Education and Culture initiated, developed and supervises this cultural programme as a means of contributing to the cultural development of young people. It addresses children and teenagers between 9-14 years of age and aims towards the connection of Cyprus' history and civilization with that of the islands of the Aegean Sea through innovative pedagogic methods, audiovisual means and settings. E.U.

'Youth' Programme - The Youth Board of Cyprus supports the European Union 'Youth' programme with the establishment of the Youth National Agency of Cyprus responsible for the implementation of YOUTH programme at national level under the guidelines of the European Commission. The YOUTH programme primarily addresses young people aged 15-25, who are legally residing in one of the member states of the European Union and its activities include youth exchanges, the European Voluntary Service, Youth Initiatives, and Support Measures etc.

Bicommunal Activities - The Youth Board of Cyprus supports the strengthening of relationships between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youth. The interaction and fruitful dialogue on issues of common concern, as well as the future of Cyprus is the objective of this programme. As a result, the Youth Board of Cyprus initiated the Bi-communal Youth Forum meeting that has been held successfully for the last three years. Its participants represent Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political youth organizations. Simultaneously, the Youth Board of Cyprus funds bi-communal activities that young people from both communities initiate and implement.

Youth Festival - In its constant effort to benefit young generation of Cyprus and for the greater possible safeguarding of their basic right of expressing ideas and opinions, the Youth Board of Cyprus organizes every summer the Youth Festival. The whole activity aims at offering a variety of events, which attract young people's interest, such as open discussions, contests, games, concerts etc. Several music groups from Cyprus and abroad participated in the Youth Festivals. The goal is the establishment of a 'Youth Day' by law, in the framework of the international policy as expressed by the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Municipal Youth Councils - It is a newly established participatory institution that started in Cyprus three years ago with the support of Local Administration and the Youth Board of Cyprus. This programme's main objective is the provision to various youth organizations of the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process, which will facilitate Local Administration in the identification of young people's concerns and interest and addressing accordingly. Currently there are eight Municipal Youth Councils in Cyprus. The Youth Board of Cyprus supports the institution of the Municipal Youth Councils with yearly operational funding, as well as additional financial support for their activities.

Toy - Libraries - The Toy-libraries are facilities that will include carefully selected toys and function in a library model. In Toy-libraries, children between the ages of 4 and 12 and young people with disabilities up to 18 years of age, will spend their time creatively, borrow toys, socialize and learn to respect and tolerate diversity under the supervision of trained professionals. The first Toy-library will be opened in collaboration with the Municipality of Nicosia.

Source: Press And Information Office, Republic Of Cyprus, 2005