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Established in 1995, the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues is a bipartisan group of concerned Members of Congress working to foster and improve relations between the United States and allies, Greece and Cyprus. The Caucus brings congressional attention to key diplomatic, military, and human rights issues in a critical part of the world. The Hellenic Caucus also provides frequent updates from foreign ministry officials on the state of Cypriot reunification negotiations, as well as a focus on religious freedom issues of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. U.S. Reps. Gus M. Bilirakis and Carolyn Maloney are the co-chairs.
Policy success story
A tremendous moment in U.S.-Greece relations was achieved when the United States designated Greece a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) nation on March 9, 2010.
AHEPA Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas immediately hailed this announcement as one that will strengthen the long-standing strategic partnership between the two NATO allies. Greece’s VWP designation means trade and commerce between the countries will flourish and tourism to the United States will increase.
The strict security standards Greece had to meet, including passenger information sharing and screening, will help to protect our citizens…
American-Hellenic Success Story
In the 110th Congress, the AHEPA family worked in cooperation with Italian American organizations to award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal for Constantino Brumidi, the “Artist of the Capitol.” Brumidi was a great American citizen of Greek and Italian descent. His frescoes and murals can be found throughout the U.S. Capitol. Brumidi’s creations include his masterpiece, the allegorical fresco The Apotheosis of Washington, in the canopy of the Rotunda. He also painted the extensive frescoes in the Brumidi Corridors, which many believe to be the first true frescoes to be painted in this country. Brumidi’s last years were spent painting the historic scenes in the Rotunda frieze.
On July 11, 2012 Executive Director Basil Mossaidis and DOP Executive Director Elena Saviolakis were invited to attend the Gold Medal Ceremony held in the U.S. Capitol. A bronze replica was awarded to the AHEPA for the participation and dedication to get the Gold Medal awarded. AHEPA was pushing for this recognition since 2004.
The AHEPA Family’s mission, which is based on its cultural heritage extending back to the ideals of ancient Greece, and on its deep involvement in present-day community service programs, guides the organization’s public policy priorities.
We promote international relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus while also raising awareness of the latest foreign policies.
Various other concerns of the committee include national and international investments, cultural programs, veteran support, and of course the growth and strengthening of the Hellenic Caucus.
2017 Report of the Cyprus and Hellenic Affairs Committee
1. To increase the number of advocates in AHEPA’s Congressional Grassroots Contact Network.
2. To help grow the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues.