Cyprus Mail

Red tape slowing down European funds

DYSI MP Lefteris Christoforou said that procedures for EU structural funds should be simplified

GOVERNMENT red tape delays the disbursement of funds from European structural funds, lawmakers said on Tuesday, urging state services to change the way they work.

“Simplifying procedures, scrapping bureaucracy, immediate response to enterprises seeking these funds is indispensable,” House Commerce Committee chairman, DISY MP, Lefteris Christoforou said.

“We think that every euro we can draw… which can be diverted into the market and to businesses must be done in the most rational and effective way.”

The committee asked for services and departments to restructure and become more effective so that no money was lost.

Christoforou said government departments should change their ways and work faster and more effectively to achieve the best result under the circumstances.

Almost €900 million have been earmarked for Cyprus between 2014 and 2020 – around €526 million from the Cohesion Fund, €118 million from the Rural Development Fund and about €30 million from the Fisheries Fund.

The majority of the projects financed by the Cohesion Fund will target measures to encourage growth, officials have said in the past.

DIKO MP Angelos Votsis said a balance had to be found so that Cyprus’ commitments towards these programmes were met but businesses were also helped to use these funds in the best possible way.

“On the other hand, this does not mean we must remove every capability to check these programmes to have good governance and proper management of these funds,” Votsis said.

The committee decided to revisit the matter in two months with the participation of all involved in a bid to find ways to beat bureaucracy.

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