The European Commission on Monday approved a new €33-million financial assistance programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, aiming at the “economic integration of the island” and “improving contacts between the two communities and with the European Union”.
Projects under the aid programne range from the construction of infrastructure, such as landfills, to grants for small and medium-sized enterprises and non-governmental organisations, scholarships, and support for confidence-building measures, such as the Committee on Missing Persons.
The programne is managed directly by the Commission “for the benefit of stakeholders in the Turkish Cypriot community”, a statement said.
According to Commission vice-president for the Euro and social dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis, “the EU Aid Program is another strong signal of the Commission`s support for economic and social development within the Turkish Cypriot community”.
“Such support underpins the Commission’s continued commitment to the UN-led settlement negotiations,” Dombrovskis said.
The Commission`s Structural Reform Support Service also provides support to the UN-led settlement negotiations at the request of the two communities, in order to provide advice on EU law.
Since February this year, the Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service has been in charge of the EU Aid Program and is responsible for coordinating all the Commission’s work in facilitating the process for the settlement of Cyprus, in liaison with the President Juncker’s Personal Representative to the UN Good Offices Mission in Cyprus.