The European Commission signed two new agreements in support of the Turkish Cypriot community, the EU scholarship programme and the support for the committee on missing persons (CMP), amounting to €5.5 million in total.
Under the EU aid programme, the commission signed an agreement with the British Council for the amount of €2.5 million for the EU scholarship programme for Turkish Cypriots. This funding covers the academic year from 2019 to 2020.
“Since 2007 the European Commission has granted scholarships to 1,400 students, teachers, researchers and professionals for over €16 million for undergraduate and graduate studies, research and training purposes in EU member states,” the EU Commission announced. “For the current academic year, the EU scholarship programme has proven to be very successful, with more than 650 applications and a total of 171 awards. 63 per cent of the recipients are women.”
The agreement by the EU Commission and the United Nations development programme provides an additional €3 million in support of the work of the CMP for the year 2019.
According to their announcement, the European Commission has been the major donor in support of the work of the CMP since 2006, with a total contribution of €25.4 million.
“The European Commission supports the work of bi-communal Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot scientific teams involved in all the stages of the process as well as awareness raising activities. These activities contribute to achieving a better understanding of mutual concerns and foster cooperation between the Cypriot communities. Additionally, the CMP humanitarian mandate contributes to providing relief to the families of missing persons.”
Since 2006, the remains of 902 missing persons have been identified and returned to their families.
“The commission continues to support reconciliation, confidence building and bringing the Turkish community closer to the EU,” the statement said.