Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Friday expressed satisfaction with the “excellent work” that has been done in relation to the absorption of EU funds, putting Cyprus in the first places among the member states in this field.
The minister said that the next challenge was the effective implementation of the national recovery and resilience plan, amounting to €1.2 billion.
The issue was discussed by the cabinet on Friday with the ministers of energy, commerce and industry, health, agriculture, labour, as well as the deputy ministers of shipping, social welfare, digital policy and tourism briefing the president on the progress made on the implementation of projects, reforms, policies and strategies that fall within their competence.
Reforms are necessary for drawing funds from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
The European Commission announced on Thursday the disbursement of €157m to Cyprus in pre-financing, as part of the funds and loans to be provided under the RRF. This amount, equivalent to 13 per cent of the funds allocated to Cyprus, is to help kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Cyprus’ RRF. Cyprus is set to receive €1bn in grants and €200m in loans.
Later in the day Petrides announced that according to EU Commission data, Cyprus ranks among the top member-states concerning the absorption of funds of the Cohesion Policy funds.
According to the current data on Cohesion Policy, Cyprus ranks first as regards absorption of European Social Fund and second in the European Regional Development Fund.
These funds are allocated in the fields of entrepreneurship, employment, energy, information technology, research and innovation, the environment, transport, urban development, education and strengthening of social cohesion.
In this context Cyprus has promoted a great number of projects, fully utilising the EU’s development funds, to foster progress in the economy, the society and to achieve the country’s strategic targets, the Finance Ministry said, noting that Cohesion Police Funds were of vital importance in combating the effects of the Covid pandemic through financing actions in the fields of health, employment and support for small and medium sized businesses.
Petrides welcomed the “outstanding work” done by the state services, stressing that the next challenge is the effective implementation of Cyprus’ National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Cyprus Tomorrow” amounting to €1.2 billion to be disbursed in the period of 2021 – 2026.
Towards that end, Petrides called on all stakeholders for an effective utilisation of the EU funds which, he said, decisively contribute to the state’s economic growth policy.