The programme aims to help reunify Cyprus by strengthening the economic structure of the Turkish Cypriot community, increasing contact between the EU and both sides, and assisting in harmonisation with the EU acquis.
Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue said of the new programmes:
“Our aid programme remains as relevant as ever. This new set of projects seeks to improve infrastructure, support economic development, foster reconciliation, and bring Turkish Cypriots closer to the EU. I am confident it will contribute to the settlement effort which is the ultimate goal of our assistance.”
The priority areas of the programme include the preparation and financing of basic infrastructure projects and the continuation of environmental protection. At the same time, further measures are planned to improve health and food safety standards. The aid programme also aims to support the improvement of education and training standards by strengthening a comprehensive programme aimed at developing science laboratories in schools.
Supporting Confidence Building Measures by allocating a substantial amount to the Committee on Missing Persons and the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage; In addition, it is aimed to ensure continued support for civil society. The aid programme is expected to help boost cooperation between NGOs across Cyprus and promote bi-communal activities, ie reunification of Cyprus.
Finally, the scholarship programme will enable Turkish Cypriots to gain academic and professional experience in the EU Member States.
The financial support provided to the Turkish Cypriot community is provided through the EU Aid Programme. Between 2006 and 2019, 555 million Euro was allocated to the projects under the Aid Programme. The programme aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by promoting the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. The programme is managed by the Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service.