Brussels, 22 November 2012
Renewed EU support to economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community
Today the European Commission approved new financial assistance for the Turkish Cypriot community. The €27.2 million programme will focus on promoting the economic integration of the island, with the overall objective to help prepare for its reunification.
The funds will support a wide range of sectors, including eradication of animal diseases, protection of the environment, road safety, cultural heritage and civil society. Students, teachers and NGOs will be among the main beneficiaries of the programme.
Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, commented: "This new funding reflects the firm commitment of the European Union to the economic integration of the Turkish Cypriot community; through dialogue and mutual enrichment between the two communities we are continuing the support for the future reunification of the island".
The European Union has invested to date more than €320 million under the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. Earlier this year a specific allocation of €800,000 had already been approved to fund the EU Scholarship Programme for the academic year 2012/2013.
Since its launch in 2006, the European Union has allocated more than €320 million to assist the Turkish Cypriot community. The EU Aid Programme has brought tangible benefits to the Turkish Cypriots, bringing them closer to the EU. Here are some examples of successful projects.
Through its support to reconciliation, confidence building measures and bi-communal cooperation, the EU's contribution plays a key role supporting the on-going peace process:
The EU has financed the opening of the last two Green Line crossing points at Limnitis/Yeşilırmak (in October 2010) and Ledra/Lokmacı Street (in February 2009).
By contributing €11.5 million, the EU has been instrumental in enabling the demining of the buffer zone with the exception of four mine fields.
The EU is also the single biggest donor to the activities of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) with an overall contribution of € 7.5 million.
The EU is supporting the construction of a new bi-communal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) for the whole of Nicosia located at Mia Milia/Haspolat, to be completed in the second half of 2012.
The Aid Programme is also playing an important role in upgrading infrastructure as well as supporting economic and social development and improving standards in many areas in line with the EU acquis in order to support a smooth implementation of a comprehensive settlement once agreed by the Cypriots:
In the energy sector, the pilot solar power plant is now operational. It is the first plant of such a large scale on the whole island.
Also in the infrastructure sector, the replacement of asbestos pipes in a number of cities were also successfully completed in 2011, leading to significant improvements in terms of water supply.
Wastewater treatment plant in Morphou is now in operation. EU has enabled first time sewerage collection and treatment for the town.
In the field of cultural heritage, the EU has been instrumental in bringing back to life the Bedestan monument in the northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. Now a vibrant cultural centre, this project received the Europa Nostra prize.
The old dumpsite near the village of Dhikomo/Dikmen, a major environment hotspot, has been cleaned and rehabilitated.
Rehabilitation works in several villages in the northern part of Cyprus were finalised in 2010.
Restoration of the old traditional market (Bandabuliya) in the walled city of Nicosia near the Bedestan cultural centre has been completed.
The scholarship programme has given over 500 Turkish Cypriot students and teachers the opportunity to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level in other Member States’ universities for up to one year.
For more information
Aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot Community:
Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)
Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)