Brussels 20 June 2014
European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Cyprus on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020
The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Cyprus setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds in tackling the crisis and encouraging growth for the benefit of the country and its people. Today’s agreement paves the way for investing €735.6 million in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (in current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding) and €132.2 million for rural development to be channelled into the country’s real economy. To promote the fisheries and maritime sector, Cyprus will receive €40 million from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).The EU investments will support the Cypriot economy in emerging from the crisis and encourage economic activity. They will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to entrepreneurship, innovation, training and education. They will also, fight social exclusion and help develop an environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient economy.
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are:
Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said:
"Today we have adopted a vital, strategic investment plan that targets the return of Cyprus to the path of jobs and growth for the years to come. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission's and Cyprus' joint determination to make the most efficient use of EU funding. Our investments must be strategic, in line with the reformed Cohesion Policy - focusing on the real economy, on sustainable growth and investing in people. But quality and not speed is our principle aim. In the coming months we are fully dedicated to negotiating the most suitable operational programmes for investments from the European Structural and Investment Funds in 2014-2020.”
Commissioner Hahn added:
"Today's agreement lays the foundations for the use of EU investments for the restructuring of the Cypriot economy, setting up a new growth model and helping Cyprus at this challenging time to exit from the crisis. The adoption of the Partnership Agreement that covers all Structural and Investment Funds, gives a strategic direction to future programmes. This investment strategy will enhance competitiveness and innovation, help Cypriot SMEs to become sources of growth , create sustainable jobs, support the shift to a low-carbon economy and meet EU standards requirements, in particular in the environmental sector. Cyprus will invest in priorities from tourism, energy, agro-food, urban development to infrastructure in transport, health, environment and ICT and ordinary people will feel the benefits."
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said:
"Cyprus is facing an unprecedented social challenge due to the financial crisis. I am therefore pleased we were able to finalise its Partnership Agreement quickly so that investments can begin as soon as possible. The European Social Fund (ESF) will help Cyprus to get back to a sustainable growth path and a job rich recovery while helping to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most disadvantaged. ESF support will focus on getting people back into work, creating opportunities for young people, also by using the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), developing human capital, reinforcing public administration and improving social inclusion."
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:
"With the adoption of the Partnership Agreement, we have achieved an important step in creating the strategic framework for a successful implementation of rural development policy in Cyprus. We expect that the improved coordination between the Funds will lead to an increased efficiency and synergy in the implementation of programmes and more value for money for the invested EU funds. Cyprus' agriculture and its rural areas have considerable potential and many strengths, but they are also facing significant challenges, not least as a result of the economic crisis. The Partnership Agreement recognises the important role that agriculture and the agri-food industry can play in the economic recovery, while setting the stage for safeguarding the country's natural resources and addressing social issues and territorial cohesion in its rural areas. I am confident that Cyprus will propose an ambitious and well-targeted rural development programme which will unlock the potential of its rural areas."
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:
"The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is about investing in local coastal communities to help them boost their development and create jobs which are crucial to put their economy back on track. We increased the European funding for small scale fisheries in order to secure a better future of fishermen and coastal communities in Cyprus. The funding will also support the development of a competitive and environmentally friendly aquaculture sector – and since farmed fish is local fish, this sector will also help to create jobs locally. Cyprus is taking a holistic approach regarding the integrated maritime policy and intends to allocate financial support in measures concerning the marine environment. The environmental dimension is treated as a priority across the planned activities."
All Partnership Agreements have now been received by the Commission. Their adoption will follow after a process of consultation.
MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes