European Commission approves new financial assistance programme for the Turkish Cypriot Community

The European Commission has approved a new €33 million financial assistance programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. This renewed funding is the continuation of a successful EU-funded programme with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island and on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU. Projects under the Aid Programme range from the construction of infrastructure such landfills, to grants for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Civil Society Organisations; scholarships and support for confidence building measures such as the Committee on Missing Persons. The Programme is managed directly by the Commission for the benefit of stakeholders in the Turkish Cypriot community. Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis said “The EU Aid Programme is another strong signal of the Commission’s support for economic and social development within the Turkish Cypriot community. Such support underpins the Commission’s continued commitment to the UN-led settlement negotiations.” The Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service also provides support to the UN-led settlement negotiations at the request of the two communities, in order to provide advice on EU law. Since February this year, the Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service has been in charge of the EU Aid Programme and is responsible for coordinating all the Commission’s work in facilitating the process for the settlement of Cyprus, in liaison with the President Juncker‘s Personal Representative to the UN Good Offices Mission in Cyprus.