The European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development has determined a good use of EU funds in Cyprus for regional policy but notes that expanding funding would depend on the new EU budget.
The MEPs met on Friday with the House of Representatives’ Committees on Foreign Affairs, Finance and Internal Affairs, with First Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Regional Development George Stavrakakis saying that, during meetings in Nicosia, it was determined that EU funding is used well in Cyprus and that in a period of financial crisis, the Regional Development Policy is purely an investment policy.
He said the budget was being discussed in the EU and that some member states are not willing to contribute additional funds, which creates problems.
Replying to questions, he said that Cyprus, despite being an isolated region, is not included in the very isolated regions.
German MEP Constanze Krehl said Cyprus had many particularities, which were being taken into consideration for special support, adding that it was necessary to show flexibility for Cyprus and that amendments allowing for a better budget for Cyprus would depend on the Multi-Annual Fiscal Framework.
She said that there was a series of good projects in Cyprus that would continue over the next few years, and expressed hope that the Cypriot Presidency of the EU would achieve its aim for closing the negotiations on the fiscal framework.
Slovak MEP Miroslav Mikolasik referred to the Cohesion Funds and pointed out that some member states had red tape that made life difficult, noting that Cyprus was doing well in this policy.
He also said it was necessary to maintain the productive dialogue with the Cypriot EU Presidency for the negotiations on the future of the European funds.
Asked about Cyprus’ failure to receive certain funds due to the fact that its GDP exceeded 75% of the EU average, despite the huge debt the country is in, Mikolasik said the problem of living beyond one’s abilities was pan-European if not global.
He said many public enterprises were not doing well in Cyprus, as in Greece, and were being kept alive artificially without being productive.
Speaking after the meeting, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign and European Affairs Christos Stylianides said Cyprus was requesting special treatment in issues such as shipping, illegal immigration and proximity with the Near and Middle East.
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