Over the next seven years, Cyprus plans to absorb €968 mln in EU structural funds for a more connected, energy-efficient and sustainable society, said Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides.
Petrides is satisfied that Cyprus will be getting during up to 30% more compared to the previous seven years following negotiations with Brussels.
In the previous seven years, Cyprus managed to absorb 100% of EU funds made available to it.
Structural funds made available are for growth and reducing social differences.
“This is why there are targeting plans to do with smart entrepreneurship, green growth and the creation of jobs.”
Out of €968 mln, €467 mln will be disbursed from the European Regional Development Fund, €222 mln from the European Social Fund, €178 mln from the Cohesion Fund and €101 mln from the Just Transition Fund.
In order for the government to draft its plan, extensive consultations took place with all ministries, local authorities and social partners.
“The total budget for Cyprus for the period 2021 – 2027 is €968 mln which will be used for projects of the order of €1.8 bln,” Petrides said.
“For the state to receive any disbursement this will have to be made through the budget.”
The Finance Minister said the government wants to “make the most” of this tool offered by the European funds.
“It is true that in the last period Cyprus achieved an absorption of 100% of the funds available to it, we want to repeat this.”
“These are funds which we are entitled to receive from the EU and for which we also contribute.
“it is our obligation to implement them and to absorb them 100% and to ensure that they have the best possible outcome.”
Petrides said there are very strict rules and guidelines as to what the funds can be used for “as this money also comes from Cypriot taxpayers.”
According to the planning, €315 mln will be used towards the implementation of the policy objective for a smarter Europe in which schemes will be promoted for innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation.
The sum of €728 mln is for a greener Europe such as energy-efficient public buildings like schools, recycling waste, renewable energy, and water management.
“This is a collective effort by Europe on climate change and we have placed great emphasis on this sector.”
Some €94 mln will be used for upgrading road networks in the mountains and smart transport systems on motorways and urban roads.
Petrides also said that €424 mln would be used to help groups excluded from the labour market so that “we can promote their integration in a sustainable work status and in a better society.”
This includes retraining the long term unemployed, not excluding the disabled and encouraging women back to work.
Another €160 mln will be used for the sustainable growth of urban, rural, and coastal areas.