The European Commission has adopted an action plan for the Turkish Cypriot community, worth €33.4 million.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Our Aid Programme has shown to bring important tangible benefits to the people of Cyprus and remains as relevant as ever. Today we adopt a new set of projects seeking to support economic development, reconciliation and confidence building measures including substantial assistance for the implementation of the Halloumi/Hellim PDO package. I am confident that this will contribute to efforts for a reunification of Cyprus, which is the ultimate goal of our programme.”
The Programme plans tailored measures as part of the wide-ranging EU support to implement the Halloumi/Hellim package, to help Turkish Cypriots meet the relevant EU standards. It includes improving the food safety and hygiene standards, upgrading dairy farms and dairy yield quality, increasing the yields of sheep and goat milk, and eradicating animal diseases.
Projects that will be funded will bring infrastructure and environmental protection closer to European standards. Examples are among others, measures to complete the air quality monitoring system and the design and acquisition of a noise monitoring system.
To build confidence between the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus, the programme will continue to offer substantial financing to the committee on missing persons and the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. Support will also be offered to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot scholars to jointly attend the UWC as part of the bi-communal scholarship programme.
The programme will further promote trade across the Green Line by developing sustainable and competitive fisheries. Finally, it will help to address challenges to economic development and enhance the employability of youth by investing in measures on vocational education and training.
The Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community and can furthermore act as Confidence Building Measures, building bridges between the two Communities. Hence, a particular focus is on the economic integration of the island and on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU.
Between 2006 and 2022, €656 million have been allocated for projects under the Aid Programme. the programme is managed by the Commission’s DG REFORM.