16 December, 2006
The European Commission adopted on Friday a financing decision for a total of 197.55 million Euros to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community of EU member state, Cyprus.
The financial assistance will focus on five objectives, which are, developing and restructuring of infrastructure, promoting economic and social development, fostering reconciliation, confidence building measures, and support to civil society, bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU and preparing the Turkish Cypriot community to introduce and implement the EU's legal order.
From the 197.55 million Euros, 18 projects will be supported covering support for water/wastewater infrastructure, nature protection, telecommunications, energy, rural development, human resources development, support for medium-sized enterprises, urban infrastructure, reconciliation projects including continuation of the de-mining effort, community scholarships, people-to-people contacts and support to the process of harmonization with the acquis communautaire.
This financial decision is implementing the Aid Regulation of 259 million Euros adopted by the EU Member States in February 2006.
EU member state Cyprus is divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied one third of the Republic's territory. In April 2004 the EU Council for General Affairs and External Relations, upon an initiative by the government of Cyprus, recommended that the 259 million Euros earmarked for the northern part of Cyprus in the event of a settlement of the Cyprus problem, be used for the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community of Cyprus.
This EU financial aid regulation for the Turkish Cypriots was adopted last February, after being decoupled from the EU direct trade regulation of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU states.
Source: Athens News Agency