The European Commission has adopted a new Annual Action Programme for a total amount of €34.5 million to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the acquis communautaire.
According to a press release, priorities of the programme include the continued support to preparation and financing of key infrastructure projects and to environment protection, notably in the area of air quality and water pollution.
Measures are planned for developing a more conducive entrepreneurship ecosystem and improved innovation culture, while support to education and the labour market will be provided through curriculum development for vocational education and a large-scale programme for science labs in schools.
Confidence building measures will be ensured through a substantial allocation for the Committee on Missing Persons and the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. In addition, a dedicated support facility to bi-communal Technical Committees will help them carry out their activities more effectively, thereby bringing positive impact to the process of reunification. It will also provide a sustainable system for maintenance of cultural heritage sites, the press release says.
Finally, the programme will secure the continuation of EU information and communication activities in the Turkish Cypriot community.