Commissioner Crețu approves EU investment programme for Cyprus worth €661 million

Commissioner Crețu approves EU investment programme for Cyprus worth €661 million

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu approved on Monday a programme of investments backed by EU Regional and Cohesion Funds, that will play a crucial role in putting Cyprus on the tracks of recovery, by supporting the development of the island`s real economy and creating new job opportunities.

According to a press release, the programme foresees that more than 600 SMEs are expected to be supported while new jobs will be created through the investments. Investment in ICT should also mean 50% of households should benefit from high-speed broadband coverage.

The 2014‑2020 Operational Programme “Competitiveness and sustainable development” for investments in Cyprus paves the way for investing some 661 million euro – including 292.3 million euro from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)  and 269.5 million euro from the Cohesion Fund. The programme will focus on supporting research and development as well as providing much needed support to Cyprus` small businesses.

As noted, a key priority will also be to tackle waste treatment and energy efficiency. By dedicating more than 22% of funding to environmental priorities, the programme will also help Cyprus meet EU standards in particular as regards waste treatment and the increase of waste recycling where the programme foresees an increase to 50%.

Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner Crețu that the investment programme will support Cyprus` efforts to exit from crisis and boost competitiveness and growth while at the same time contribute to tackling unemployment, adding that the programme ensures that investments will be strategic, according to the new Cohesion Policy, focusing on the real economy, as well as on smart and sustainable growth.

She also underlined that the programme also contributes to European goals by channeling vital funding into R&D and innovation in view to increase the research capacity of the country and the private investments in R&D. “By dedicating more than 22% of funding to environment, it is also helping Cyprus meet EU standards in areas like the treatment and prevention of waste” she added.

EU investments will be also used to support small and medium-sized enterprises, helping them to become more competitive and innovation-driven and providing them with much needed liquidity in times of credit crunch. Investments will also focus on energy efficiency – especially in the energy performance of public and private buildings, including SMEs` buildings, showing country`s commitment to move towards to a low-carbon economy.