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REGION OF THE WEEK: Cyprus

Cyprus

25/07/2011

Commissioner Hahn visited the Republic of Cyprus on 21-22 July 2011. 

His programme included meetings with government representatives, as well as visits to EU-funded projects in Nicosia, Limassol, and the waste disposal facility that serves Larnaca and Famagusta.

Commissioner Hahn also went to the Vassilikos power station to survey the damage caused by devastating explosions on 13 July. On that day, a series of explosions occurred at “Evangelos Florakis” naval base near Larnaca, 60 km from the capital Nicosia. 12 people were killed and many more injured. The explosion affected the production of electricity on the island and the water supply.

 

What are the country's priorities?

Located in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists.  Services, including tourism, account for a significant proportion of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Other important economic sectors include shipping, industry, construction and agriculture.  GDP per capita in Cyprus is 98% of the EU average.

Cyprus has identified the following priorities for EU regional funding during the period 2007-2013:

  • strengthen the productive base of the economy and provide support to enterprises
  • promote the knowledge Society, research and innovation
  • invest in human resources, employment and social cohesion
  • invest in environment, transport and energy infrastructure
  • develop sustainable communities

 

How has EU regional policy contributed?

The Republic of Cyprus became eligible for Cohesion Funds when it joined the EU in 2004.  During the period 2004-2006, EU funding helped to:

  • Support some 180 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) creating around 500 permanent jobs
  • Create over 470km of tourist routes
  • Improve the transport infrastructure, including the Nicosia-Limassol motorway
  • Upgrade waste disposal facilities serving Larnaca and Famagusta

 

For the period 2007-2013, Cyprus has been allocated €612 million under the European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund and European Social Fund

Cyprus is also receiving funding to support its participation in European Territorial Cooperation programmes, including cooperation with Greece and other Mediterranean countries.

Project examples

  • Transformation of the Old Poorhouse, a historic building in Nicosia, into a community centre providing social and cultural services to local people, especially the elderly and immigrants
  • Modernisation of the Solomou Square bus station in Nicosia, improving accessibility to the city centre by public transport and reducing car use.
  • Regeneration of the town centre of Limassol, including the improvement of electricity, telecommunications and water facilities
  • Construction of a linear park (walkway and bicycle lane) along the Garillis River

 

Further information