How is the programme designed to deliver results?
The application of the acquis is suspended in those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control.
The aid programme aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus through socio-economic and confidence building measures. It supports economic integration, improved living standards and the preparation of the Turkish Cypriot community to introduce and implement the EU acquis in the eventual lifting of this suspension.
Due to legal and political difficulties from dealing with the de-facto divided island, EU Member States individually can only provide very limited support to Turkish Cypriots, who are EU citizens.
Hence the importance of EU action in this area. Consistent with the special circumstances on the ground, this assistance programme is of an exceptional, transitional and temporary nature. Revision of the programme can only occur in the case a reunification is achieved during the MFF period.
The Aid Programme aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community.
The programme has the following specific objectives:
- Developing and restructuring of infrastructure;
- Promoting social and economic development;
- Fostering reconciliation, confidence building measures, and support to civil society;
- Bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU;
- Preparing the Turkish Cypriot community to introduce (#5) and implement (#6) the acquis, in view of the withdrawal of its suspension in accordance with Article 1 of Protocol Number 10 to the Act of Accession.
- EUR 240.0 millionTotal financial programming 2021-2027
In EUR million.
Amidst major difficulties due to the unique diplomatic, legal and political backdrop, the Aid Programme remains ready to accommodate developments in the settlement process and to finance confidence-building measures resulting from this process.
The programme is implemented through direct management (procurement contracts and grants) and indirect management (contribution agreements with International Organisations and Member State Agencies). DG REFORM is the lead service for the programme implementation.
Performance framework: more information
Where are we in the implementation?
You will find information on the programme implementation in this webpage.
It will be updated when the programme will have started on an annual basis alongside the publication of the draft budget and the discharge.
Next publication (estimation): June 2022.
Predecessor programmes 2014-2020
The programme is a continuation of its predecessor. The legal basis was not modified between the 2014-2020 period and the 2021-2027 period.
- EUR 235.5 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020
Overall execution (2014-2020)
||EUR 235.5 million
||EUR 177.1 million
This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.
More information on the overall execution
- The programming of the financial assistance under the aid programme is based on a number of established programming principles such as project maturity, policy relevance and track record of past implementation.
- The multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020 provides a multiannual perspective to the programme with a provision for stable funding amounting to EUR 236 million.
- 100% of the funds under the 2014-2020 programme have been committed and 75% of the funds have already been paid out.
- The aid programme is being implemented in a unique diplomatic, legal and political context. Major difficulties encountered in the implementation arise from the unrecognised status of the beneficiary along with disputes with contractors, notably when it comes to works contracts. Those challenges are further exacerbated by the lack of absorption capacity and resources on the beneficiary side as well as by the deficiencies in available data and statistics. This may result in serious delays in the preparation of projects, which – in the first part of the programme period – led to a substantial amount of uncommitted funds. This backlog has been successfully and progressively addressed since 2018 through better programming, more efficient handling of tendering procedures, and smoother internal procedures and coordination within DG Structural Reform Support.
Key monitoring indicators
|Number of enterprises having received EU support in the form of a grant
||1 910 enterprises supported compared to 420 enterprises initially planned
|Cross-Green Line trade volume (in million EUR)
||EUR 4.7 million out of EUR 8.5 million
|EU visibility in northern Cyprus: number of communication actions in a year
||429 actions achieved compared to a target of 90
% of target achieved by the end of 2020
More information on the performance of the programme
- The approach to delivering aid was modernised in 2018. It is now based on project maturity, policy relevance and track record of past implementation in order to produce a more tangible and visible impact in the priority areas. The beneficiary is involved at an early stage and the EU Coordination Centre, the Turkish Cypriot community body in charge of coordinating the implementation of the aid programme, is progressively taking a more active role in prioritisation and self-assessment of projects. The new approach aims to improve coherence and streamline priority infrastructure projects, improve the entrepreneurship ecosystem through enhanced linkages between research and business (through the ‘Innovative entrepreneurship’ mechanism), and help the bi-communal technical committees to carry out their activities more effectively.
- The programme pursues its objective through various different actions, such as infrastructure development, economic development, reconciliation and EU visibility and adoption of the EU acquis. Taken together, overall progress towards the objective has largely been promising. Indicator results for grant agreements and EU visibility have been satisfactory. Support for farmers and small to medium-sized enterprises has progressed well and beneficiaries have rated civil society grants as particularly successful. Through the programme’s aid, it has been possible to identify a large number of remains of missing persons and restore cultural sites.
- Infrastructure works also produced positive results, notably a waste water treatment plant in Nicosia. A contract for irrigation works in Morphou was also awarded in 2018 and its implementation was finalised in 2020. In Famagusta, a contract was signed to provide a sewerage system. Unfortunately, parts of the works already completed were riddled with defects. A contract to build a replacement system has already been awarded and work is expected to start in 2021.
- Green Line trade still suffers from obstacles identified in the annual reports on the implementation of the Green Line regulation. The Commission is engaged in contacts with the government of Cyprus to address these issues. It is therefore unlikely to reach its original target. Trade has also been negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis.
- On the other hand support for small and medium-sized enterprises has been successful. In addition to the previous grant schemes and the proactive development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, the 2020 pandemic required a prompt response to support businesses by providing emergency working capital to specific sectors/enterprises, safeguard and/or create jobs, and support business development. More recently the focus has been put on innovation, the green economy and digital transition.
- The COVID-19 pandemic meant that rather than holding physical events to promote the visibility of the EU and its work among the Turkish Cypriot community, there was a new emphasis on online activities and campagning work as part of EU-funded activities including the EU Infopoint project.
Concrete examples of achievements
- 99 kmof sewerage networks constructed.
- 993victims of the tragic events of 1963-1964 and 1974 were genetically identified, contributing towards reconciliation.
- 1 600grants made available since 2007 for Turkish Cypriots to benefit from educational opportunities in EU Member States.
- 300 000animals tested to eliminate priority diseases, which are in decline as a result.
- 1 710communication and visibility actions since 2014 to provide information about EU policies, priorities and actions.
- 800+businesses received assistance to combat the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
Programme Performance Overview