The European Union’s Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community continues to provide support to economic development, infrastructure, and environment and to bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU. As part of its support to the Turkish Cypriot community, the European Commission supports civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, farmers in rural areas, schools, life-long learning organizations, and local communities.
European Commission signed eight civil society grant contracts for EUR 2.3 million.
In December 2018, as part of the sixth Civil Society in Action call for proposals, the European Commission has signed 8 contracts with different civil society organisations (CSOs) for a total amount of EUR 2.3 million with an aim to strengthen the organisational capacities, outreach and impact of civil society in promoting and defending democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, cultural diversity and reconciliation and to reinforce partnerships, cooperation and networking across Cyprus and/or with CSOs from other EU Member States to jointly address societal needs.
The signed contracts will address the following areas: prevention of domestic violence against women and children; improving the access of LGBTI+’s to human rights; improving the awareness and enforcement of patient’s rights; increasing awareness for pluralistic views, democratic values, diversity, critical ideas and inter-cultural tolerance through art; strengthening journalists’ and media institutions’ capacity to promote press freedom and fundamental human rights; contributing to the empowerment of youth in the peace discourse in Cyprus; enhancing the role of civil society in democracy, governance and peace building via environment; and contributing to peaceful cohabitation of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities. Since 2007, the European Commission has launched six calls for proposals for Civil Society in the northern part of Cyprus, for a total amount of EUR 12 million
EU Support to Economic Development Continues via “Innovative Entrepreneurship and Dialogue” with EUR 3 million
The European Commission signed a delegation agreement with Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) in the amount of EUR 3 million to implement the project “Innovative Entrepreneurship and Dialogue.” The three year project aims to open up shared spaces for innovation, inclusive and entrepreneurial engagement, community dialogue and knowledge sharing.
It will work on the establishment of an innovation centre in Nicosia Old Town, on the provision of services to entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers, and the improvement of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Additionally inter-communal dialogue will be promoted via cooperation with the Cyprus Dialogue Forum.
The project will open opportunities for companies in the early stages of their development, and therefore complement the wider support provided by the European Commission to the Turkish Cypriot community private sector, such as the grant scheme “Competitive Enterprises, Clusters and Business Support Organizations” launched in 2018. Under this scheme company investments will be co-financed with financial support ranging from EUR 100,000 to EUR 250,000. The proposals received are currently being evaluated by the EC and contracts with an overall amount of up to EUR 5 million are foreseen to be signed in 2019.
European Commission signed contracts for EUR 14.2 million to support infrastructure
The European Commission signed a new EUR 10.9 million Works Contract and a EUR 0.7 million Services Contract for the construction of the new northern Nicosia Trunk Sewer. The works include the construction of the Nicosia branch of the northern Nicosia Trunk Sewer (NNTS), consisting of approximately 13 km of sewers and four Pumping Stations. The existing trunk sewer, which covers central, northern and southern Nicosia, is now running at full capacity. The limiting capacity of the sewer restrains further development in the northern part of the town and the NNTS will facilitate the connection of more urban areas to the Mia Milia/Haspolat Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in line with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.
The European Commission signed a new EUR 2.1 million Works Contract and a EUR 0.5 million Services Contract for the construction of an irrigation system for the reuse of Morphou/Güzelyurt Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) treated wastewater. The treated effluent from the WWTP meets the required quality standards for the irrigation of certain agricultural crops and will be used to irrigate an area of approximately 30,000 m2 to the east of the existing WWTP, which primarily consists of citrus and olive orchards.
European Commission signed a EUR 1.5 million contract for a Grants Support Team
The European Commission signed a new EUR 1.5 million Service Contract to support the implementation of grant schemes for the Turkish Cypriot community in the fields of rural development, private sector development, human resources development, community development and civil society. Since 2008, a Project Management Unit contracted by the Commission has been providing services to the potential and actual grant beneficiaries in the Turkish Cypriot community as well as to the Contracting Authority in the implementation of grant schemes funded by the Aid Programme. The new contract will ensure continuation to these services by assisting in the preparation, launch, evaluation, implementation and monitoring of such grant schemes.
European Commission signed 10 grant contracts for EUR 1.3 million under the Innovation and Change in Education Grant Scheme
The European Commission signed 10 contracts with schools and lifelong learning organisations in the amount of EUR 1.3 million under the Innovation and Change in Education Grant Scheme. The grant contracts vary between EUR 50,000 to EUR 200,000 and are focused on improving teaching and learning practices up to EU standards and best practices in schools and on initiating lifelong learning programmes for improving the employability of youth and women in particular. The grant projects started implementation this autumn and are expected to be finalised by the beginning of 2021.
Five school projects signed specifically focus on enhancing social inclusion and mobility of children with special needs, improving English and Greek language learning practices with the aid of technology and improving the extra-curricular activities to enhance life skills of primary school students. Five lifelong learning projects signed focus on improving the entrepreneurial skills of youth and women, enhancing social entrepreneurship practices in the Turkish Cypriot community and developing lifelong learning programmes in order to improve employability of youth and people with disabilities.