The draft proposals for Cyprus, which includes projects and reforms in a wide range of policy areas, totaling € 1.2 billion, to be funded by the European Union Recovery Fund, will be sent to the Commission by Monday, according to KYPE. Recovery and Resilience Facility – Next Generation EU) in the period 2021 – 2026.
The EU Fund aims at a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, addressing its economic and social consequences and the long-term shielding of EU economies.
The aim, as a source of the Ministry of Finance involved in the matter stated in KYPE, is to complete the discussion / examination of the proposals in the General Directorate of Finance of the European Commission (DGECFIN) by April 2021, when they will be formally submitted to the Commission for to be approved. He noted that discussions with the Directorate General of Finance are expected to begin next week.
The projects and reforms must be completed by August 2026, otherwise Cyprus will not be able to receive funding from the Fund. Cyprus can raise a total of € 968 million from the EU Recovery Fund to finance projects and reforms, and the reason why proposals exceeding this amount were included, according to the same source, is the need to run more projects and reforms to avoid of the possibility that Cyprus will not be able to disburse the entire amount of € 968 million, due to any delay in the completion of some projects until 2026 or in the vote by Parliament on reforms.
As he stated in KYPE, the same source, in order to have a sufficient time frame, the goal of YPOIK is to sign the contracts and to start the implementation of the projects until 2023 so that they can be completed by 2026, when the landmark that ends set by the EU for the disbursement of the amounts due to each Member State.
He noted that for the disbursement of funds from the Recovery Fund are included projects for which contracts have been signed from February 2020 onwards, provided that they meet the criteria of the Fund.
He also said that any disbursements from the Fund could be made after the approval of the draft projects and reforms of Cyprus, while noting that the disbursements will be made twice a year, after Cyprus submits progress reports for each project and reform and are approved by the Commission.
Five priority axes
In particular, the source of YPOIK stated in KYPE that the proposals of Cyprus are divided into five priority axes, which include many projects that concern, among other things, plans for Renewable Energy Sources and sustainable transport.
He said the five priorities are Public Health and Civil Protection – Lessons from the Pandemic, Accelerating the transition to a green economy, Enhancing the competitiveness and resilience of the economy, Towards a digital age and Labor market, education and human capital. The priority axes will consist of 14 – 15 Components.
More specifically, he noted that 20% relate to digital projects in terms of both digital infrastructure projects and e-government projects aimed at modernizing many parts of the public sector.
In addition, he said that there are projects related to incentives to help businesses, while special emphasis will be given, as he stressed, to the primary and secondary sectors of the Cypriot economy in order to expand the productive base of the economy, beyond the service sector, which is and one of the goals of the Recovery Fund.
In this regard, the same source said that the Ministry of Finance expects the completion by the Economic Council of the study on the new development model of the Cypriot economy, which will adopt actions that will be funded by the Recovery Fund.
Emphasis will also be placed on the modernization of education and many of the actions included in the Cyprus proposals concern skills within schools (Interdisciplinary approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the subject of distance education.
In addition, in relation to the reforms, the source of YPOIK stated in KYPE that these include, among many others, the reforms of the Local Government, the courts, the public service and the evaluations and promotions of civil servants.
Philenews / ΚΥΠΕ