Only environmentally sustainable projects can be included in the recovery and resilience plan that is in the final stages of preparation. Through this plan, Cyprus should propose projects and activities for eligible EU funding that meet environmental criteria.
For our country the project has a budget of € 1.2 billion, including the national contribution. Of these, at least 37% should be allocated to actions to address climate change and at least 20% to actions for the digital transition. Specifically, actions related to climate and energy, sustainable transport, water management, the environment and biodiversity are being developed.
Pursuant to Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 February 2021 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, the Mechanism supports only measures that respect the horizontal principle of “non-major damage”.
As part of the preparation of the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan, which should be submitted to the Commission by 30 April 2021 at the latest for approval by the EU Council of Ministers, an evaluation of each proposed measure / investment should be included, thus to ensure compliance with that principle.
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In particular, each proposed measure of the Plan should be documented and positively evaluated in that it does not cause a significant burden on six environmental objectives: • Mitigation of climate change. • Adaptation to climate change. • Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources. • Circular economy, including waste prevention and recycling. • Prevention and control of air, water and soil pollution. • Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.
The Ministers of Finance and Agriculture, Rural Development & Environment, informing the Council of Ministers last Thursday, called on it to approve the cooperation of the Department of Environment with the Cyprus Institute for the evaluation of the measures of the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan. It is noted that the Cyprus Institute has both the necessary multi-scientific team and the expertise for the preparation of this evaluation.
The evaluation of the measures of the Plan for the observance of the principle “do not cause significant damage” should be done immediately and before the finalization of the Plan, as compliance with the principle of “no significant damage” is a prerequisite for its approval by the Commission. For the evaluation of the measures, the Commission has issued a relevant technical guidance setting out the stages of evaluation for each measure for the six environmental objectives.
Collaboration of the Department of Environment with the Cyprus Institute
The cooperation of the Department of Environment with the Cyprus Institute can take place within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Department of Environment and the Cyprus Institute on 24/7/2017. Furthermore, it is noted that this cooperation does not fall within the scope of its application on the Regulation of Public Procurement Procedures and related issues of Law 2016, Law 73 (I) / 2016, as the Cyprus Institute is a body of the Wider Public Sector. Consequently, the conditions (a) and (b) of article 16 (4) of the Law concerning Public Procurement between Public Sector bodies are met, namely: (a) The Contract establishes or implements cooperation between participating contracting authorities, which aims to ensure that the public services to be performed by these authorities shall be provided in pursuit of their common objectives (b) The implementation of such cooperation shall be for the sole purpose of the public interest.