The Republic of Cyprus has not yet got rid of the 14 prerequisites for the disbursement of the second tranche, amounting to € 85 million, from the Recovery Fund, in February, and has put in place the machines for the implementation of the milestones set for the third tranche.
Specifically, by June 30, another 18 prerequisites will have to be implemented, five of which are related to legislative regulations and must pass through Parliament, so that in August another € 85 million from Brussels will reach the state coffers, as a third installment. . Already, the government's technocrats have set out the plan for the path to be taken to achieve the new milestones on time.
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Within the year Cyprus is expected to receive from the European fund a total amount of € 170 million, of which € 85 million (second tranche) will be disbursed well next month and the remaining € 85 million in August ( third dose). It is recalled that last July, after the signing of the financing agreements, the state received € 157 million as pre-financing from the Recovery Mechanism, without having to implement specific terms and conditions.
The 18 landmarks
According to the list prepared by the Directorate-General for European Coordination and Development Programs (EPSA), which he handed over to party representatives and technocrats in the ministries, the 18 milestones to be implemented this summer to secure the third tranche, is:
Creation of an electronic cloud computing platform to improve trade and information symmetry in the fresh product supply chain. This measure should be implemented by the Agricultural Research Institute and the Ministry of Agriculture. For this purpose, a relevant bill was prepared, which was submitted to Parliament.
In the second quarter of 2022, the new legislation to deal with unfair commercial practices in transactions in the local market of fresh products should be implemented, such as unilateral and retroactive amendments to contracts, last minute cancellations, payment deadlines longer than 30 days, payments for damaged or unsold products and other actions affecting those involved in the agricultural production and distribution chain.
Provide incentives for investment and human capital in the fields of research and innovation. In the first quarter of the year, the law on the introduction of a tax exemption for corporate investors investing in innovative companies should be implemented. It examines whether state aid issues arise. The implementing bodies of the measure are the Ministry of Innovation and the Ministry of Finance.
Facilities for the implementation of strategic investments should be provided by the end of March at the latest. The law on the support of strategic investments in Cyprus will be implemented, which will include the following elements: harmonization of licensing procedures for strategic investments, project manager for each project, timely issuance of building permits. It is worth noting that the bill was originally submitted to Parliament in December 2019 and a revised bill is expected to be tabled. The measure should be implemented by the Town Planning.
– Within the first quarter of the year, the law on the establishment of the Independent Authority against Corruption will be implemented. The relevant bill is expected to be approved within the month and is included in the milestones of the second installment. The adoption of the bill will improve the legal and institutional framework for the fight against corruption.
– Strengthening of the National Regulatory Authority (GERIET). In the coming months, secondary legislation and the launch of the investigation will take effect.
– Strengthen administrative capacity and improve the functioning of public administration for better policy making and implementation. The action plan for the effective management of human resources issues in the national public administration by the Council of Ministers should be implemented in the first quarter of 2022.
– In the first quarter of the year, the collection of taxes and the efficiency of the Taxation Department should be improved. The operation of VAT services is expected within the framework of the integrated tax management system. The project deliverables are expected to be approved by the project council for the completion, installation and operation of a new integrated VAT system.
The innovative system of information and communication technologies of public health (ICT) should be implemented by June. In the second quarter, the Influenza Surveillance System (ICT) unit module will be put into operation. The efficiency monitoring system will also come into force.
– Upgrading the energy efficiency of public schools. Thermal insulation and photovoltaic systems will be installed in 405 schools, with the aim of achieving an average reduction of primary energy of at least 30%.
Mass installation and operation of smart metering infrastructure by the distribution system administrator. The contract for smart electricity metering infrastructure will be signed.
– In the second quarter of 2022, measures will be implemented to protect forests from fires. Contracts will be signed with suppliers for the purchase of firefighting aircraft, vehicles, equipment and services to help adapt to climate change and reduce the risk of forest fires exploding and spreading, and to strengthen the protection against the risks posed by citizens, infrastructure and forests from fires.
– At the same time, the document of requirements analysis and design of the integrated system of monitoring and control of water management will be completed.
Creation of a national commercial identity and promotion of halloumi. Action plans will be approved by the Council of Ministers, which include assisting companies in promoting products and services based on the “made in Cyprus” brand. They also include increasing the uniqueness of halloumi as an authentic Cypriot product and designing a promotion campaign.
– Plan to strengthen the competitiveness of large companies operating in the manufacturing sector. The call for proposals is expected to be published on the website of the Ministry of Energy within the 2nd quarter.
– Promotion of the circular economy in hotel facilities. Signing cooperation agreements with 50 hotels for personalized business guidance on circular economy issues.
Start of operation of the central knowledge transfer office and the first case.
– In the first three months of 2022, the digital transformation of the central government will have to be implemented. A repository system will be installed to monitor and control information on the implementation of the Recovery Plan. The contracts with providers selected through the public procurement process are signed for the Department of Road Transport, the Ministry of Shipping, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EPSA and town planning.
– Improving the efficiency of the Department of Labor and the Public Employment Service and the support of young people. There will be four mobile units to reach young people outside of education, employment and training.
The conditions for the 3rd installment
Once the above actions are completed, preparations will begin for the implementation of the remaining 30 milestones that will concern the fourth tranche and for which the Republic has committed itself to the Commission. Of the 30 milestones, four are related to legislation and should be achieved by December 31, 2022, so that the country in February 2023 will receive another € 115 million.