A GOVERNMENT programme will ensure Cyprus absorbs 100 per cent of EU structural and cohesion funds, the director of the Planning Bureau has pledged.
The island is eligible for some 650 million euros from the bloc for the 2007-2013 programming period. These are mainly targeted at competitiveness and employment, infrastructure works for transport and the environment, and inter-state programmes.
According to Andreas Moleskis, head of the Planning Bureau, the actual total value of the programs that can be implemented with the assistance of EU funds amounts to one billion euros.
“We have not lost a single euro from the structural funds for the current period, and our goal is to absorb 100 per cent of the available funds,” Moleskis said.
He added that a special government programme drawn up would target specific areas where the funds would be channelled, such as: improving the competitiveness of the economy; supporting businesses; human resources management; employment and social cohesion; protection of the environment, energy and improving the quality of life, promoting the research and development; and transport infrastructure.
“In implementing these programmes, we have a difficult and complex task ahead, and we must move at a fast pace,” Moleskis said.
His comments came in the wake of criticism from DISY deputy Christos Stylianides, who pointed to poor coordination and organisation among ministries, leading to the wasting of EU cash.
Stylianides has advocated the establishment of a dedicated body whose sole purpose was to oversee the absorption and execution of structural funds.