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EU Cohesion Policy: more than €1 billion for Cyprus for economic and social development and a fair green transition in 2021-2027

Following today's adoption of the Partnership Agreement, the single operational programme and the Just Transition Plan for Cyprus, the EU will invest a total of more than €1 billion in the country between 2021 and 2027. The Partnership Agreement lays down Cyprus' investment strategy for its economic, social and territorial cohesion, the green and digital transition and the development of a competitive, socially inclusive and sustainable growth model. At the same time, the Just Transition Plan will alleviate the impact of the energy and climate transition on the local economy and society.

Along with the Partnership Agreement, Cyprus is the first country to have its Cohesion Policy operational programme approved for the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) the Cohesion Fund, the Just Transition Fund (JTF) and the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).

A green and digital economy

Over €387 million from the ERDF will go to the green transition via investments in energy efficiency, renewables and the reduction of carbon emissions in line with the European Green Deal.

Important investments will focus on the development of the circular and sustainable economy, the preservation of the local biodiversity and on the adaptation to climate change and related events like floods and wildfires.

Cyprus will also devote €147 million to enhance the competitiveness and develop the digitalisation of its small and medium-sized businesses and to connect national research and innovation systems with business. Through these investments, the country aims to create over 2485 new jobs, including 885 in research and 133,000 new users of public digital services.

Support for a just green transition

The JTF, with a dedicated budget of €101 million, will help Cyprus with its energy transition process towards the 2030 and 2050 targets. Investments from the JTF will strengthen the energy transmission and distribution systems to allow for storage technologies and transition towards renewable energy. The JTF will also support measures for small and medium-sized businesses to apply new technologies and increase the use of renewable energy sources.

Additionally, it will empower human capital through education and training actions, including the creation of a Green Technical School in Nicosia.

A Green Technical School will also provide upskilling and reskilling to train young people in green technologies and skills, filling a gap in the country's existing Secondary Technical Education.

Socially inclusive economic development

The ESF+ will invest €222 million in labour market policies and skills development and strengthen social cohesion in the country.

Investments will target far-reaching reforms and actions aimed at reinforcing youth support, improving the labour market relevance of education and training, restructuring social welfare services and combatting social exclusion with a significant budget allocation of €87 million for the latter. This will contribute to achieve Cyprus's 2030 targets under the European Pillar of Social Rights, namely, to increase participation in employment (from 74.9% to 80%) and in annual adult learning (from 44.8% to 61%) and to curb poverty (10 000 fewer people).

Key initiatives will support the youth employability, the modernisation of public employment services and the development of technical vocational education and training. For example, support to young people will be extended through the ALMA innovative initiative (Aim Learn Master Achieve) and the individual learning accounts for young NEETs with a budget allocation of €5 million.

These measures will target 3440 people looking for employment while 1000 people will complete training classes. In addition, almost 40 schools will benefit from education and integration actions. For the most vulnerable, food aid will be given to 144,000 children in need.

Sustainable fisheries

€38.3 million from the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund will promote sustainable fisheries and the restoration and conservation of aquatic biological resources, sustainable aquaculture, and the development of local coastal fisheries communities and the implementation of international ocean governance.

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