The European Commission on Monday adopted an annual action program for a total amount of €35.4 million ($38.5 million) identifying new projects to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“The objective of the programme is to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the acquis communauitaire,” the commission said in statement.
Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said the new set of projects seeks to improve infrastructure, support economic development, foster reconciliation and bring Turkish Cypriots closer to the EU.
“I am confident it will contribute to the settlement effort which is the ultimate goal of our assistance,” Dombrovskis was quoted as saying in a statement.
According to the statement, between 2006 and 2019, €555 million ($604.8 million) has been allocated for projects under the aid program.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Turkey had intervened as a guarantor power. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) was founded.
The decades since then have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece and the UK — ended in 2017 in Switzerland.