The increase of Cyprus’ capacity to absorb more funds from the pool of EU competitive programmes is a top priority, as this would increase the growth prospects of the country, Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades has said.
Addressing an event co-hosted by the EU Commission representation to Cyprus and the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, Georgiades said the absorption of more funds from the EU competitive programmes became even more important following the financial downturn of 2009 – 2014, which wiped out almost 11% of Cyprus’ GDP.
He expressed satisfaction over the fact that Cyprus was above the EU average concerning the absorption rate of 25% from the EU co-funded programmes which are earmarked for each member-state, while Cyprus is on track to achieve its target to absorb a total of €300 million from EU competitive programmes for the period of 2014-2020, as €171 have been already disbursed.
However, he said that more needs to be done as an increase in the capacity to absorb more funds from the EU competitive programmes would improve Cyprus’ position in the EU between contributing and receiving states.
“I believe we could achieve more. We should step up our cooperation and that in this way we could amplify growth prospects,” he said.
On his part, Ierotheos Papadopoulos, head of the EU Representation to Cyprus expressed hope that Cyprus would achieve its ambitious target of absorbing €300 million from EU competitive funds for the period of 2014-2020.
He also said that Cyprus ranks high and above EU average concerning the absorption of EU co-funded funds, as it absorbed 25% of the total funds earmarked for Cyprus for the current period amounting to €1.3 billion.
(Cyprus News Agency)