On 17 May 2021, the Republic of Cyprus submitted to the European Commission the official Recovery and Resilience National Plan, which sets out the reforms and public investment projects that Cyprus plans to implement with the support of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), after an intensive dialogue between the Commission and the Cypriot authorities held in the past months.
The RRF is a core instrument of NextGenerationEU, the European plan to emerge stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic that will provide € 672.5 billion to support investments and reforms addressed to the green and digital transitions in the Member States, through grants (€ 312.5 billion) and loans (€ 360 billion).
Cyprus has requested €1 billion in grants and €227 million in loans under the RRF and on Monday 17 May, President Nikos Anastasiades unveiled the government’s intervention of €4.4 billion roadmaps that articulate until 2026 projects for economic recovery in the post-coronavirus era. The scheme of intervention would be funded through €1.2 billion from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, €1.8 billion from the Policy Coherence Fund, and €1.4 billion from private investment or private-public partnerships.
The “Cyprus – Tomorrow” plan is structured around five policy areas that involve public health and civil protection, the green transition, economic resilience and competitiveness, the digital transition, and the labour market, education and human capital reform.
President Anastasiades, presenting the plan at the Presidential Palace, announced that “We will turn the crisis into an opportunity,” and that the plan “concerns a new version of the country. It faces the economic and social consequences of the pandemic, but mainly it is in the direction of the productive reconstruction of our country”, tackling the economy’s structural problems and the state.
In this regard, the plan includes measures to modernise the healthcare sector, strengthening and upgrading public and private hospitals based on the lessons learned from the pandemic; increase the energy efficiency of buildings, promote sustainable transport and other environmental projects to face climate change and meet the EU goals; boost research and innovation through digital transformation and upgrade the digital infrastructure; foster upskilling and reskilling opportunities concentrating on employment, education, and human resources thought particular attention on protecting vulnerable groups, and planing on addressing the skill gap by creating two technical schools in Larnaca and Limassol.
The “Cyprus – Tomorrow” includes a total of 58 reforms and 76 development investments to enhance resilience, productivity, and competitiveness through a viable long-term development model, meeting all seven European flagship areas. In the next two months, the Commission will assess the plan based on the eleven criteria set out in the Regulation and translate their contents into legally binding acts, including a review of whether the plan contributes to effectively addressing all or a significant subset of challenges identified in the relevant country-specific recommendations issued in the context of the European Semester.
The Commission will also assess whether the plan dedicates at least 37% of expenditure to investments and reforms that support climate objectives and 20% to the digital transition. The Council will have four weeks to adopt the Commission proposal for a Council Implementing Decision, and once the plan is approved, the Council would pave the way for the disbursement of a 13% pre-financing to Cyprus. This is subject to the entry into force of the Own Resources Decision, which must first be approved by all Member States.
At the moment, the Commission has received a total of 18 Recovery and Resilience Plans, including Italy, and nowadays Europe is preparing itself for a significant green and digital transformation.
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Last modified: May 21, 2021