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NORTHERN PART OF CYPRUS IN THE COMMISSION'S FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK PROPOSALS2002-02-02 13:58:50

The European Commission proposed on January 30, 2002 a fair and solid approach for financing the enlargement of the European Union until 2006, which fully respects the expenditure ceilings imposed by the budgetary rules while offering the benefits of EU solidarity to ten possible new Member States.

Commenting on the proposal, Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said: "This offer strikes the right balance between the expectations of the candidate countries, who will become full members of the European Union, and the budgetary limits of the EU. In other words: this represents the best possible deal, and not an invitation for haggling. For the candidates, it means that they can substantially benefit from the EU solidarity. There will be a transitional phase as agreed for a number of other issues but no new Member State will be treated as second class member. For the Member States, it means that they don't need to fear further financial burdens because of enlargement".

According to the EU Commission's press release "the necessary resources to finance ten instead of six new Member States can be found by not taking as a point of departure, for structural policies, the amounts available for 2004 to 2006, but rather amounts closer to the levels originally foreseen for the first three years of accession (i.e. 2002, 2003 and 2003). In this way, it is possible to finance, under the Berlin ceilings, an enlargement of up to ten instead of six new Member States while catering for specific issues that have appeared in the accession process, in particular agricultural policy, structural policies, nuclear safety, administrative capacity, Cyprus (northern part) and possible budgetary compensation payments."

More specifically the reference to Cyprus (northern part) states the following: "The European Union is actively encouraging the parties involved to resolve the Cyprus problem and to come to a political settlement. As the Berlin financial framework did not fully take into account the northern part of Cyprus, the Commission proposes to adjust the framework in the context of a political settlement. In addition, despite being one of the poorest regions within the Candidate Countries, the northern part is not a beneficiary of the pre-accession funds. The total amounts foreseen in commitments for the northern part of Cyprus are ?39 million in 2004, ?67 million in 2005 and ?100 million in 2006."

According to a press release issued by the Delegation of the European Commission in Cyprus the Head of Delegation Ambassador Donato Chiarini, commenting on the inclusion of the northern part of Cyprus in the Commission's Financing Framework proposals for 2004-2006, said the decision was in line with the consistent and inclusive policy of the European Union on Cyprus.

Mr Chiarini said that the designated ?206million out of the total commitments of ?40.1 billion for the period related to funds that would be made available to the region after a political settlement, and described it as a strong signal of the Union's desire and support for a settlement. Mr Chiarini reminded of the Commission's already substantial contribution to achieve rapprochement through its funding of bi-communal projects in Cyprus over the years.

As the Berlin financial framework did not fully take into account the northern part of Cyprus, the Commission proposed to adjust the framework in the context of a political settlement. In addition, despite being one of the poorest regions within the Candidate Countries, the northern part of Cyprus is not a beneficiary of the pre-accession funds. In addition to the structural funds foreseen, this has been taken into account in order to support this region to catch up in its development after accession.

The total amounts foreseen in commitments for the northern part of Cyprus are ?39 million in 2004, ?67 million in 2005 and ?100 million in 2006.

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