President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has managed to secure the increase of co-funding from the EU, through the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, to 95% from 2014 to 2017.

This means that for every €100 for a project, €95 will come from the EU, without altering the total sum for Cyprus for the period 2014-2020.

Speaking at a press conference, President Anastasiades said this opened new prospects for development projects which would give the economy a boost with the creation of new jobs, adding that the 95% EU funding might be extended for a few more years.

Referring to the European Council, the President said they discussed the Economic and Monetary Union, social issues, the unemployment of young persons, and immigration.

On youth unemployment, President Anastasiades said Cyprus` aim was to submit an action plan to the European Commission by the end of December 2013, with measures that would facilitate the creation of new jobs, adding that this plan was the result of social dialogue. He pointed out that the employment of young persons was not just a priority for his government, by the top one.

President Anastasiades said they also discussed digital economy, research and innovation, with emphasis on the necessity to promote actions that would allow the completion of the digital single market by the end of 2015, which will lead to more development, competitiveness and employment.

During discussions on the Economic and Monetary Union, President Anastasiades pointed out the importance of its social aspect for Cyprus, noting that EMU policies should be linked to policies aiming at addressing unemployment and social exclusion.

President Anastasiades also accepted an invitation by the French President to participate in a special meeting on November 12 for youth employment.

Regarding the Banking Union, he said Cyprus has always been in favour of regulations to break the vicious circle between banks and states, so that the public debt is not burdened in order to support the banks. He said the new capital regulations for banks and the new banking supervision mechanism would play a significant role in securing the stability of the banking sector.

Referring to the recent tragic incidents with immigrants in the Mediterranean, President Anastasiades said they highlighted the pressing need for coordinated efforts on an EU level concerning effective prevention and management of illegal immigration. He said efforts should be based on the principle of solidarity and balanced sharing of the burden.

President Anastasiades also referred to his meetings on the sidelines of the summit. He said that on Thursday he participated in the EPP meeting and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he briefed on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem. He pointed out the importance of EU involvement in efforts to reach a settlement and of creating a new dynamic through confidence-building measures. According to the President, Merkel showed understanding about the Cyprus issue and furthermore congratulated Cyprus on efforts aimed at the recovery of the economy, noting that Germany was ready to provide further support to the Republic of Cyprus.

On Friday, before the summit, President Anastasiades met with French President Francois Hollande, whom he briefed on the Cyprus issue, noting that Hollande shared Cyprus` opinion about the importance of an upgraded involvement of the EU.

The President also discussed the Cyprus issue with British Prime Minister David Cameron, and they agreed to continue their talk in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on November 15, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit. Furthermore, Cameron invited the Cypriot President to visit London in early 2014.

Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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