The funds absorbed by Cyprus from European funds have exceeded the amount of Cyprus’s contributions to the EU, said member of the EU Court of Auditors, Lefteris Christoforou, presenting the annual report of the Court for 2022 to President of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou on Thursday.
Christoforou said that by 2027, Cyprus will have to manage a total of €3.93 billion from European funds, including loans amounting to €200 million.
During his meeting with the House President, Christoforou noted that “Cyprus has ceased to be a contributor to the EU in any way,” pointing out that “now it receives many times more money from the EU, as opposed to the €200 million given for 2022, and this is significant”.
He also underlined that Cyprus is among the member states considered “champions” in terms of fund absorption.
According to Christoforou, “we are already beyond 95%, and I believe that by the end of the year, for the funds from the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework, Cyprus will fully utilize every last euro”.
He said a significant challenge will be the utilisation of funds in the coming years, up to 2027, where Cyprus will have to utilise the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which includes €1 billion in grants and €200 million in loans for Cyprus, alongside the multiannual financial framework and additional funds from NextGenerationEU, which together amount to €3.93 billion.
“The EU is by our side and genuinely provides impetus, development, and prospects,” Christoforou said, adding that the sum of €3.93 billion will be “a significant socio-economic boost for the country that will completely transform the landscape.” He also acknowledged the crucial role of national Parliaments for the European Court of Auditors.
The annual report of the European Court of Auditors for 2022, as he explained, presents all findings for all accounts and their reliability, and he added that “our country is at a good level, and there are no findings for European funds in 2022”.
On her part, the House President thanked Christoforou for his work adding that “I am sure this year, as in the past, we have excellent cooperation regarding the findings observed in the report,” and expressed her satisfaction with the progress of Cyprus.
Demetriou added that “in a difficult and politically and economically complex period, with everything that is happening, we must respond with more Europe, more control, support for the processes.”
She also noted that there is parliamentary control to ensure that the disbursement of funds is not jeopardised.
“These are funds that our country needs, so we must ensure that the correct and legal procedures are followed to channel them into our economy,” she added.
In a press release issued by the House, Demetriou assured the member of the European Court of Auditors, the House will provide every possible assistance to continue the smooth absorption of funds from the EU and to monitor the implementation of various co-financed projects/programmes within the framework of the required parliamentary oversight, for the benefit of the Republic of Cyprus.