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    Commission aid programme for the Turkish Cypriots, includes support to halloumi producers

    The European Commission’s new annual action programme for the Turkish Cypriots includes tailored measures to support Turkish Cypriot halloumi producers, support to the work of the Committee for Missing Persons and the bicommunal Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage and the work of the technical committees in general, as well as a scholarship scheme for young Turkish Cypriots, according to a European Commission announcement. The annual action programme amounts to a total of 30.7 million euros.

    Measures to support Turkish Cypriot producers so they can benefit from the halloumi/hellim package, which entail conformity with the relevant EU standards such as the PDO scheme, will include improving the food safety and hygiene standards, eradicating animal diseases and developing a system for animal identification and registration, which would be EU compatible and allow an island-wide solution.

    The programme also includes continued support for green infrastructure and the environment, in line with the European Green Deal priorities.

    “This new set of projects seeks to support economic development, reconciliation and confidence-building measures including substantial assistance so that Turkish Cypriot producers can benefit from the Halloumi/Hellim PDO package adopted in April this year”, said Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.

    “Despite the current political situation, the programme remains as relevant as ever and we will remain steadfast in our support to the reunification of the island” she added.

    In the context of the Commission’s support to confidence-building measures in Cyprus, the programme will continue to finance the Committee on Missing Persons and the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, as well as the other bi-communal Technical Committees and civil society in order to inspire further bi-communal activities, thereby contributing to the process of reunification.

    The programme also secures funding for the continuation of EU information and communication activities in the Turkish Cypriot areas, as well as for a scholarship scheme for young Turkish Cypriots to gain academic and professional experience in EU Member States, including in the College of Europe.

    The Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriots aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island and on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU.

    Between 2006 and 2021, €623 million has been allocated for projects under the Aid Programme. It is managed by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM).

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