€21 million redirected from Regional Funds to help promote growth in Cyprus

The European Commission has announced the reprogramming of a plan that will help promote growth in Cyprus and strengthen the impact of EU regional funds there. In particular, it will redirect €21 million worth of Regional Funds to help the country deal with the current socio-economic crisis and ensure a quicker delivery of available investments particularly when it comes to supporting small and medium sized business and the employment of young people.

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A report shows that innovation and small business are receiving a huge boost from cohesion policy investments

The European Commission published a report in which shows an overview of how EU Structural Funds are working in member states. According to this report, these funds have already led to progress and improvement for many citizens, such as that 1.9 million more people now have broadband access; or 2.6 million more people are served by water supply, 5.7 million more by waste water projects.

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The CoR proposes to allocate €3.5 billion to provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived in Europe

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has proposed that the European Commission increases by €1 billion more the level of investment for a new Fund dedicated to supporting citizens most in need. Additionally, the CoR rejected the Commission's proposals to allow member states to voluntarily participate in co-financing schemes that use the Fund, arguing that this could take away local and regional authorities' access to vitally needed investment.

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The CoR made it clear that independence movements on the part of a region must be seen as internal matters

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) made it clear that demands for autonomy and independence movements on the part of a region must be seen as internal matters for the member state concerned. In addition, according to the CoR, in the hypothetical situation where such a region would become independent and wants to remain in the EU, it would have to apply to become a member of the EU like any state.

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The CoR calls to ensure adequate planning of regional and local investment for the coming years

President of the Committee of Regions (CoR), Ramon Luis Valcárcel, called for an agreement on the EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) to be reached before the summer, in order to ensure adequate planning of regional and local investment for the coming years. He also expressed serious concerns about the positions expressed by some MEPs who suggested that cohesion policy was rooted in the past.

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Mayors of EU capital cities welcomed Commission's initiative to open a direct dialogue with the capital cities

In a declaration endorsed by mayors of EU capital cities, they welcomed the initiative of the European Commission to open a direct dialogue with the capital cities and to give EU cities a higher profile as direct partners for the EU. Mayors agreed that capital cities are the laboratories where solutions to the EU's social and economic problems must be found.

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