Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004. Since then, the EU has supported the island’s two communities as they work towards a final settlement to end decades of division.

To pave the way for the reunification of the island, one of the aims of the EU aid has been to bring the two communities closer together economically.

Much of the EU’s support to Cyprus therefore focuses on developing the economy of the island’s Turkish Cypriot community. From its introduction in 2006 to the end of 2021, the EU’s Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community has provided around EUR 656 million in financial support.

The programme supports projects in areas including but not limited to agriculture, environment, infrastructure, civil society, community development, cultural heritage, education and telecommunications, as well as the development of the private sector, the labour market, crossings, traffic safety and energy. It also provides information about EU policy and encourages legislative alignment with the EU in line with the Acquis Communautaire.


Aid Programme funding for 2006-2022 according to objective

Total: EUR 656 Million

EU Funding
  •   1 - Infrastructure and environment
  •   2 - Socio-economic development
  •   3 - Confidence building
  •   4 - Bringing TCc closer to the EU
  •   5/6 - Preperation for EU acquis
  •   Reserve (support and settlement facility)

This support has achieved positive impacts in a range of different areas:

KEY SUCCESSES (2006-2022)

Developing and restructuring infrastructure:

  • 263 km of new water pipes were installed to stop leakages and provide high-quality drinking water
  • 125 km of sewage network was constructed to replace septic tanks, which often leaked and contaminated groundwater
  • Three wastewater treatment plants were constructed, processing the wastewater generated by 312 000 people each day
  • 10 air quality monitoring network stations were provided, forming an integrated network to measure air quality across the Turkish Cypriot community
  • A community centre was constructed in the Maronite village of Kormakitis, to serve as a multi-cultural event venue and education centre for all Cypriot communities

Promoting social and economic development:

  • EUR 40 million have been earmarked to support the implementation of the pan-Cypriot Halloumi/Hellim EU quality label scheme in the Turkish Cypriot community 2021-2024
  • More than 160 grants worth EUR 18 million were awarded to SMEs and start-ups to support innovation, competitiveness, the green and digital transitions, and EU standards
  • EUR 10 million were dedicated to help 2400 businesses cope with the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis between 2020-2022
  • Over 4,000 hours of consultancy, assessments, one-to-one mentoring and training workshops were offered to businesses and first-time entrepreneurs during 2019-2022
  • Long-term support worth almost EUR 24 million was provided to the education sector, for curriculum reform, continuous professional development and the modernisation of vocational education and training
  • Science lab equipment was delivered to 48 primary schools and 46 secondary schools to enable school children and teachers to conduct experiments in biology, chemistry and physics
  • EUR 35 million were invested in rural development through a series of grant schemes, training seminars and advisory services in line with EU standards

Promoting reconciliation, confidence-building measures, a strong civil society and the values and legal order of the EU

  • More than 2000 scholarships for Turkish Cypriots were financed, allowing them to study at university or do an internship in an EU member state
  • Close to EUR 36 million was provided to the bicommunal Committee on Missing Persons, which has exhumed and identified the remains of 1028 persons, returning them to their families
  • More than EUR 24 million was provided to the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, which has restored, conserved or protected more than 100 cultural heritage sites across Cyprus
  • EU InfoPoint was established in 2015 to inform the Turkish Cypriot community about EU policies and the Aid Programme, via workshops and events, social media, and the Internet
  • Over EUR 16 million in grants was awarded to 101 mainly Turkish Cypriot civil society organisations (CSOs) for 83 projects on issues from human rights to environmental protection
  • 109 training sessions were held to reinforce the capacities of Turkish Cypriot CSOs related to strategy and advocacy, rights-based approaches, fundraising, and communications
  • More than 260 different experts from EU member states were mobilised to support Turkish Cypriots in drafting over 240 legal texts in line with the EU acquis