ΘΑλΕΙΑ 2021-2027

Technical Meetings with the European Commission for the examination of the implementation progress of the Cohesion Policy Programmes for the period 2014-2020 and 2021-2027

On 14 and 15 March 2023, a European Commission (EC) team visited Cyprus to review the progress achieved in the implementation of the Programmes co-funded by the Cohesion Policy Funds in the Programming Periods 2014-2020 and 2021-2027. The delegation was comprised of Mr. Carsten Rasmussen, Mr. Panagiotis Pantazatos, Mr. Kypros Kyprianou and Mr. Ioannis Solomonides on behalf of the EU’s Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and Mr. Patrick Paquet, Mr. Christos Koulouteris and Mr. Andreas Chiratos on behalf of the EU’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL).

The meetings were attended by representatives of all the national Authorities and Bodies involved in the Programmes (Directorate General Growth, the Treasury of the Republic of Cyprus, the Internal Audit Service and the Intermediary Bodies). 

The Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Operational Programmes “Competitiveness and Sustainable Development” and “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion”, which are co-funded by the Cohesion Policy Funds in the period 2014-2020, was held on 14 March.

The Managing Authority (DG Growth) presented to the EU the overall progress in the implementation of the Operational Programmes to date and the latest actions taken to achieve the target of 100% absorption of the resources allocated to Cyprus from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Moreover, the Treasury of the Republic and DG Growth presented the planning for the closing process of the Programming Period while other technical matters were also discussed.

Respectively, on 15 March, Technical Meetings were held for the Cohesion Policy Programme “THALIA 2021-2027”, which is co-funded by the Cohesion Policy Funds in the period 2021-2027.

The Managing Authority informed the EU on the actions taken in view of preparing and launching the implementation of the “THALIA 2021-2027” Programme, and presented the degree of activation of the Programme to date. Eight months following its approval by the EU (8 July 2022), the “THALIA 2021-2027” Programme has achieved a high degree of activation, as the implementation of projects with a budget of €934 million, representing 63% of the total Programme budget, has already been launched.

Visits to projects
As part of its mission, the DG REGIO delegation visited three projects co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as follows:

Development of “Smart City” Infrastructure and Systems of Nicosia Municipality
Nicosia Municipality presented the project “Smart City”, co-funded under the Cohesion Policy Programme “THALIA 2021-2027”. The Project includes infrastructure and systems for the creation of a Smart City in Nicosia Municipality.

The expected benefits from the implementation of the Project are many and have a multifaceted impact on the daily life of citizens, on entrepreneurship, the environment and the sustainable development of the Municipality. The Project contributes to improving quality of life and to the smart improvement and development of the services provided by the Municipality, as well as enhancing the quality and usability of urban municipal infrastructure.

Domognostics+ Project: “Intelligent analysis and diagnosis system in building automations, enhanced with semantic technologies and based on the Internet of Things (IoT)”
A visit was made to the company “Phoebe Research and Innovation Ltd”, where the Domognostics+ Project was presented. The Project was co-funded under the “Research in Enterprises” Call for Proposals of the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), in the context of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Sustainable Development 2014-2020”.

The Project involves the design and development of an innovative low-cost smart solution, specifically designed for building operators who wish to better monitor and control their building systems and reduce their operating costs. It includes the development of Building Automation Systems (BAS) and sub-systems that monitor and control air quality, lighting, water distribution, security, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

MENTIS Project
A visit was made to the company MentisVR, where the MENTIS Project was presented. This is an innovative cognitive training system in sports, co-funded under the “Innovation – SEED” Call of the Research and Innovation Foundation, in the context of the Cohesion Policy Programme “THALIA 2021-2027”.

The MENTIS Project involves the creation of an innovative tool by the start-up company MentisVR Ltd, which offers innovative virtual reality applications in the field of sports. Through data collection and virtual reality applications, the tool contributes to physical and mental training, aiming to enhance the performance of athletes and the ability to control attention, as well as other cognitive processes.

In the framework of the mission, the delegation of DG EMPL also visited two Projects co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF+) under the Cohesion Policy Programme “THALIA 2021-2027”, as follows:

Family Intervention and Support Centre for Autism
The Centre, named “AKTIDA”, opened in October 2021 with the aim of providing early intervention and support to both children and their families, to enable children to reach their full potential in social skills, prepare them for integration into the school setting and maintain the family’s cohesion, unity and harmony. The “AKTIDA” Cenre offers its services free of charge to approximately 300 children and their families nationwide.

The Centre provides psychological support, counselling and psychoeducation, home education and support services for children and their families, as well as social support services.

The Project beneficiary is the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and the Centre’s operation has been entrusted to the Contractor, a Consortium consisting of three bodies: the European University – Speech and Hearing Clinic, Codeca-Centre for Social Cohesion Development and Care Ltd and Social Element-Centre for Social and Human Development Ltd.

Provision of Home Care Services to Persons with Disabilities
The Project, which was launched in 2022, is being implemented by the Cyprus Paraplegics Association and aims to provide quality personal care services in the home to persons with disabilities, in particular with paraplegia and quadriplegia. Future plans include the provision of care services to persons with myopathy.

The Project facilitates the access of individuals to various social services, as well as enhancing and improving quality of life and independent living. In addition, new jobs are being created through the Project for nurse carers who receive specialised training both during their initial induction and on an ongoing basis.

It is estimated that, during the implementation of the Project, a total of 110 persons with severe disabilities will benefit from care services while 94 openings for nurse carers will be created nationwide.

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