On 15th of March 2023, during his visit to Cyprus, Mr. Mario Nava, Director General of DG REFORM, had a roundtable discussion with Cypriot civil society organisations (CSOs) who are not yet running European Union funded projects in different fields as environment, health, human rights, peace and reconciliation, and sports. During the meeting, participants discussed the challenges they face and how European Union support can enhance their actions. The meeting included 24 participants, including civil society representatives, researchers, European Commission representatives, the Grant Support Team and Civic Space technical assistance team.
The meeting allowed CSO representatives to raise fundamental issues for improving their work in Cyprus with the officials responsible for running The Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community.
The roundtable discussions covered a variety of topics, such as:
- Earthquake aftermath: forced displaced people due to natural disaster, humanitarian, and emergency assistance
- Enabling environment for the CSOs and democratic process with a particular focus on human rights defenders and freedom of media/speech.
- Environmental research as a topic to enhance bicommunal cooperation.
- Sport as a vehicle for bicommunal cooperation, reconciliation, and restrictions for TCc representatives to attend international sport competitions.
- CSOs bi-communal cooperation: good and bad practices, joint pan-European integration of Cyprus CSOs
- EU financial assistance: impact of Aid Programme and challenges related to accessing other instruments (structural funds, etc.)
Civic Space has coordinated the compilation of a report to be presented to the Director General, listing the issues raised.
The Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) coordinates and provides tailor-made technical support to the EU Member States to design and implement reforms as part of their efforts to support job creation and inclusive and sustainable growth. In the Turkish Cypriot community, DG reform provides support for the Cyprus settlement negotiations, implements the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, and monitors the Green Line Regulation.