The Ministry of Finance’s Directorate General for Growth has so far achieved the implementation of six of the total eighteen milestones that would unlock the second disbursement of €85 million from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Fund, Anthoula Savvides, Director of Recovery and Resilience at DG Growth has told CNA, noting that the milestones of the second disbursement do not contain “difficult policy issues.”
Following a long delay in the first disbursement application from the RRF due to protracted disagreements between the Parliament and the executive on the improvement of the non-performing loans management framework, Cyprus has submitted its first disbursement application on July 28 with Savvides stating that the evaluation by the Commission and the EU member-states and the subsequent payment of €85 million will require three to four months.
So far Cyprus has received €157 million from the EU as pre-financing. The Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan (Cyprus tomorrow) provides for €1.2 billion, of which €1 billion in grants from the EU’s recovery fund from the Covid-19 pandemic (Next Generation EU).
According to Savvides, out of the eighteen milestones necessary for the second disbursement, DG Growth has achieved six with four near completion, while the implementation of the remaining eight is under way. “Where possible we are taking steps to expedite the process in collaboration with designated implementation organisations,” she added.
“We aim to submit the application for the second disbursement within the fourth quarter of 2022 according to the RRP’s operational plan signed with the (European) Commission,” Savvides added, noting that the process provides for audits over the verification, validation and absorption of the funds.
But she noted that as a lot of milestones provided for tenders there could be unforeseen situations, associated with possible appeals in the tender review authority.
She stressed however that the Directorate is auditing and verifying all milestones immediately after their completion, so that any possible delays, as was the case in the first disbursement application, would not delay the whole process governing the other milestones.