The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, is providing a total of EUR 235 million for energy, environment and Information Technology (IT) in the Republic of Cyprus.
The finance agreements, the first to be signed by the Bank following the country's accession to the EU are for investment projects as follows:
EUR 100 million for the Greater Nicosia Sewerage Project are made available to the Sewerage Board of Nicosia for upgrading and extending the sewerage system, as well as the treatment facilities within the service area of Sewerage Board of Nicosia. The project constitutes the largest wastewater sector project ever in Cyprus. Its main objective is to extend service coverage in Southern Greater Nicosia (Municipalities of Engomi, Strovolos, Aglanjia, Lakatamia, Latsia and Neighboring villages), and to construct wastewater treatment facilities in order to converge compliance with EU Urban wastewater Treatment Directives.
EUR 35 million for IT investments in Public Service are advanced to the Republic of Cyprus for the Cypriot Ministry of Finance, Department of Information Technology Services (DITS). This is the second tranche of an overall approved financing of EUR 70 million in favour of the project.
This investment is mainly driven by the priorities included in the Partnership Agreement between Cyprus and the EU signed in 2000 and revised in 2002. It concerns investments in IT systems in various Cypriot Government Departments, including investments in physical networks and hardware with the development of specialised software systems.
The enhancement of the Public Administration's IT systems is a major target for the Cypriot Government, as it is considered essential for ensuring a successful integration of Cyprus into the EU. The project is therefore also in line with the EU's e-Government initiatives for Acceding and Accession countries.
EUR 100 million for Energy project goes to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus. The funding is in support of the Vasilikos Power Plant Phase II project concerning the construction of a new CCGT generator (Unit 4) at the Vasilikos Power Plant on the southern coast of Cyprus.
The EIB is a lead player in implementing the European Union's priority objectives, including the preparation and integration of the New Member States in the Union.
For paving the way to accession in the last five years, EIB has provided in Cyprus total finance of EUR 705 million in vital public and private economic sectors, including energy, communications, environment, industry, as well as health and education. The funds have been provided under the Bank's EUR 9.2 billion pre-accession lending facility.
On 1 May 2004 when Cyprus joined the EU, the country became a shareholder of the EIB, participating with EUR 183 382 000 to the Bank's subscribed share capital, standing after Enlargement at EUR 163.7 billion, up from EUR 150 billion (an increase of 9.1%). This increase was due to new subscriptions to the Bank's capital by the new Member States, which subscribe ipso facto to the Bank's capital, and an increase on the part of Spain. The 10 new Member States together account for around 4.6% of the enlarged subscribed capital. Their share reflects their economic weight within the EU as measured by their proportion of the EU's GNP (Gross National Product).