The European Commission held a groundbreaking ceremony for the “Kormakitis Centre for Cooperation” infrastructure project valued at €900,000 at an event on Thursday , at the location of the Centre. Once completed, the Kormakitis Centre for Cooperation will provide the Maronite community and other communities with a facility for education, youth activities, conferences and meetings, as well as cultural activities.
An EC press release says that the EU-funded restoration and rehabilitation projects have already contributed to revitalising the social and cultural heritage of Kormakitis. The new centre, which is being supported as part of the EU-funded Local Infrastructure Facility (LIF) implemented by UNDP, has a mission to serve the reconciliation and coexistence of local communities in Cyprus. The Maronite community is currently in the process of establishing an association that will be responsible for managing the new facility, for which designs have been completed and construction works have just started.
“The Kormakitis Centre for Cooperation holds a vision for the future. A future that celebrates the multi-communal landscape of Cyprus that strives for reconciliation and coexistence,” said Judit Rozsa, the Director for Coordination, Resources and Aid Programme at DG Reform in the European Commission, speaking at the event.
“It was a vision of the Maronite community here to create such a facility. They invested a substantial amount of resources in preparing designs and most importantly, in creating a roadmap for how the Centre will be used and how it can contribute to a better future in Cyprus” she added.
Referring to the event as ‘a historic day for the Maronite Community of Cyprus,’ Yiannakis Mousas, the Member of the Parliament representing the Maronite community stated that the Centre for Cooperation to be established in Kormakitis will serve for the purpose of promoting a unified and prosperous European Cyprus, with particular focus on the younger generations and the cultivation of a culture of mutual understanding and coexistence. It will operate as a bridge for cooperation and collaboration amongst all communities and all Cypriots.
“As the Maronite Community, we would like to express our gratitude to the European Union and reaffirm our commitment to work hard in order to serve and achieve our common objectives”, he said.
Alexandre Prieto, the Project Manager of UNDP LIF, underlined the fact that UNDP has been working on supporting confidence building measures in Cyprus for more than 20 years now.
“We see this project as a chance for building confidence and increasing cooperation, especially amongst the youth“ said Prieto, noting that the Centre will be providing opportunities to bring together youth from all communities of Cyprus.
LIF came into existence through a contribution agreement signed in December 2018 under the EU Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community with an initial budget of €17.7 million, later increased to €28.1 million.
The overall objective of LIF is to provide technical assistance for the design and implementation of projects aiming at improving environmental, social and economic infrastructure in the Turkish Cypriot community. Its main aim is the identification, selection, bringing to maturation, tendering and implementation of sustainable projects selected through interactive participatory processes involving the EU, UNDP and the local communities/beneficiaries.
The selected and matured projects are realised with EU funding and implemented by UNDP. The inclusion of any bicommunal project aspects, either in terms of physicality or implementation, is to be promoted where possible.
The ongoing LIF projects are the Kormakitis Centre for Cooperation Project, Composting & source separated packaging waste recycling facility – ‘Ekopark’, Pedieos River/Rehabilitation Project ISWTF – Decommissioning of the Old WWTP, Mandres Sewerage Network, Morphou WWTP extension, Famagusta WWTP extension and North-Western Solid Waste Transfer Station.