As part of the EU Aid Programme to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community (TCc) (Regulation (EC) 389/20061), assistance is being provided to support Cypriot Civil Society. One of the main objectives of the Aid Programme (objective 3) in this regards is “reconciliation, confidence building measures, and support to civil society”.

Strengthening of civil society in the northern part of Cyprus is a key factor in the development of a culture of dialogue, participation in community life and promotion of the values of tolerance, peace and active citizenship. The EU funded support to confidence building measures and joint-actions organised by civil society organisations from both communities strongly promotes reconciliation, dialogue, closer relationships and trust between the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot communities.

The EU has supported six grant schemes totalling €12 million to date with more in the pipeline. More than 70 projects and 85 civil society associations have been assisted under the Cypriot Civil Society in Action programme since 2006.

Current EU support to civil society organisations focuses on human rights, environment, culture and sport.

Some examples of projects include:
  • “Unspoken”: Combat gender and sexual discrimination through dialogue and awareness raising on LGBTI rights
  • “Resist Again violence” :Elimination of domestic violence against women and children
  • “Raise your voice, advocate for your rights”: Development of communication and advocacy skills of Turkish Cypriot (TC) civil society and capacity of TC and Greek Cypriot (GC) media professionals
  • “Patients’ Voice I”: awareness raising and respect of patient’ rights
  • “Human rights for all”: promotion and protection of human rights of persons in need of international protection’s
  • “Leading by Example”: engagement of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot Business Leaders in Dialogue, Cooperation and Reconciliation
  • Protection and promotion of intangible cultural heritage shared by Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.
  • “The Caves of Kyrenia Mountains Project: Integrating Research, Conservation and Education”
  • “Patients’ Voice II”: awareness raising and respect of patient’ rights.
  • Marine Litter for Synergies, Capacity-building and Peacebuilding
  • “POSSIBLE: Stronger, Freer, More Ethical Journalism in the northern part of Cyprus”
  • “Promoting Dialogue for Change: Peace Advocacy through Youth Empowerment”
  • “COMMIT Project: Coordinated Measures and Mechanisms for Anti-trafficking”.
  • “Legal Changes and Legal Support against Human Trafficking”.
  • “LiFe Project: LGBTI+ in Freedom from Exploitation”.