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Cohesion Policy: A Pillar For Green And Digital Transitions In The EU

The recent meeting of the General Affairs Council of the EU, held in Luxembourg, underscored the critical role of the EU Cohesion Policy in facilitating the green and digital transitions essential for sustainable development across member states. Cypriot Finance Minister Makis Keravnos highlighted the significance of this policy, advocating for its alignment with the EU’s strategic objectives for 2024-2029 to promote economic, social, and territorial cohesion.

Strategic Synergies for Balanced Development

Minister Keravnos emphasised the necessity of integrating the Cohesion Policy with the new EU Strategic Agenda. He argued that this alignment is vital to ensure balanced development across all EU regions. The policy’s investment in green and digital transitions is not merely a strategic choice but a legal obligation under the EU Treaties. It aims to foster economic, social, and territorial cohesion, which in turn reinforces the Single Market.

Decentralised Decision-Making and Stakeholder Participation

The discussions also touched upon the importance of decentralised decision-making and active participation of stakeholders at all levels – European, national, and local. This approach ensures that the unique characteristics and potential of each member state are harnessed effectively, promoting overall growth and prosperity within the EU. Cyprus’ position advocates for a collaborative model where localised insights and initiatives drive the broader EU goals.

Addressing Challenges and Opportunities

The General Affairs Council’s meeting highlighted both the challenges and opportunities presented by the green and digital transitions. As the EU moves towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced future, the Cohesion Policy is seen as a key tool to address disparities and ensure that all regions benefit from these advancements.

Digital Transactions: A Green Approach To Finance In Cyprus

As Cyprus increasingly embraces digital transactions, the environmental benefits of this shift are becoming evident. A recent report highlights that digital payments significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with traditional banking operations. By decreasing the reliance on physical branches, paper-based processes, and the transportation of cash, digital transactions are contributing to a more sustainable financial ecosystem. This transition is in line with global initiatives to combat climate change and underscores Cyprus’ commitment to promoting a cleaner, more efficient financial landscape.

Digital transactions are not only more convenient and efficient but also significantly less resource-intensive. Traditional banking often involves extensive paperwork, the use of physical infrastructure, and the transportation of money, all of which contribute to higher carbon emissions. In contrast, digital transactions streamline these processes, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced waste.

The environmental advantages of digital transactions are complemented by their economic benefits. By lowering operational costs and enhancing transaction speed and security, digital payments provide a compelling case for broader adoption. This shift supports sustainable development goals and aligns with the global push towards greener, more resilient economies.

Furthermore, the widespread adoption of digital transactions in Cyprus is expected to drive innovation within the financial sector. With the integration of advanced technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, the digital financial landscape is set to become even more efficient and secure. These innovations not only enhance user experience but also contribute to environmental sustainability by further reducing the need for physical resources.

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