The Technical Support Instrument (TSI), which is a successor to the SRSP Program offered in previous years, is a program of the European Commission (EC) that provides tailored technical support to its member states for the design and implementation of structural reforms. It is an important pillar of the EU's initiative to help member states to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program is managed by the Directorate General Reform of the EC, with the Directorate General Growth, Ministry of Finance being the Coordinating Authority in Cyprus.

The support provided by the Program TSI concerns only the offer of expertise for the preparation of studies for the implementation of structural reforms, based on requests submitted by the member state, with the costs being covered entirely by the Program without requiring national co-financing. However, the implementation of the reforms should be financed either by national means or other EU funds, such as the Recovery and Resilience Plan.

The scope of the Program includes areas related to public financial management, education and training, labor market, social policy, public health, green and digital transition and financial sector. EU member states can request technical support for:

· the implementation of reforms to strengthen resilience in the framework of the EU's economic governance, such as those arising from country specific recommendations under the European Semester

· the preparation, amendment, implementation and revision of national Recovery and Resilience Plans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility

· the implementation of economic adjustment programmes

· the implementation of reforms undertaken at their own initiative

The process begins with the submission of the requests by the member states to the Directorate General Reform with a deadline for their submission on October 31 of each year. The Commission analyses the requests received and enters into dialogue with the national Coordinating Authorities based on criteria and evaluation principles defined in Article 9 of the Regulation (EU) 2021/240 establishing TSI, which are based on the urgency, breadth and depth of the identified challenges, support needs in respect of the policy areas concerned, analysis of socioeconomic indicators and institutional and general administrative capacity of the member states concerned.

In the TSI Program, in addition to the possibility of submitting requests in a wide range of areas, flagship projects are announced every year, which are related to EU priorities and aim to support the implementation of reforms already implemented by the member states. Furthermore, a new entry is the possibility of submitting multi-country and multi-region requests, where a member state submits a request on behalf of other member states or there is a coordinated submission of the same/similar requests by different member states. In this case, there is possibility of providing support to the common requests of the member states, as well as support to their individual needs.

The requests of Cyprus for the latest Program TSI 2023, with a budget of €119 mln were submitted to the Directorate General Reform on 27.10.2022. The preliminary results for the selected requests by the Commission are expected to be communicated to the member states in December 2022, while the final decision will be taken by the Commission in March 2023. The selected projects are expected to start implementation from April 2023.

More information on TSI can be found on the European Commission's website here.