On November 1st 2013 (Law 127(I)/447), the Planning Bureau has been renamed as Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (DG EPCD) as part of its overall reform and revision if its mission.
The DG EPCD was originally founded in 1961 as the Planning Bureau (Council of Ministers Decision Number 854 dated June 15th, 1961). With this Council Decision, a planning mechanism was formed, a Central Planning Committee and two planning sub-committees. One sub-committee was for policy issues and the other for the development budget. The Planning Bureau was the administrative arm of this mechanism.
The contribution of the Planning Bureau was decisive for the growth of the economy immediately after the independence of Cyprus. It acted as the main development and coordinating body of the Government via the preparation of Strategic Development Plans, as well as the preparation and monitoring of the implementation of the Annual Development Budget. During this period, new needs for the planning and coordination of the development programme of the country appeared, which were successfully met until the 1980s and 1990s.
The Planning Bureau has also played an important role in the development of relations between Cyprus and the EU. It's role in the relations of Cyprus with the EU was instrumental regarding the signing the Agreement of Customs Union between Cyprus and EEC. Furthermore, the Planning Bureau coordinated and conducted at the technocratic level the accession negotiations with the EEC.
Following the unification of the annual budget under the Ministry of Finance, the responsibilities of the Planning Bureau regarding development have been limited to an extent. More attention was given to wider development programming as well as programming and management of the EU Structural Funds and other EU horizontal policies (research, lifelong learning, etc).
During the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2012, the Planning Bureau staffed and was responsible for the Secretariat of the Cyprus Presidency. The Secretariat, under the political guidance of the Undersecretary for European Affairs, coordinated all actions for preparation and implementation of the Presidency.
In May 2013, the Council of Ministers (Decision Number 75.141 dated May 24, 2013) decided on a new broader role and mission for the DG EPCD.