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EU Justice Commissioner in Cyprus to discuss Rule of Law report

The EU's Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, will arrive in Nicosia for a two-day visit on 4-5 May to discuss the 2022 report on the rule of law, as well as the enforcement of EU sanctions against individuals and companies from Russia and Belarus.

During his visit, the commissioner will meet with President Nikos Christodoulides, as well as Minister of Justice, Anna Koukkidis-Prokopiou, and House Speaker Annita Dimitriou.

The commissioner will exchange views on the rule of law with representatives of the parliamentary committee on foreign and European affairs, the committee on law, justice and public order, and the committee on institutions, values ​​and governance, and will also participate in a round table discussion with representatives of civil society organisations.

Finally, Reynders will meet with Attorney General Giorgos Savvidis, as well as Transparency Commissioner Haris Pogiatzis, to discuss judicial reforms in Cyprus.

Reynders will discuss “the relatively low amount of frozen assets of Russian oligarchs in Cyprus”

Meanwhile, Reynders told CNA in an interview that the European Commission would be discussing “the relatively low amount of frozen assets of Russian oligarchs in Cyprus” during his visit to the island.

Reynders said that official figures show that so far, assets worth €104m have been frozen, which is considered a low amount.

He also referred to the progress of the infringement procedure on golden passports, which he said is linked to the freezing of assets. He noted that of the three member states that the Commission focused on, Bulgaria has completely stopped the relevant programmes and therefore the procedure is closed. Malta continues the programme and therefore has been referred to the EU Court of Justice, and Cyprus is in the middle.

Cyprus has suspended the relevant legislation without revoking it, citing legal reasons related to the review of citizenships granted.

According to Commissioner Reynders, it would be preferable to have a complete repeal of the legislation.

But he expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation so far in relation to the monitoring of the rule of law in the context of the Commission’s annual reports (part of the preparation of which are his contacts in various Member States), as well as on the reforms of the judiciary in Cyprus.

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