Cyprus working for a successful EU Presidency, Deputy Minister says

Cyprus is working hard over a successful Presidency of the Council of EU that would leave “a positive footprint,” Marilena Raouna, Deputy Minister for European Affairs, has told the parliamentary committee of Foreign and European Affairs.

Briefing the committee, Raouna said this will be the second time Cyprus will be assuming the EU rotating presidency twenty years following the country’s accession to the European Union. Cyprus will assume the rotating presidency in the first half of 2026.

The assumption of the presidency, she added, takes place in critical juncture for the EU following years of crises and geopolitical challenges.

Raouna said the Cypriot presidency team will be premised on the best practices which emerged during Cyprus’ first presidency in 2012 as well as from other presidencies and recalled her latest trip to Slovenia where she was briefed on the country’s preparation steps.

According to the Cypriot Deputy Minister, member-states usually begin preparations two or three years before assuming the Presidency while the Cypriot presidency team is up to date with regard to the timeframe set by the Secretariat of the EU Council.

Replying to questions by the committee members, Raouna said in the coming Autumn a consultation will be launched over the priorities of Cyprus with the participation of the Parliament, Non-Governmental Organisations and social partners. She added that the are some considerations over the sectors of health and employment.

On the EU-Turkish relations, Raouna referred to the recent conclusions of the European Council which, as she pointed out, give the message over a positive relation on the basis of the EU High Representative report, over with a phased, proportional and reversible relation in parallel with the progress in the efforts to resume the talks on the Cyprus problem.

“We are not frightened by the handling of the EU-Turkish relations in the course of the Presidency, we are ready to work to promote ties in the existing framework,” she said.

Furthermore, in statements after the meeting, Raouna said the programme of the trio presidency, along with Poland (1st half of 2025) and Denmark (2nd half) programme is at an advanced level while consultations will begin over the drafting of the priorities of the Cypriot presidency.

“With a vision of more and fairer Europe, we are working hard over an auspicious and successful presidency that would leave a positive footprint”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

(Source: CNA)

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