President Christodoulides urges mass voter turnout at EU elections

President Nikos Christodoulides urged a mass voter turnout in the European elections on 6-9 June, as he addressed an event to mark the 20th anniversary of Cyprus’ accession to the EU.

“Our accession to the EU in 2004 was the most important success of the Republic of Cyprus since its establishment in 1960 and has positively affected all aspects of our daily lives," he told the event that was co-organised by the European Parliament Office in Cyprus, the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus and the Limassol Municipality.

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He said the EU was important to Cyprus, but not just in terms of the Cyprus problem and Euro-Turkish issues: “Brussels affects our daily lives and one of the most basic goals of our governance, something we discussed from the first Council of Ministers, is that going to Brussels we are not spectators. Going to Brussels we are co-shapers of EU decisions.”

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And so he called for mass participation in the elections for the members of the European Parliament, underlining that "a high turnout from our country will also send a strong message to Brussels about how important we really approach the EU". He added that the importance of the EU "must translate into a high turnout in elections to the European Parliament".

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He asked the attendees to reflect on how Cyprus could face so many challenges from 2004 onwards if it were not an EU member state. Using as an example the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he pointed out that if Cyprus were not an EU member state, "it would not just be very difficult, it might have been impossible to secure vaccines for the Cypriot people".

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Health and Food Safety Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said the European Union "means diversity, it means multiculturalism, it means being united together," adding that Europe Day is a celebration of Cyprus, which celebrates its 20 years of integration into the European family.

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"What this big European family gives us is that it has given us opportunities to work, to study, to live wherever we want. It gave opportunities to our young people and our children" she added.

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As part of the events, President Christodoulides inaugurated a photo exhibition on Cyprus' 20 years in the EU, while video messages from the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, were screened.

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