The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias, and the President of the European Commission held a joint press conference after the meeting between the Cyprus Government and the College of Commissioners.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Demetris Christofias underlined the need for a collective effort on the part of all EU insitutions in order to tackle the great challenges the Union currently faces.
In a joint press conference given today with the President of the European Commission Mr Jose Manuel Barroso, at the Conference Centre “Filoxenia”, in Lefkosia (Nicosia), President Christofias said that there is a close cooperation between Cyprus and the College of Commissioners regarding the programme of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU.
He added that the EU faces very serious issues such as the promotion of measures to overcome the economic and social crisis as well as the implementation of policies for growth and job creation, especially for young people. On these issues, he noted, we have already taken common action with the Commission and will also promote a joint effort with the European Parliament. There is an absolute need for collective effort of all EU institutions. He pointed out that in his recent joint meeting with President of the European Parliament Mr Martin Schulz and Mr Barroso, in Strasbourg, they all agreed on close cooperation during the Cyprus Presidency.
During the meeting between the Cyprus Presidency and the College of Commissioners we stated our commitment for such cooperation.
He also said that earlier today, in his meeting with President Barroso, at the Presidential Palace, they reviewed issues pertaining to the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency, the current European agenda, as well as issues regarding coordination of actions in view of the negotiations which the Cyprus Presidency will undertake with all the member states on the Multiannual Financial Framework.
Referring to the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency, President Christofias said that “we will work towards a Better Europe, more relevant to its citizens, a Union of growth and social cohesion. We will do our utmost to promote the southern neighbourhood policy in the best possible and efficient way.” He added that due to its geographical position, Cyprus is the meeting point of the EU with Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
“Utilising our good relations with our neighbours we are ready to assist the EU to contribute to the changes that take place in the region in order to have democratic and pluralistic societies for the benefit of the people.”
President Christofias said that he shares common views with President Barroso, and “together we will steer the ship to calm waters,” and that means towards a Better Europe.
Ready for the huge responsibility
President Barroso noted that the Cyprus Presidency is very well prepared. He explained that the Presidency of the Council is a huge responsibility, a considerable workload especially in times of global and European challenges and added that he hopes the Cyprus Presidency will work for the quick adoption of all the Single Market acts.
Towards “A Better Europe” is a strong message, President Barroso said.
Replying to a question, President Christofias said that Cyprus submitted a request to the Stability Mechanism because it is part of the EU. Cyprus, despite being an EU member, maintains the right to share friendly relations with third countries, just like the other 26 EU member states do.
“We will contribute in the most positive way in tackling the economic crisis,” said President Christofias.
With regard to the Cyprus economy, President Christofias said that the Government continues with its fiscal consolidation policy.
President Barroso welcomed the formal request by Cyprus to be assisted by the Mechanism. He said that Troika will soon prepare a programme for Cyprus together with the Cyprus government and noted that “the Cypriot Authorities reacted very positively to the recommendations by the European Commission.” He pointed out that ownership of the measures is very important.
He further said that his strong advice to Cyprus is to look at this from a national perspective, adding that the imbalances have not been created by Cyprus itself but were consequential of other parts of the Union and the world. He underlined that there is a need for Cypriots to achieve a broad consensus in order to support a program, because that is the only way to achieve sustainable development.
Invited to comment on the current economic situation in Spain, President Barroso said the Commission follows the situation very closely and added that he has confidence that the Spanish Authorities will take all necessary measures to deal with the situation.