Cyprus is proud and delighted of its positive contribution to Europe, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, as Cyprus prepares to hand over Presidency of the Council of the EU, its first Presidency, to Ireland which takes over on January 1 2013.

“Cyprus is proud and delighted of its positive contribution to Europe this last semester,” the President said in an address on the main results of the Cypriot Presidency during a luncheon with the Ambassadors of the EU member-states to the island.

“By strictly adhering to the role of `honest broker`, the exclusive goal was to work “Towards a Better Europe” for our citizens and especially the young generation, facing an uncertain future because of an economic crisis unprecedented in terms of depth and intensity,” he added.

Noting that Cyprus has tried to set realistic and achievable targets, with the main dossiers having been defined by the current EU developments, Christofias said “this endeavour was undertaken, for the first time since acceding to the EU family, with a high sense of responsibility and honour, as well as with resolve and determination to do a good job.”

Providing an overview of the achievements of the Cypriot Presidency, Christofias referred to the EU Finance Ministers agreement on the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the conclusions of the lengthy negotiations on a European Unitary Patent, the completion of the Common European Asylum System by the end of 2012, as requested by the European Council and the work done on the Schengen Governance, as well as the agreement with the European Parliament on the 2013 EU Budget. He also recalled the adoption of the declaration on the Integrated Maritime Policy

Christofias also recalled that the President of the European Parliament had told him that “in the European Union there are no large and small Presidencies, but successful and non-successful Presidencies”.

Furthermore, recalling Cyprus` application to the EU bailout mechanism, Christofias said “there were serious misgivings about the Cyprus Presidency” adding that Cyprus’ ability to successfully assume such a large and important undertaking was questioned.

“The economic crisis that prominently struck Cyprus at the beginning of its Presidency, and the problems that are still unfortunately faced due to the continuing Turkish occupation, have not been a distraction to the primary goal,” he said.

Europe needs to redefine the principle of Solidarity


In his address, Christofias said that the principle of solidarity, one of the main founding principles of the EU should be redefined.

Amid the debt crisis plaguing the Euro area and particularly the states of the southern Europe which stricken by soaring public debt, have requested financial assistance from the EU bailout mechanism, Christofias pointed out that “we ought to redefine this principle in order to provide it with a comprehensive meaning.”

“Not for it to serve, as some might be concerned, with unrestrained lending to “the poor European south by the rich European north”, but to reassert, through transparent and best practices,  that the word “Union” in the “European Union” is not devoid of content,” he said.

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