The President of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou, referred to the crucial role that Cyprus, together with Greece, can play in ensuring adequate energy reserves through the development of cooperation mechanisms with countries such as Israel and Egypt, aimed at energy transfer, including liquefied natural gas to continental Europe.
Demetriou made the remark during her intervention at the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments (EUSC) which was held in Prague.
According to a statement by the House of Representatives, during her intervention in the discussion on the role of the EU in the framework of global cooperation among democracies, in connection with the issue of dependence of EU member states on totalitarian regimes (misinformation, supply chain security, strategic autonomy), the President of the Parliament noted that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 14 months ago, the words “autonomy”, “misinformation”, “security”, “energy”, and “democracy” have dominated the political dialogue in the EU and have taken unpredictable dimensions.
She noted that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it became clear that the issue of energy security is now a strong incentive for the EU to strategically promote its autonomy in this sector and to achieve its independence from conventional sources of energy.
Regarding the aspect of strategic autonomy in the field of security, the House President said it is imperative to find ways to implement the EU’s goal of energy self-sufficiency, so that the Union can become an even stronger partner in the field of energy security, agreeing with France’s position that Europe must be able to make its own autonomous decisions when and where needed.
Demetriou further referred to the fundamental democratic values of the EU, emphasizing that the EU can play a leading role in protecting and deepening democracy at the global level, through close cooperation and a cohesive common foreign policy aimed at establishing and supporting democratic institutions in third countries. She also agreed with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, on the need to demonstrate strong leadership in this direction.
She emphasized the crucial role of national parliaments in the overall process of upholding the rule of law and preserving democracy at national and European level, serving as a shield and protection against totalitarian regimes and the consequences of their policies on the coherence of the EU.
The Conference of Presidents concluded its work by adopting a set of Conclusions.
On the sidelines of the conference, Demetriou held bilateral meetings with the Vice-President of the French National Assembly Valérie Rabault and the president of the Spanish Parliament Meritxell Batet Lamaña.
During the meeting with Rabault, the excellent level of relations between the two countries and their parliaments, which are based on common values and the common Euro-Mediterranean identity of the two countries, was reaffirmed. The importance of strengthening cooperation between them at all levels was also emphasized while issues of gender equality and the EU’s energy independence from countries with totalitarian regimes were also discussed.
During the meeting with Batet Lamaña, the mutual willingness to deepen bilateral relations at the inter-parliamentary level was emphasized, particularly in light of the dynamics and cooperation developed through the participation of the two women Presidents of Parliaments in relevant EU inter-parliamentary meetings.
They also exchanged views on the priorities of the upcoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU during the second half of 2023.