Statements by the General Secretary of AKEL Stefanos Stefanou after the meeting with the Deputy Minister of State for European Affairs Marilena Raouna
The Presidency of the EU Council is a national affair for Cyprus
21 May 2024, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
We had a very interesting, comprehensive and creative meeting with the Deputy Minister of State for European Affairs, who has undertaken the implementation of the national challenge, I would say the national obligation that Cyprus has assumed for its second European Presidency.
As you know, the first European Presidency of Cyprus was in 2012.
Back then the European Presidency of Cyprus, which was very successful and set the bar very high, proved that Cyprus has the personnel, the knowledge, the capability and the strength to successfully carry out European tasks. Back then Cyprus passed the test that was set and I believe we can do the same now. I am pleased to have ascertained during the debate that: firstly, the valuable experience that was accumulated in 2012 is being used, and secondly, that intensive work has begun with regards Cyprus’ European Presidency.
What I want to say and I have conveyed it to Mrs Raouna is that AKEL is ready to help in the success of this national challenge creatively and with our own experience and knowledge. Of course there will be communication both through the House of Representatives, which will be involved and engaged in this procedure, and directly with the Party.
We also had a discussion about the priorities of Cyprus’ European Presidency, which I must tell you that the priorities are not only our own affair. There are also the so-called legacy agendas and issues with the Presidency trio. Just as was the case in 2012 Cyprus is now together with Poland and Denmark and a discussion is currently on the way concerning the formulation of the Presidency priorities.
As far as AKEL is concerned, we always put a special emphasis on the issues that must to be discussed in order to make Europe more social, more ecological, more sensitive and more in solidarity both with its member states, as well as with other states and peoples. To make Europe more democratic, because there are democratic deficits in the EU,
There is also an issue that is being discussed that has to do with the veto. AKEL’s position is clear that the veto must not be abolished. At the same time, we must make Europe a real protagonist in promoting peace and cooperation in the EU region, but also globally, because the EU can act in this direction, provided that it is consistent both with the principles and declarations it itself proclaims, a well as consistent to international law and the decisions of the international community.
I assured Mrs Rauna that we will always be at her and her office’s disposal in this hard work that has begun and will continue to be done until the assumption of the European Presidency.
I wish you every success, because your good successes are also the successes of all of us and of Cyprus too, which must once again pass the test, and we believe that Cyprus can do so.

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