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October 22, 2021

“Cyprus will continue its endeavours that Romania and Bulgaria accede to the Schengen area”

By HE Kalliopi Avraam, Ambassador of Cyprus in Bucharest

“We feel honoured and proud to exert during the current Semester the Presidency the Council of the European Union; this year marks particularly the completion of 50 years of Association and 8 years of full Membership of Cyprus with the European Union. However, assuming the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in such a difficult period with a deep economic and financial crisis affecting some of the Member of the European family is not an easy task; it is a real challenge for Cyprus, one of the smallest Member States of the European Union. In its effort to restore confidence and trust to the European citizens towards Europe, Cyprus has defined the priorities of its Presidency under the umbrella of “working towards a Better Europe”. Cyprus Presidency’s vision for Europe is to create a ‘filoxenos topos’, a hospitable space more relevant to its citizens and in the world. (…) The main objectives of “Europe 2020” Strategy, of the Single Market Act, of economic governance constitute fundamental guidelines, “the lighthouse” illuminating its path towards delivering at the end of this year a more competitive and viable Europe; a Europe with an efficient Economy creating growth and jobs-in parallel with strict austerity measures-, a Europe that will bring hope to its citizens for the future. These principles constitute also the crucial targets for the discussions between the “27” concerning the future budget 2014-2020, with the aim that it contributes to overcome the crisis.Some measures already agreed in the context of informal Ministerial meetings in Cyprus contribute to combat unemployment and to create better opportunities for our economies. These measures aim at promoting an SME-friendly environment, focusing on the access to finance for SMEs and reinforcing consumer confidence.  (…) The Cyprus Presidency will try to promote further the implementation of measures and decisions restoring financial and economic stability in Europe, in parallel with growth.Last but not least, Cyprus will continue its endeavours so that the main goal of Romania and Bulgaria to accede to the Schengen area becomes a reality during its Presidency. (…) The launching, recently, in Cyprus, of the discussions by the Ministers of Finance and Economy of the “27” and the Central Bank Governors on the creation of a Banking Union and in particular on the establishment of a Single Supervisory Mechanism(SSM) –as agreed at the Euro area summit in June 2012- will certainly contribute to a better financial stability. (…) The Report on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism of the European Commission of last July is still under consideration at the level of the Council’s relevant bodies. The Cyprus Presidency is coordinating the discussions among the “27” and unfortunately I cannot reveal the content of the exchange of views taking place in Brussels. In my opinion, as long as Romania respects the spirit, the rule of law, the values and principles enshrined in the Treaties of the European Union, there is no reason not to regain the trust of its European partners. We are all Members of the same Enlarged European family sharing the same rules and values; we are all required to ensure that our national legislation respects the basic values on which the EU is founded. The European Commission as the Guardian of the Treaties has a duty to supervise that the fundamental values and principles of the European Treaties are fully respected by all. (…)Cyprus and Romania enjoy excellent, close and long-standing friendly relations that cover various fields.”

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