Brussels --- President Christofias has stressed that Cyprus, despite being a small country and despite its economic problems, it has run a successful EU Presidency.
"Cyprus has shown that despite its small geographical size and despite its economic problems it held a quite successful presidency," President Christofias said replying to a CNA question at the press conference after the completion of the European Council, the last under the Cyprus EU Presidency.
Referring to the European Council, he said that it can undoubtedly be characterized as another step on the way to the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union.
“I believe that there is no doubt that further deepening of the economic governance in the Eurozone is absolutely necessary. It is a road of no return”, he pointed out.
However, President Christofias underlined that economic and financial policies must be formed in such a way that unemployment and poverty are adequately addressed and social exclusion is prevented.
Referring to the Cyprus EU Presidency, he said that the Presidency has taken on the initiative to reactivate the Integrated Maritime Policy. “The Limassol Declaration provides a new momentum for the exploitation of huge opportunities arising from maritime and shipping activities which can contribute to development and create new jobs”, he noted.
He described as another success of the Cyprus Presidency the prompt achievement of an agreement with the European Parliament on the budget of the Union for 2013.
President Christofias expressed great pleasure for the fact that during the Extraordinary Economic and Financial Affairs Council on the 12th of December the goal of a general approach for the Banking Supervision Mechanism was achieved and the command was given for the relevant negotiations with the European Parliament.
“Undoubtedly we have taken an important step towards the construction of a Banking Union”, he stressed.
Referring to the Common European Asylum System, he said that the Presidency has inherited all of the four relevant legislative proposals that were pending, adding that after intensive work, “I can say that we are very close to the substantial completion of this goal”.
In relation to the Single Market Act, he underlined that the Cyprus Presidency has reached an agreement with the European Parliament on the following very important matters: the Unitary Patent Protection Package, a subject that was being discussed in the EU for the past 30 or so years, the Trans-european Energy Infrastructure, the funds for Social Entrepreneurship, the business funds and the Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Online Dispute Resolution.
In addition, he expressed warmest thanks to the member states and all the members of the European Council for their full cooperation during the current semester.
“I would like to express special thanks to the President of the European Council, Mr Herman Van Rompuy, as well as to the President of the Commission, Mr Barroso and to the President of the European Parliament, Mr Martin Schulz for their honest and complete support and help. Finally, I wish every success to the upcoming Irish Presidency which also has to face very important issues in the next six months”, he concluded.