Cyprus’ accession to the European Union constitutes one of the greatest achievements in the modern history of Cyprus, President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris said on Wednesday, addressing an event in Poland, marking the 15th anniversary of the EU’s 2004 enlargement, upon the invitation of the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
Syllouris, who represented the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades at the event, said that Cyprus’ EU membership has been a source of inspiration and hope for the reunification of the country and recalled that Cyprus is the last divided country in the EU, is since 1974 under illegal Turkish military occupation, and as a result the fundamental rights of its citizens are being violated.
The House Speaker said that through its participation in the EU, the security of the Republic of Cyprus has been strengthened and noted that “we are now in an even better position to form alliances and partnerships with EU member states and third countries, on issues of common interest and on the basis of our status as a member state of the EU”. He gave as an example the tripartite partnerships of Cyprus with countries in the region, such as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine.
Referring to the economy, he said that Cyprus’ EU membership was essentially the trigger for reforms, making the economy more competitive.
As regards the 2004 enlargement, he said that “as new member states, in these 15 years, we have achieved a lot that we can really be proud of”.
Syllouris spoke about the current EU challenges in the fields of the economy, immigration, climate change and security.
He said that the EU has the responsibility to ensure that any future crisis will find the EU more resilient,
Regarding immigration, he noted that first-line countries can no longer be left alone to take responsibility for hosting and providing reception conditions to the massive flows of asylum seekers, while other Member States only provide financial and technical assistance .
He spoke about the security of citizens, saying that it remains of prime importance.
Concluding, Syllouris referred to climate change and said that the EU must maintain its global leadership by setting ambitious targets for both 2030 and 2050.
The Republic of Cyprus became a full EU member state on May 1, 2004 along with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.