"We showed that a small country can carry out a good Presidency" said Cyprus' President Demetris Christofias in Tuesday's debate on the results of its EU Presidency. MEPs from all political groups congratulated Cyprus on its work, but some voiced concerns about its economic plight and the division of the island.
President Christofias reiterated Cyprus' support for a social Union saying that it had "promoted this idea across the board" during its 6-moth Presidency. Mr Christofias cited its efforts to promote cooperation and good relations among the EU institutions as the Presidency's "fundamental political achievement".
Commission President José Manuel Barroso described this as a "very successful presidency", noting that much groundwork had been done and that Cyprus had shown its European commitment. He said that there had been progress during the past year in tackling the crisis, but added that Europe now faced a "social crisis".
Corien Wortmann-Kool (EPP, NL) congratulated the Cyprus Presidency on the substantial progress made, but stressed that the "Cyprus government has not succeeded in applying a credible plan" for the country to exit the crisis.
Elisa Ferreira (S&D, PT) said the Presidency had been a success, doing tremendous work despite the EU's difficulties.
Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE) thanked Cyprus for its good work saying that EU should regard it not as a "small country" but as an important one.
Rebecca Harms (Greens/EFA, DE), focused on the current situation in Cyprus, stressing that it would be better for all Cypriots to have a "cross-party approach" and strongly criticising tax havens in the country.
Derk Jan Eppink (ECR, BE) admitted that he had at first been sceptical about that Cyprus Presidency but said that it had "done well". "Cyprus is a worthy member of the EU and a crucial element of European diplomacy", said Niki Tzavela, (EFD, EL).
Gabrielle Zimmer (GUE/NGL, DE) said that the Presidency had worked for further EU integration but had also shown that there is a systemic problem involved in reconciling the powers of a rotating EU Presidency with those of a permanent one, such as that of Herman Van Rompuy.