Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades debated the future of Europe with MEPs and EU Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen on Wednesday.
President Anastasiades condemned the shooting in Strasbourg which took place on Tuesday night, underlining that Europe stands out as a remarkable model of peace and prosperity and we must remain united to safeguard its values.
Listen to citizens
We must listen to citizens in order to understand the underlying reasons for the low participation levels in the European elections and to understand the gap in confidence and trust, he said. “We should be asking: What Europe do we want? What lessons can we draw from what Europe has done so far? How are increasing social and economic inequalities to be tackled?”
Budget focussed on people
The EU’s long-term budget must reflect the path that needs to be taken after the global financial crisis and tackle modern challenges, such as the switch to digital, sustainable development, climate change, migration, the rise in nationalism and populism and the fight against terrorism. “The budget must on focus on people, EU citizens and improving their quality of life”, said President Anastasiades. We must balance traditional policies and modern needs, said President Anastasiades by completing the Banking Union and defending the common market.
Moving from soft power to common defence, much has been achieved due to Lisbon treaty, said President Anastiades. “Cyprus has always support defence and military cooperation between member states”, he said.
The Cypriot President also spoke in favour of a revised common European asylum system to alleviate the disproportionate migration burden that southern countries face and warned that the consequences will be dire if we do not aim for an ambitious policy on climate change at the COP 24 in Katowice.
On the Cyprus issue, Europe has a duty to find solutions to a member state problem, he said, adding “The light of a beacon of stability falls short of its full potential, as long as it remains divided”. He thanked the Parliament for its unrelenting support in finding a solution and reassured the House that he was working towards a comprehensive solution and reunification of the island.
Finally President Anastasiades informed MEPs that Cyprus was establishing relationships with countries in the region to enhance EU energy security and diversify energy sources and corridors in the region.
Speakers’ interventions are available by clicking on the links below.