Only a few weeks are left until the Republic of Cyprus assumes for the first time in its history the presidency of the Council of the EU. Cypriot diplomatic sources have told CNA that the presidency will offer the best opportunity for Cyprus to highlight its position in the EU as a credible and responsible member. It will also raise its profile in the international arena, particularly the EU, adding value to the process of European integration. Moreover, the presidency is the best way for the state and its citizens to understand how the EU functions. In other words, the presidency will help Cyprus achieve its official "coming of age" as a member-state of the EU, a process full with long-term benefits for Cyprus and through which a positive image of Cyprus will be transmitted to the world. Cyprus, which joined the EU in May 2004, not only assumes the presidency for the first time in its history, it is also a small sized country with a small sized public service. Being the last country of the trio presidency (Poland - Denmark - Cyprus) and the only one of the three which is member of the Eurozone, Cyprus has to cope with the increased duties of the second half of 2012 and will probably be called upon to manage new crises in the Eurozone. On July 4, President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias will make the official presentation of the semester program before the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg. He will also address the EP at the end of the presidency to report on the work achieved. During each plenary session of the EP (once a month in Strasbourg) and in each mini-plenary (in Brussels), the Presidency will be represented by European Affairs Deputy Minister Andreas Mavroyiannis. In July, the Cypriot Ministers will be invited by the 20 EP committees to present the priorities of the presidency. The geographical distance that stands between Nicosia and Brussels, has led to the decision - as in the case of most successful Presidencies - that the base of the Presidency will be in Brussels (a "Brussels-based" Presidency). The Cypriot Presidency will take place at a time of the financial crisis and its profound social consequences. Cyprus assumes the EU presidency in a difficult juncture, given the current financial crisis and Nicosia believes that it may be called upon to manage new crises in the Eurozone. There is no much room for the presiding country to promote its own agenda. It rather has to complete the "inherited agenda" that includes unfinished business left by the previous presidency; Cyprus’ presidency will promote social convergence and social cohesion in the EU. The presidency will have to address very important and complex issues such as the political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2014-2020, which was described as one of the most difficult issues of the decade. The total EU budget for this period amounts to approximately one trillion euro. Cyprus should ensure the achievement of an agreement between the Member States, which have different approaches and interests, and the institutions of the Union. It will also have to promote the decisions of the new Economic Strategy Europe 2020, the integrated policy on climate change, the re-launching of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the completion of the Common European Asylum System, the Southern Enlargement and Neighborhood policy, to boost growth and jobs, to deepen the single market and to promote a Sustainable and Green Development. Cyprus’ priorities consist of four pillars. The first is to promote political moves to make the European Union more efficient and viable, part of which is the Multiannual Financial Framework, the Common Agricultural Policy, the issues of Research and Innovation, Energy, Connecting Europe, climate change and one of Cyprus’ main priorities, the new Maritime Policy.The second pillar is a more efficient economy and governance, part of which is the implementation of Europe 2020 and the support of small and medium enterprises, which can contribute to the creation of new jobs, especially for the youth.The third priority includes action to bring Europe closer to its citizens, a part of which is the European Asylum System, while the fourth priority relates to the reinforcement of Europe’s role in the world and Cyprus will seek to bring Europe closer to its neighbours, promoting peace and international law. Furthermore, Cyprus wishes to continue the enlargement policy promoting Iceland’s accession course and the accession prospects of countries of the Western Balkans, in particular Serbia and Montenegro. Cyprus’ success will be judged by its ability to achieve consensus on the issues that will be debated. At the same time, every country that chairs the Council must be prepared to manage any unforeseen events, both within the EU institutions, the member states and in the world, which may lead to redesigning its initial priorities. As it was stated, the only predictable during an EU presidency is that there will be a lot of unpredictable issues which the presidency will have to address and which may largely determine its success. The cost of the presidency amounts to 61.7 million euro for the period 2011-2013. In comparison, the other two countries of the current trio presidency, Poland and Denmark have spent 36 and 100 million euro respectively.