Republic of Cyprus

Policy Issues


Sustainable Development


The European Council in Goteborg (2001) adopted the first EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS), which was renewed to meet new challenges and threats. The overall aim of the renewed EU SDS is to identify and develop actions to enable the EU to achieve continuous improvement of the quality of life both for current and for future generations, through the creation of sustainable communities able to manage and use resources efficiently and to tap the ecological and social innovation potential of the economy, ensuring prosperity, environmental protection and social cohesion.

Cyprus welcomes the completion of the review of the EU SDS, based on a participatory procedure that involves all stakeholders.
Cyprus agrees with the guiding principles of policy for the protection of human rights, democratic society and good governance.

The successful implementation of the renewed strategy’s key objectives will depend on the ensuing synergy between the renewed SDS and the Lisbon Strategy. Cyprus agrees with the key objectives set out by the renewed strategy but places special emphasis on the rationalisation of water management, effective use of agricultural land and sustainable urban planning.


Enlargement (updated July 2012)

Cyprus has always actively supported the process of enlargement of the European Union, considering that it provides the means of achieving the goal of European integration while ensuring stability and peace in the European continent.

In this context, the Cyprus Government welcomes the conclusion of the negotiations and the signing on 9 December 2011 of the Treaty of accession of Croatia to the EU. The Treaty has been ratified by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus on 3 May 2012.

In Cyprus view, Croatia can serve as a model for the rest of the countries of the Western Balkans and its accession to the EU, scheduled for 1 July 2013, can accelerate the reform processes in the other countries of the region.

Undoubtedly, the enlargement process does not end and should not end with the accession of Croatia. The destiny of all the countries of the region lies within the EU since they form an integral part of the yet to be completed European integration project. The Thessaloniki Agenda of June 2003 and the renewed consensus on enlargement, as agreed by the European Council of December 2006, remain the EU enlargement beacons towards that end.

In this framework, membership can only be achieved when the necessary requirements are fully met; with full compliance of the candidate country with the ‘acquis’, with adherence to the European values and practices and especially to the principle of good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation. Strict conditionality is of vital importance and should be applicable to all candidate countries and potential candidates which should be assessed on their own merits.

Iceland

Cyprus fully supports the European perspective of Iceland which brings about a necessary balance of the EU enlargement process, beyond a stereotypical geographical dimension. In this vein, Cyprus is satisfied with the progress achieved so far and hopes that the accession negotiations, opened on 27 July 2010, will proceed in a positive manner, while aiming to contribute in a substantive way to their successful conclusion.

Turkey

Accession Negotiations with Turkey started in October 2005. Thirteen out of thirty-three Negotiating Chapters have been opened so far. One Chapter has been provisionally closed. As a result of Turkey’s non full implementation of the Additional Protocol, the Council decided in December 2006 that eight Negotiating Chapters could not be opened and that no Chapter could be provisionally closed until Turkey meets her obligations.

Τhe European Community and its Member States issued a Declaration on 21 September 2005, stating inter alia, that “recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of Turkey’s accession process”. Accordingly, “the EU underlines the importance it attaches to the normalization of relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, as soon as possible”.

The Republic of Cyprus supports Turkey’s European vocation provided that as a candidate country, she fully respects and fulfills its obligations vis-à-vis the EU. Turkey has yet to fully implement the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement and has not made progress in the normalisation of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey’s implementation of its obligations as a candidate country and its cooperation with the EU in line with the Negotiating Framework and the relevant European Council and Council conclusions will significantly boost its negotiation process.

Western Balkans (updated July 2012)

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

On 16 December 2005, the European Council granted candidate status to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Cyprus supports the further advancement of the European perspective of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Nevertheless, a solution to the name issue is necessary for the European Council to decide the opening of accession negotiations with Skopje.

Montenegro

On 26 June 2012 the Council decided to open accession negotiations with Montenegro on 29 June 2012. The decision was endorsed by the European Council on 28-29 June 2012.

The Republic of Cyprus is of the position that the EU decision to launch accession negotiations with Montenegro will boost the European perspective, not only of Montenegro, but also of the entire Western Balkan region.

Serbia

Serbia is a key player in the Western Balkans region and Cyprus fully supports its EU perspective. It is generally admitted that in the last years Serbia made significant progress as regards the internal reforms as well as with its full cooperation with the “International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia” (ICTY). These positive developments led the European Council of March 2012 to grant candidate status to Serbia. Cyprus assesses this development as extremely important, since it gives momentum to the further advancement of the European perspective, not only of Serbia, but of the whole region.

Cyprus expects that Serbia will continue on the same track in terms of reforms, as well as with relation to the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue on Kosovo, enabling thus the European Council to decide in the near future for the opening of accession negotiations with Serbia.

Albania

Cyprus fully supports the European perspective of Albania. Nevertheless, Albania should concentrate on the fulfillment of the twelve key priorities identified by the European Commission in its 2010 Avis, which were reconfirmed by the December 2011 General Affairs Council and European Council. In this framework, Cyprus is looking forward to a future positive Progress Report by the Commission, which will enable the European Council to grant candidate status to Albania.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cyprus firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). It also fully supports the European perspective of the country. The intensification of the reform process on EU related issues and the alignment of BiH with the European Court of Human Rights judgment of 22 December 2009 in the case of Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, are of vital importance for BiH’s EU progress.
In particular, concrete progress in relation to the abovementioned ECHR judgment will enable the entry into force of the “Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the other part”, signed on 16 June 2008, and thereafter the submission of a credible application for EU membership.

Kosovo (under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/99)

The EU policy towards Kosovo is guided by full adherence to the international legal framework of the UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the relevant Council Conclusions.

Cyprus supports the socioeconomic development of Kosovo, in line with the European perspective of the region. Nevertheless, given that a number of EU Member-States, including Cyprus, does not recognize Kosovo as a State, this support is and should continue to be expressed by the Council in a status-neutral manner.

Μiddle East Peace Process

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus follows developments on the situation of the Palestinian Question with deep concern. Cyprus’ long held position has been entirely consistent and in line with International Law and the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

As a member of the European Union, Cyprus strongly supports the efforts of the Quartet and reaffirms its commitment to the full implementation of the Quartet Roadmap. Cyprus shares the aspiration that a negotiated, comprehensive and viable solution to the Palestinian Question will lead to the peaceful and prosperous coexistence of two democratic states within internationally recognized and secure borders.

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus is deeply concerned with the deterioration of the situation in the region and condemns all kinds of actions that contribute to the continuation of the vicious cycle of violence which leads to the worsening of the humanitarian situation and the security environment.

The Republic of Cyprus, through its excellent relations with all the countries of the Middle East and the importance it attributes to the prevalence of peace and security in the region, is actively contributing to the rapprochement of the Arabs and the Israelis, contributing to the peace initiatives for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Nuclear Programme of Iran

Τhe Government of the Republic of Cyprus is following developments on the issue of the nuclear programme of Iran with interest and concern. While recognizing the right to the development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, the firm position of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is consistent with the principle of non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the creation in the Middle East of a zone free of WMD.

Cyprus supports the initiative undertaken by the EU3 (France, Germany, United Kingdom) for reaching a diplomatic solution to this issue and emphasizes the need to spare no effort in order to arrive at a diplomatic solution on the issue of the nuclear programme of Iran. Moreover, Cyprus is concerned that the escalation of tension over this issue would not only have grave consequences and repercussions on the security and stability of the whole region but would also have a major impact on the world peace and economy.

Lebanon

From the commencement of the hostilities in Lebanon in July 2006, the Republic of Cyprus had called for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Israeli troops from southern Lebanon. At the same time, Cyprus condemned the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers and demanded their immediate and unconditional release.

During the hostilities, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus had placed all its available infrastructure and resources for the evacuation from Lebanon of foreign nationals and of foreign citizens of Lebanese descent, as well as for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Lebanon.

Cyprus strongly supported the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which put an end to the indiscriminate loss of lives and the unjustified destruction of civilian infrastructure. We reiterate our support to the Security Council Resolution 1701, which takes into consideration the legitimate concerns of Lebanon, strengthens the Government of Lebanon and sustains the Lebanese people’s internal processes of national unity. The International Community should not lose sight of the Taef National Reconciliation Documents and of the commendable efforts and results of the Lebanese National Dialogue.

Ιn assisting in the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1701 and the ongoing deployment of the UNIFIL in Lebanon, the Republic of Cyprus has put at the disposal of UNIFIL the ports of Larnaca and Limassol, as well as the “Andreas Papandreou” military airbase in Pafos. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus also expressed its readiness to participate in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with two Army officers of the Cyprus National Guard, despite the  fact that part of the territory of Cyprus continues to be  under Turkish  military occupation.


Weapons of Mass Destruction

1. Global efforts for their non-proliferation

Since the late 1950΄s and early 1960΄s, the International Community, cognizant and aware of the dangers emanating from the proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological and chemical), has taken practicable measures, such as the drafting and adopting of a number of Treaties and Conventions, the purpose of which is to control, curb and ultimately eliminate the danger that arises from the proliferation of such weapons.

The results of such an endeavour have been encouraging, to say the least. More and more countries have become acceding parties to those International Treaties and Conventions. On the negative side, especially as regards nuclear weapons, not much has been accomplished in the reduction of the nuclear arsenal.

2. The status of Cyprus

Since its establishment as an independent state in 1960, Cyprus has identified itself with all the efforts that aim at global disarmament, arms control and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Within this context, the Republic has, inter alia, ratified the following important International Treaties and Conventions:

(a) The Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968
(b) The Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention of 1972
(c) The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993
(d) The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty of 1996

Moreover, the Republic has recently joined a number of other Initiatives and Regimes, whose purpose is to minimize and, if possible, eliminate any danger from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Such Initiatives and Regimes are:

(a) Australia Group (established in 1985), for the control of dual-use items of biological and chemical nature (Cyprus joined the Group in September 2000).
(b) Nuclear Suppliers Group (established in 1974), which aims to control material that can be used for nuclear fission purposes (Cyprus became a full member on April 2000).
(c) Proliferation Security Initiative, PSI (established in 2003 in Cracow, Poland). On 25 July 2005 Cyprus signed a bilateral Agreement with the United States, with which mutual cooperation was established for the right of inspection of ships carrying the cypriot flag, within the framework of the fight against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
(d) The European Union’s Strategy Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was adopted by the European Council Summit in Brussels, on December 12, 2003.
(e) The Global Initiative to Counter Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) in 2007, during the meeting in Astana Kazakhstan (June 2007).


Terrorism

Cyprus considers the fight against terrorism a foreign policy priority and takes an active part in international counter-terrorism efforts in cooperation with EU partners and the rest of the international community.

Cyprus has ratified all twelve international UN conventions and protocols related to terrorism and has implemented the special recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) on terrorist financing. It is a participant in efforts towards the adoption of a Comprehensive Convention against terrorism and the implementation of the UN and EU counter-terrorism strategies.

Terrorism should not be linked to any religion, nationality or ethnic group and the fight against it should take place both in relation to its manifestations and root causes and with respect for human rights and civil liberties.

Acting on its belief that dialogue between nations, cultures and religions can contribute to dealing with the root causes of terrorism, Cyprus hosted the Second ASEM Interfaith Dialogue (Larnaca, 3-5 July 2006) in which participants representing over forty EU and Asian states and international organizations took part (Larnaca Action Plan link).

Fighting International Crime / Measures Against Terrorism

EU Election Observation Missions

The protection of human rights and the promotion of democratization is one of the key policies of the European Union (EU). Election observation is a vital part of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, which reinforces the EU's intention to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide. Since 1993, the EU has conducted more than 120 Observation Missions.

The purpose of EU EOMs is to assist partner countries in their objective to hold elections of a high standard. In this context the EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process and provides an impartial and informed assessment of the elections to strengthen the confidence of voters to participate freely. A Mission is consisted of a Core Team (legal analyst, media and political analyst, Media, Gender and Human Rights experts), as well as Long Term Observers (LTOs) and Short Term Observers (STOs). LTOs arrive approximately 5 weeks before Election Day and stay in the region for the entire period, while STOs arrive shortly before the election in order to observe the election process per se.

The Foreign Ministry is responsible for the selection and training of Cypriot Observers. In order for an Oberver to be proposed by Cyprus he/she must hold the Cypriot citizenship, as well as to fulfil certain criteria (http://eueom.eu/what-is-an-observation-). For more information please contact the Cyprus EU EOMs Focal Point (email: kpogiatzis@mfa.gov.cy, tel. number: 22401016) or visit the website of the EU EOMs (www.eueom.eu).


Financial Perspectives

Financial Perspective web page: http://ec.europa.eu/financial_perspective/index_en.htm

EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy




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