Van Rompuy: Cyprus presidency must be respected by all
The EU Council presidency is a fundamental feature of our Union and must be fully respected by all, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said on Monday, referring to Turkey.
In statements he made after a meeting he had with President Demetris Christofias in Nicosia, Van Rompuy said that during the meeting he was briefed of recent developments in the UN-led talks.
"The EU continues to attach utmost importance to the continuation of the negotiations and calls on both sides to make every effort to pave the way for a comprehensive settlement”, he said, adding that the "status quo is in no one’s interest”.
Although, Van Rompuy said, "this is a Cypriot led process, the EU stands ready to provide the necessary support”. The ultimate goal, he added is a united Cyprus in the EU.
Van Rompuy added that during the meeting with President Christofias "with regard to Turkey, I recalled the strong support which the European Council already provided in December 2011 to the upcoming Cypriot presidency”.
The presidency, he stressed, "is a fundamental feature of our Union, based on the EU Treaty, and must be fully respected by all”.
On his part, President Christofias said that "I reaffirmed our full readiness to continue the dialogue for a solution even during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU”.
He assured Van Rompuy of "our unshakable will not to allow the Cyprus Presidency to be affected by the problems that occupying Turkey is creating”.
Cyprus, he said, "shall preside over an entirely European Presidency of the Council and any problems that Turkey might create shall be problems managed in a collective, European way. Last December’s Conclusions of the European Council are clear enough on this issue”.
The two men also spoke of the need for growth in Europe, with Van Rompuy expressing the view that "it is obvious that opposing deficit reduction and growth is a false debate”. They are, he said, "two sides of the same coin”.
Referring to the plans the EU has made to boost growth, he spoke of three pillars, which will be based on the Europe 2020 strategy.
The first has to do with mobilising EU policies to fully support growth. As an example of that, he gave the need for rapid progress on important legislative proposals such as the Single Market Act or the Energy Efficiency Directive. (...)