The office of the European Parliament in Nicosia is launching a campaign in view of the EP elections to take place May 25th. The aim is to get all Cypriot citizens to vote and not to abstain.
The Cyprus office organized Saturday an event in Nicosia, with the participation of the FM, the G/C negotiator, the Cypriot MEPs, political leaders, MPs and various organizations and institutions, in order to gain attention for the elections. The main motto was “Act, React, Impact”.
All the participants in their speeches pointed out how important it is for the citizens to participate, noting that the EP takes a series of decisions that affect our everyday lives.
They also referred to the role the EP plays and its cooperation with the other EU institutions. The speakers also noted that the EP has taken decisions and has made interventions as regard the Cyprus problem, the missing persons, the return of the fenced-off city of Famagusta , the destruction of the cultural heritage in the occupied areas etc.
Alexanda Attalides, Acting Head of the European Parliament Office in Cyprus in her speech underlined that the bigger the turnout in the elections, the bigger the message will be that the Cyprus society has realized the role the EP plays in our lives and how it can better support the citizens and their problems.
She referred to the support of the EP in the past when Cyprus was to join the Union and later when the country was to join the Eurozone. Attalides also referred to the various resolutions regarding the Cyprus problem.
In her speech, Attalides also made an assessment of the EP’s work during the last five years, referring in particular to the laws and regulations for the banking system, the youth unemployment, the creation of jobs and the competition framework.
In his speech, Cyprus FM Ioannis Kasoulides, who served as MEP, noted that it is extremely important for the country to appoint a Deputy Minister for European Affairs, noting that this will better serve Cyprus’ interests and its foreign policy.
FM also referred to the public debate on how much Europe we want and the citizens’ expectations from the EP and the other institutions.
Kasoulides also said that if Cyprus wants to affect the various decisions of the EP and to have an equal saying, then it must contribute, adding that abstention and disinterest are not the answers.
The Cyprus MEPs in their brief speeches referred to the role of the EP and pointed out how important it is for a small country such as Cyprus, to have a voice in the Parliament, calling on all citizens to vote in the upcoming elections.
They also referred to the cooperation between the national parliament, the Cyprus government and the MEPs . They also addressed the question of whether EU can become an institution with better democracy and citizens’ input and not an institution that is often criticized for democratic deficit.
They all referred to the EP’s contribution as regards the Cyprus problem and the various resolutions that call on Turkey to fulfill with its EU requirements in order to join the Union.
Cyprus joined the EU in 2004. The 2014 elections mark the ten year anniversary since the island became a member state. In 2008 Cyprus joined the Eurozone while in July 2012 it assumed for the first time the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
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