EP Committee promotes trade between EU - occupied Cyprus

01 April, 2014

The establishment of direct trade between the EU and the Turkish Cypriot community is being promoted in a working document of the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament signed by a member of the Committee, the Italian MEP of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe Niccolò Rinaldi.

The document focuses on the inactive proposal for a regulation of the Council of the EU on the special conditions for trade between the European Union and the Turkish Cypriot community and the rapporteur proposes a series of changes to facilitate trade with the Turkish occupied area of Cyprus.

He argues, in particular, that the relevant regulation should not be called "Regulation on direct trade because, as he concludes, "this title is misleading and creates controversy” since, as the rapporteur stresses, it gives the impression that its aim is to empower different authorities.

The alternative title proposed by the Italian MEP is " Temporary - transitional provisions to facilitate trade with the northern part of Cyprus.”

He also expresses the need to create a supervisory body responsible for trade with the northern part of Cyprus, which, according to Niccolò Rinaldi, should be composed of representatives of the EU and representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community and not of members of their so called government but representatives of the Chamber of Commerce.
At this point, the rapporteur notes that the relevant proposal of the European Commission and Articles 2 and 5 of the Regulation provide the possibility for the Turkish Chamber of Commerce or other body duly authorized by the Commission to issue licenses.

The rapporteur clarifies that the sole legitimate representative of the Republic of Cyprus is the Cyprus government but shares the view of the “citizens of Northern Cyprus” who still lack effective means of exchange with the outside world, are “citizens and voters of the EU” and therefore they should have the right to express their opinion on issues relating to the EU, including international trade.