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Press Release - Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister at the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee
21.11.2012, 18:10 (CET)
Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, addressed today, Wednesday, November 21, the fifth EU - Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee in Strasbourg. Dr. Marcoullis attended in her capacity as chair of the General Affairs Council of the EU, responsible for enlargement. 

The EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) reviewed progress on Iceland's accession negotiations to the EU and discussed foreign affairs issues of common interest.  Dr. Marcoullis underlined the importance that the Cyprus Presidency attributes to EU enlargement and reiterated its appreciation for the JPC’s active engagement and constructive contribution to Iceland’s accession process.

“Overall, I can assure you that the Cyprus Presidency is fully committed to effectively taking the accession negotiations forward to the greatest extent possible, not only in terms of numbers of chapters, but most importantly, in terms of substance,” emphasised Dr. Marcoullis.

The Cypriot Minister welcomed the fact that accession negotiations with Iceland have continued to proceed at a good pace, given Iceland's advanced state of alignment resulting from its membership to the European Economic Area (EEA) and Schengen, and the high quality and professionalism of its administration.

“This Committee last met in April and since then accession negotiations have continued to progress in an excellent spirit of cooperation,” stressed Dr. Marcoullis.  

She also commended the work of the JPC in relation to Iceland's accession process, particularly as a forum for democratic debate and exchange.

Excellent spirit of cooperation

The JPC Co-Chairperson, MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher also welcomed the substantial progress in Iceland’s accession negotiations and the country’s intention to open as many chapters as possible this year.

Mr. Skúli Helgason, member of the Icelandic Parliament, who is co-chairing the meeting on behalf of the Icelandic Delegation, stressed the JPC’s importance, as it provides an opportunity to Iceland’s Parliament to follow the accession negotiations.

Iceland’s Chief Negotiator Mr. Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson warmly welcomed the support of the Cyprus Presidency to Iceland’s accession course and particularly the support of Dr. Marcoullis.

“We were happy to welcome Mrs. Marcoullis to Reykjavík,” said Mr. Jóhannesson and added: “I would like to thank the Cyprus Presidency for its outstanding leadership”, with regards to Iceland’s accession negotiations.

On his part, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr. Štefan Füle, welcomed the JPC’s work as an excellent opportunity to discuss Iceland’s’ accession course and stressed that the country’s accession to the EU will be mutually beneficial to both sides.

Communications Officer
Charis Christodoulidou

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Email: cchristodoulidou@mfa.gov.cy
Telephone: +357 22401165

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