Press Release – Dr. Marcoullis reported to the EP’s Development Committee on behalf of the High Representative
06.12.2012, 14:09 (CET)
Cyprus' Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis today appeared before the European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on Development (DEVE), on behalf of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), Baroness Catherine Ashton.

Dr. Marcoullis reported to the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of October 15 on development issues. The Cypriot Minister reported particularly on some of the general strategic issues which were discussed, such as the EU’s support to transition societies, the EU's approach to resilience and more importantly the debate on the post-2015 global framework (on development).

“This is a subject”, said Dr. Marcoullis, “that goes well beyond the confines of development policy and development cooperation – in fact it is to a large extent about what kind of future we want and should work towards together”.

Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister informed the MEPs of the High Representative’s confirmation that future FAC (Development) meetings would be scheduled as separate half day events, as per the request of some MEPs and ministers.

Follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference

Referring to the first item of the agenda - the post Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Process and the follow–up to the Rio+20 Conference, Dr. Marcoullis emphasised Baroness Ashton’s own personal engagement on the issue and the importance that she attributes to a coherent and comprehensive EU approach to the follow-up from the Rio+20 Conference. The Cypriot Minister also mentioned the debriefing of the European Commissioner for Development, Mr. Andris Piebalgs on the UN High Level Panel (HLP) reviewing the MDGs.

She went on to highlight a number of key themes of the FAC discussions, including the agreement of the ministers with the main priorities set out in the UN Task Team Report, the need for universal goals that would be applicable and relevant for all countries but adapted to national and regional contexts and realities and the need to pay particular attention to fragile and conflict-affected states.

“There was a consensus among ministers in favour of a common EU position,” said Dr. Marcoullis adding that “several Member States called for an important role for the High Representative and the European External Action Service in this process.”

Supporting societies in transition

Regarding the second item on the agenda, which was EU’s support to societies in transition, Dr. Marcoullis mentioned that the ministers’ discussions were based on a Joint Communication from the High Representative, Mr. Piebalgs and the Commissioner responsible for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy, Mr. Štefan Füle, which the ministers welcomed. She also referred to views expressed during the FAC discussions, such as using the rich experience and lessons learned from the EU's own enlargement process in the formulation of EU policy for the support of transition processes, and the need for tailor-made approaches, based on the particularities of each transition.

European approach to improve resilience in partner countries

On the final item of the agenda, which was EU’s approach to resilience, Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister said that discussions took place on the basis of a Commission Communication, prepared jointly by Mr. Piebalgs and the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva; highlighting the cost effectiveness of improving resilience in partner countries.

“Ministers, including the present and incoming EU Presidency, welcomed the Communication and fully supported the resilience initiative,” emphasised Dr. Marcoullis.

She added that some ministers underlined the need to strengthen the link between humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, while others stressed issues relating to food security, risk assessment and cost-effectiveness of interventions and policies.

Communications Officer
Charis Christodoulidou

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Telephone: +357 22401165