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Press Release - “The Declaration of Limassol will go down in history”
08.10.2012, 13:08 (CET)
The ‘Limassol Declaration’ on the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) of the European Union will stand out in history, President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Demetris Christofias said today, speaking at a joint press conference with the President of the European Commision Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, following the ceremony to announce its adoption.

President Christofias thanked Mr. Barroso and the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Mrs Maria Damanaki for their contribution to the creation of the EU’s IMP and pointed out that Cyprus, although a small island, is a strong shipping power in the EU and worldwide. 

The EU’s IMP constitutes an innovative cross-cutting policy which is considered extremely important in the efforts to enhance the EU’s ability to exploit to the maximum the sustainable use of oceans, seas and coasts in an all-rounded way.

It proves once again that the EU is moving in unison towards all directions in order to face the very difficult economic and social problems of our era, Mr. Christofias said.

Making the Mediterranean a sea of peace and cooperation

President Christofias said that the solution of the Cyprus problem is a European task and a development which would bring peace and cooperation to the Mediterranean sea and region.. He added that “we want to contribute to the solution of the Middle East issue as well.”

Referring to Cyprus' Economic Exclusive Zone, President Christofias thanked the European Council and the European Commission for their principled stance and their support to the Republic of Cyprus with regard to its sovereign right, on the basis of the Law of the Sea, to explore and exploit its own resources.

Mr. Barroso, on his part, said that “many years from now, people will refer to the Declaration of Limassol as a very important doctrine for the policy and guidelines of our maritime policy,” adding that the EU’s IMP can make a crucial contribution to fostering growth and jobs.

With regard to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020, Mr. Barroso added that we also need to concentrate our efforts on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Next steps in dealing with the crisis

Mr. Barroso said that “we have an important European Council next week where we need to keep a clear direction on the adoption by the end of the year on the Commission’s proposal for a single supervisory mechanism,” adding that “it will provide the trigger for the ability to have direct recapitalisation of banks. We will also have the opportunity to give a further orientation of the future of the economic and monetary Union on the basis of an interim report that is being prepared.”

He pointed out that Europe is making progress in terms of building the integrated capabilities to face the crisis.

On Cyprus, Mr. Barroso expressed hope that “we can move rapidly to reach an agreement on the measures to be taken to guarantee a long-term sustainability of the Cypriot economy.” He said that it is of critical importance that the government, political parties and social partners in Cyprus reach consensus for a common determination to face the situation.

Replying to a question on the MFF, President Christofias said that the Cyprus Presidency wishes, as an honest broker, to reach, if possible a final positive result in November. On his part, Mr. Barroso said that a deal could be made, adding that “we are working with the Cyprus Presidency to have a political agreement at the European Council in November.”

The ‘Limassol Declaration’: A social-oriented policy

Asked about the social aspects of the ‘Limassol Declaration’, Mr. Barroso said that “the ‘Limassol Declaration’ is a Declaration for growth and jobs so it is a very social-minded policy.”

Replying to the same question, President Christofias said that “Cyprus has contributed to include this policy for growth, job creation especially for the young, and for social cohesion, on the Council agenda. It is something we insisted upon and we are satisfied that it is now amongst the decisions on how to tackle the economic crisis. Obviously this will take time but we are on the right track.” He added that “we will need mutual understanding- from the rich countries all the way to the southern countries.”

Invited to comment on Turkey’ stance with regard to the embargo imposed on Cypriot ships, given that Turkey is an EU candidate state and Cyprus is the presiding country of the Council of the EU, President Christofias said that “this issue is on our agenda all the time. We strongly criticise Turkey on the measures taken against Cyprus as it violates the Law of the Sea and international law, while still an occupational force on the island and therefore damages itself.” He also referred to the support of the EU to Cyprus when it comes to its sovereign right to explore and exploit its natural resources within its Economic Exclusive Zone.

Mr. Barroso said that “we remain committed to this priority, that is, to achieve a united Cyprus through a lasting settlement,” adding that “to have a solution requires political commitment on all sides. We in the European Commission continue to do everything we can to move the negotiations (on the Cyprus question) forward.”

Communications Officer
Riana Magidou

Press Office of the President of the Republic

Mobile: +357 99588299

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