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Press Release – A Presidency committed to the European ideals
14.12.2012, 16:56 (CET)
Presidents of the European Council and European Commission paid homage to the work undertaken by the Cyprus Presidency in striking a deal for a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) that paves the path for a genuine Economic and Monetary Union, as well as for its work on securing agreement on the European patent. Speaking at a press conference at the end of a meeting between EU leaders, Commission President Mr. José Manuel Barroso thanked the Cyprus Presidency for its dedication and hard work and the commitment to the European ideals, highlighting that “there were real achievements during these six months”. He also said that the adoption of the proposal on the SSM was “key to further steps in the construction of the banking union”. European Council President Mr. Herman Van Rompuy remarked that the agreement on the unitary patent was a happy end to “a 40 year-long Odyssey”.

The European Council today, December 14, agreed on a roadmap for the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union, based on deeper integration and reinforced solidarity. EU leaders endorsed the deal reached by the Union’s Finance Ministers on Thursday morning on setting up a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) for the oversight of credit institutions.

Following the end of the meeting, a joint press conference was held by Mr. Van Rompuy, Mr. Barroso and the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias.

In his speech, Mr. Christofias stressed the importance of the decisions reached by the European Council.

The meeting of the European Council that has just been concluded, can undoubtedly be characterised as another step on our way to the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union. I believe that there is no doubt that the further deepening of the economic governance in the eurozone is absolutely necessary. The road towards building a substantial EMU is long and we definitely need to keep up the momentum,” he said.

“The euro area means business”

According to Mr. Barroso, the agreement on the SSM is extremely important because it underlines the commitment of Member States.

“The agreement on the SSM is extremely important because it shows the EU and the euro area mean business. It also shows that we can move forward as 27, within the Treaty framework. The proposal, now adopted, on the SSM is designed to meet euro area needs but in a way that is open to all and this is critically important for all the exercise in which we are engaged. – how to deepen the EMU while keeping the integrity of the European Union as a whole,” he said.  

“In the patent case, our beloved ‘Ithaca’ clearly is Cyprus!”

On his part, Mr. Van Rompuy outlined the further steps anticipated in the road towards a banking union, before expressing his gratitude towards the Cyprus Presidency for what he called “indispensable work” on the negotiations for the Multiannual Financial Framework throughout its six-month term, as well as its contribution to the agreement the long-awaited European patent.

“Another major contribution [of the Cyprus Presidency] is the conclusion of the European Patent thanks to the ultimate agreement reached between the Council and the Parliament. It is the happy end to a 40 year-long Odyssey. And if you allow me to continue that image: even if we do not know for sure on which Mediterranean island the historic Odysseus lived, for Europe, in the patent case, our beloved "Ithaca" clearly is Cyprus!”