As the Cyprus Presidency nears its close, Ireland will be assuming the Presidency of the Council of the EU as of January 1. On this occasion, Cyprus’ Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis presented today an overview of the Cyprus Presidency’s achievements at a joint press conference in Brussels, along with representatives of the Irish Presidency. Mr. Eamon Gilmore, the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) /Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Ms. Lucinda Creighton, Irish Minister of State for European Affairs presented the priorities of the upcoming Presidency.
A genuine honest broker
Reflecting on the past six months, Deputy Minister Mavroyiannis stated that he believed one of the Presidency’s principal ambitions has been fulfilled; that is to act as an honest broker, aiming to progress work within the Council and facilitate inter-institutional cooperation.
“The Cyprus Presidency has achieved tangible and significant results for the Union, through a functional, pragmatic and results-oriented approach”.
During his presentation, Ambassador Mavroyiannis referred to the main achievements of the Presidency, including the historic agreement on the Unitary Patent Package with the European Parliament. He also highlighted the importance of the agreement reached in the Council last week on the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), which will bring the EU a step closer to a banking union, as well as the significant progress achieved in relation to the Common European Asylum System and Schengen governance.
The Cypriot Deputy Minister also referred to the momentous efforts of the Presidency in moving forward the negotiations on the MFF, which resulted in bringing the file to a level of maturity that lays the ground for the President of the European Council and the Heads of State or Government to come close to an agreement. He also underlined the completion of legislative work on key actions of the Single Market Act such as venture capital and social entrepreneurship funds, trans-European networks on energy and the alternative and online dispute resolution.
”In a few words, our aspiration was to move even a small step further the European integration..... and, I think that the important results of our Presidency reflect that we succeeded in this,” he said.
Irish Presidency: For stability, jobs and growth
The Irish representatives briefly set out the main priorities for the incoming Presidency, that will take place from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013, and marks the beginning of the Trio Ireland – Lithuania – Greece.
The Irish representatives referred to a long-lasting people-centered recovery, as the most urgent priority for the EU is to stimulate growth leading to employment. Emphasis will also be given to investment in job-friendly growth and in Europe’s resources, particularly, through the single market and an agreement on the EU’s future financing for the 2014 to 2020 period. Lastly, the Presidency will work to enhance EU’s relations with its partners.
The representatives of the Irish Presidency congratulated the Cyprus Presidency for its results. Eamon Gilmore, the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) /Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, stated that “You have set a very tough act to follow”. Ms. Lucinda Creighton, Irish Minister of State for European Affairs thanked the Cyprus Presidency for a very smooth handover from a “successful presidency” and said that over the last few weeks as they have been preparing their programme and priorities, on many issues they have asked whether Cyprus has agreed on this and more often than not the answer has been yes.
The Irish representatives made a special reference to the importance of the agreement on SSM on which the Irish Presidency will build on, and paid tribute to the Cyprus Presidency’s work on the MFF negotiations.
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