European institutions have tools at their disposal to exert pressure on Turkey so that it puts an end to its illegal actions within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Cypriot MEP Neoclis Sylikiotis has told CNA.
In an interview, Sylikiotis expressed the view that the “European Commission and the Council have the tools to exert pressure on Turkey so that it stops all these illegal actions.”
The European Parliament, he said, “has rightly expressed clearly its position on these matters and exerts pressure where it can, but as we know the European Parliament does not have great power or capabilities and this is known.”
Sylikiotis said the agenda of the European Summit due to take place in Varna includes Turkeys’ Customs Union agreement and the visa liberalisation.
According to the MEP “the European Commission is the one who holds the key.”
Referring to the European Parliament’s position, he said that since 2014 when Turkey has, through issuing a navtex, been provocative as regards the Republic of Cyprus’ energy planning, the positions of all political groups as well as the European Parliament’s President have been very clear.
Sylikiotis referred to his work as a Vice President of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), noting that he takes part in the Conference of Presidents at the European Parliament which sets the agenda and the priorities of the organisation.
On the annual progress report for Turkey’s accession course, he noted that “in cooperation with Cypriot MEPs and after an initiative on behalf of our political group we will try to have the best possible report as regards the Cyprus problem and Turkey’s obligations relating to Cyprus.”
GUE/NGL is one of the political groups which always supports Cyprus’ positions with no exceptions, he stressed.
Sylikiotis said that he is working on the EU’s social policies. Like other countries Cyprus has serious problems regarding welfare policy, employee – employer relations and workers’ rights.