How interested were the candidates in the 2018 presidential elections over the future course of the European Union? This was the focus of the event ‘The EU Position in the Cyprus Dialogue’, which was successfully organised by the Cyprus Centre for European and International Affairs and the Department of Political Science and Governance of the University of Nicosia.
Data provided by the speakers showed that both presidential candidates and voters did not have the EU as their priority, and whenever the subject was mentioned, they were only particularly interested in the economic aspect of its relationship with Cyprus.
President of the Cyprus Centre for European and International Affairs, Professor Andreas Theophanous, in his introductory statement, referred to the 2013 crisis, noting that the Republic of Cyprus feels that the EU does not treat its member states equally. In his speech, he referred to the bitterness of the Cypriots as a result of the gap between expectations and reality.
“The EU’s axis has not been the dominant channel of choice in the presidential elections in Cyprus, as the policy and the character of the EU were examined only by their utilitarian approach,” said Harris Polycarpou, head of Akel’s Economic Studies Office. He then analysed the pre-electoral programmes of Nicos Anastasiades, Nicolas Papadopoulos and Stavros Malas.
Anna Koukkidis Prokopiou, senior scientific associate at the Centre for European and International Affairs of the University of Nicosia, noted that Cypriots are both ignorant and confused. She pointed out that in the presidential elections of 2018, the Cyprocentric approach and micro-party targeting dominated. Finally, she said that as a result of different historical experiences, Cypriots have not consolidated European co-operation, as it has emerged mainly from the post-war relations between France and Germany.