More Europe is the answer to the challenges Cyprus and other EU countries are facing, Annita Demetriou, President of the Cyprus’ House of Representatives and Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament agreed, during their meeting after the military parade in Nicosia.
Demetriou thanked Metsola for everything she is doing for Cyprus and gave her the medal of the Cyprus’ parliament as a token of appreciation.
“We have a strong message of support from the European Parliament”, Demetriou said, regarding the presence of the European Parliament head in Cyprus, on the occasion of Cyprus’ Independence day.
Metsola agreed that her presence today in Cyprus is symbolic but also substantial and called for everyone to participate in the coming European elections next June.
Asked what can be expected in terms of collaboration between the two parliaments, Demetriou said that today more than ever, “the European parliament and EU is Cyprus and Cyprus is the EU”.
“Not only to the latest unacceptable incident in Pyla but in other occasions as well, we have seen the support of the European parliament. That is why we are so grateful that today we have the presence of the President of the European parliament. It’s a strong political message of support for the Cyprus Republic and our struggle to be able to reunify our island”, she noted.
She added that this is why we want to resume negotiations from where they left off, in the agreed framework, which is the bizonal bicommunal dederation with political equality.
Furthermore, Demetriou said that Cyprus faces more challenges, referring to the migration issue. Noting that Cyprus is the first country, according to its size, in accepting the most migrants, she said that “we need the common response and common policy of EU”.
Referring to other challenges, like the energy crisis, the climate crisis, the crisis of democracy, Demetriou said that the best response is to answer with more democracy. “This is our advantage, this is our future, this is the reason we are so happy to have you here in this very important day”, she told Metsola.
On her part Metsola said that more Europe is precisely the answer. “First of all, when we talk about the challenges faced by Cyprus, this is a commitment I made when I was elected president of the European parliament, that as long as Cyprus is divided, United Europe is not United”, she said.
In addition, she noted that “we will work both under the auspices of the UN and also with the possibility to have an EU envoy that will bring everybody around the table. Negotiations need to restart. That is something we are committed to and we will commit all resources necessary and possible to do that”.
In regards to other challenges, she said that migration is the number one challenge for most countries of EU, not least Cyprus. “As we are preparing for the run-up to the European elections our response must be clear, that no country is left alone, that we are fair with those who need protection, fair with those who are not and very strong with the traffickers and smuggling operations”, she noted.