The Republic of Cyprus would be ready to discuss the issue of abolishing the need for unanimity in EU foreign policy, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Sunday, a day before leaving for Berlin to take part in working dinner of EU leaders.
If it is shown that abolishing the veto in EU votes would strengthen the bloc he would be open to discussing it, he said.
His visit to Berlin for the working dinner follows an invitation by German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz and President of the European Council Charles Michel.
The aim of the meeting is to discuss the bloc’s Strategic Agenda, which will be adopted by the EU in June 2024, which will include enlargement of the union. The issue of unanimity on foreign policy issues is also expected to be raised.
He said that what needs to be answered before discussing the veto is how the European interest is determined, adding that this will be one of the arguments he will develop at the meeting.
“What is the interest of the EU? That’s where we need to focus and then, yes, all the means, all the tools needed to achieve the goals, which need to be clear, we’re ready to discuss them,” he added.
More broadly, Christodoulides said Cyprus is “clearly in favour of the EU’s strategic autonomy.
“But the most important thing, and I think this will also concern the meeting that will take place, is how we achieve this strategic autonomy, that is, we need the means, the tools to reach this strategic autonomy,” he added.
Cyprus, he said, is a supporter of further EU integration.
“And I think that, immediately after the elections for the members of the European Parliament next year, we will start this process that will be about the future of Europe and how it will be able to respond to today’s challenges,” he added.
The dinner is part of a series of meetings being held with EU leaders by Michel in Berlin, Zagreb, Copenhagen and Paris.
Monday night’s dinner will also be attended by the leaders of Austria, Belgium, Greece, Hungary and Latvia.
Christodoulides will return to Cyprus on Tuesday.