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“The current situation provides an opportunity to realise the EU’s true potential”
The Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis called on the EU to seize the opportunity presented by the difficulties of the financial crisis to realise the true potential of the Union. The Deputy Minister was speaking before the morning session of the European Parliament’s plenary in Strasbourg on behalf of the Council of the EU, following the State of the Union address by the President of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barroso.
In his intervention, Ambassador Mavroyiannis stressed the imperative need for “the Union to safeguard a strong institutional framework”, as this would help focus all decisions into making the EU a better place for its citizens defending values of equality, pluralism freedom and justice, of social cohesion and solidarity, and agreed with President Barroso on the fundamental importance of fairness and equity. He also welcomed the Commission’s vision for the EU, which was outlined during President Barroso’s speech.
“Steering Europe towards a new direction”
The State of the Union address is an annual presentation by the President of the Commission at the European Parliament to present the current state of the Union and to outline the Commission’s vision for the future of the EU. In reflection of this vision, President Barroso highlighted in his speech the necessary and most important measures, which will be proposed by the European Commission in the forthcoming year.
These measures will contribute to the EU’s action towards facing the impact of the ongoing crisis, through enhancing growth, reducing unemployment and empowering the democratic processes of the Union. President Barroso stressed the importance of creating a Banking Union and enhancing the internal market.
“Europe needs a new direction, a new thinking,” said President Barroso, while stressing that “we really need to draw all the consequences of the challenges we are facing.”
Interventions on the issue were made by all leaders of EP Political Groups and many MEP’s, with the Cypriot Deputy Minister echoing the messages of the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz in highlighting the contemporary relevance of “a Europe which is solidly united and constructed around a strong framework.”
Deputy Minister Mavroyiannis stressed that Europe has never simply been about economic growth and indicators, “We must also create a place where everybody in society is included. Our Union is above all, a place of respect, dignity and tolerance, of values and ideals. That is something which we should be proud of and protect.”
Realising the EU’s true potential
“We have to use the opportunities presented by the current difficulties to realise the true potential of the EU to build a Better Europe,” Ambassador Mavroyiannis stated while highlighting that “we owe this to the younger generations, which were raised in a prosperous Europe.”
The Deputy Minister stressed the importance of sending strong and immediate signals that the EU is serious on investment in growth and jobs through a prompt agreement on the new Multiannual Financial Framework, an agreement “which shows that the Union’s resources are being invested for the benefit of its citizens”.
Political Situation in Romania
The Deputy Minister is set to intervene on behalf of the Council of the EU in the joint debate on the political situation in Romania, set to take place during the afternoon session of the European Parliament’s plenary.
Ambassador Mavroyiannis also intervened on behalf of the Council of the EU during the EP’s plenary afternoon session yesterday, in the debate on a package of fisheries policy proposals, which also included discussions on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The Cypriot Deputy Minister reiterated that the CFP reform is a top priority of the Council and welcomed the EP’s support for a more regionalised CFP which would feature better involvement of stakeholders and reinforced advisory councils.
Recently, Ambassador Mavroyiannis had intervened in the debate on the 2013 EU Budget.