The Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, has welcomed the unanimous „yes“ vote for the ratification of the Accession Treaty by the Cypriot Parliament and sends his warmest congratulations to the people of Cyprus. He also congratulated the EPP-ED sister party, Democratic Rally, for its substantial contribution to reaching the goal of European Union accession.
„This is a historic success and a significant day for the people of Cyprus. I am very happy that the Cypriot Parliament made this very important decision for the future of their country and confirmed their wish to join the wider European family. Democratic Rally was the first political force in Cyprus to embrace the vision of your island’s accession to the European Union and has greatly contributed to reaching this goal during the political leadership of President Glafcos Clerides“.
„Cyprus, which will become the eastern most country of the EU will, however, have its membership restricted to its southern two-thirds controlled by the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government. The EPP-ED Group however looks forward to a settlement which should be established within the framework of the United Nations and based on the Annan plan. This should eventually lead to the reunification of the island, for the benefit of all its people“.
The EPP-ED Group has contributed substantially to make sure that the candidate countries join the Union in time to participate in the European elections of 2004. In this framework, on 1 May 2003 the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament has already welcomed 69 Observers from the national parliaments of the 10 new Member States.
Two of these Observers come from the Cypriot Democratic Rally. They have joined the EPP-ED Group and they are taking part in the work of the Group and the European Parliament.
The Cypriot people will be represented in the European Parliament by the Observers from their national parliament until the first European Elections in Cyprus, which will be held in June 2004.
Further information from:
Eva Mitsopoulou, Tel: +32 475 751574
Katrin Ruhrmann, Tel: +32 475 493357
Bob Fitzhenry, Tel: +32 475 493356