As from today,
Cyprus will assume the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union. The country is now hosting the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in its history. Cyprus is hosting the Presidency until 1 January 2013 when Ireland will take over.
The purpose of the Presidency is to Chair and guide the work of the Council of Ministers where Ministers from each European Union country meet regularly.
In Foreign Affairs the rotating Presidency was abolished by the Lisbon Treaty so the monthly Foreign Affairs Councils are now chaired by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The rotating Presidency held by EU States such as Cyprus deals with domestic EU policies such as the economy, transport and the environment.
Presidency priorities: New Multi-annual Financial Framework, economic governance and "better Europe"
During its Presidency for Cyprus, on the top of the agenda are the negotiations of the new Multi-annual Financial Framework covering the period 2014-2020. Cyprus aims to complete the Multi-annual Financial Framework negotiations successfully during its season, and strengthen EU Member States' economic, territorial and social cohesion.
Given the circumstances of the continuing economic crisis, Cyprus wants EU to go forward with the implementation of a new enhanced framework of economic governance, and carry out of the Six-Pack. The country aims to work actively towards reinforcing the surveillance of fiscal and macroeconomic policies, and it plans to seek actively new additional measures that might be required balancing the EU-zone. To boost growth, create jobs, and prove EU to be more competitive, are all important aims for Cypriots.
During its Presidency Cyprus is calling after a "better Europe". It wants to boost positive energy and give hope in otherwise rather challenging economic and social environment. The country wants to bring the "solidarity" back in discussions. During its presidency, it is important for Cyprus to promote the idea of working towards the EU citizens. And it wants to take further the idea of a union that is more relevant to its citizens and to the world.
Cyprus Presidency Calendar: around 2000 meetings hosted in Brussels, more than 180 in Cyprus
The Cyprus' Presidency calendar covers about 2,000 regular meetings that will take place in Brussels. Also more than 180 Presidency events are planned to be hosted at Cyprus, out of which at least 15 will be held at the ministerial level. For the next coming months, our eyes and ears will surely be targeted to this small island country, located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.