Commissioner Styliandes represents our values, Juncker says at OPEK ceremony in honor of Cypriot Commissioner

I can think of no better person to represent our Union, our values and the true meaning of European solidarity than Cypriot Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said at an event organised in Nicosia by the Association for Social Reform, OPEK, during which the “Giannos Kranidiotis 2018 prize was awarded to Christos Stylianides.

In a video message at the event, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that Stylianides represents the values and the true meaning of European solidarity.

“I did not make life easy for Christos. I gave him one of the most challenging jobs there is. A job which demands as much compassion as it does conviction. And I chose Christos for that very reason. I knew I could trust him to deliver. Trust him to be the EUs face around the world. Trust him to act with compassion and conviction in the face of a crisis. He has repaid my faith again and again”, he stressed.

He added that the Cypriot Commissioner “never blinked when it came to standing up in support of the most vulnerable across the world. And here in Europe, everywhere here in Europe. He has always been the first to answer to a call whenever we have been hit by tragic floods, forest fires, earthquakes, other disasters. In times of need, Europeans know that they can rely on Christos”.

Juncker recalled that Stylianides is the one who came up with the idea and the plan to upgrade the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism and said that thanks to him and his RescEU programme we will soon be able to react faster and react better than ever before.

“With over 200 people tragically killed by natural disasters in Europe in 2017 and over 1mln hectares of forests destroyed, I cannot think of any more important or worthy proposals that this Commission has made. This is what makes Christos so special to me, to Europe. I can think of no better person to represent our Union, our values and the true meaning of European solidarity. And I can think of no better person to receive this award”, he underlined.

Concluding, he said that the prestigious Giannos Kranidiotis Award is named after a true European, a man who did so much for Cyprus and so much for our Union.

Former EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki and former Foreign Minister of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides praised the work of Christos Stylianides as well as his devotion to European values and principles and said that he still has a lot to offer and a long career ahead of him.

Meanwhile, referring to the prize rationale, Chairman of the Prize Committee Larkos Larkou said that the “Giannos Kranidiotis” prize is awarded to people whose work has contributed to the modernization of our society.

He pointed out that the Commissioner has visited vulnerable people in Africa, Asia and Latin America, making millions understand that the EU is the worlds leading humanitarian aid delivery mechanism.

Taking the floor, Commissioner Stylianides thanked everyone personally for their kind words and referred to the importance of education in the world, emphasizing on the importance to ensure girls have access to education.

He also spoke about the rescEU mechanism, a new European system to tackle natural disasters which is under his portofolio.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, he said that conflicts are solved only under the European umbrella and stressed that “Europe is our home, it is our security and guarantee”.

Source: Cyprus News Agency