Cyprus ready to host a European organization, President Anastasiades tells EU heads

President of Cyprus NicosAnastasiades sent last Friday a letter to the heads of the European Council and the European Commission, stating Cyprus’ readiness and desire to host a European organization on the basis of objective criteria.

According to a Foreign Ministry press release, Cyprus has been a priori excluded from hosting two organizations, currently based in London, as the EU has set specific and strict criteria for their relocation, in the wake of Brexit.

The two organizations are the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). According to the Ministry announcement, the Republic of Cyprus expressed timely its interest to host EMA, in a letter addressed by the President of Cyprus to the heads of EU institutions, on May 3, 2017.

A special Ministerial Committee was set up and met twice in order to promote the Cypriot bid, the official press release said.

It is added that specific and strict criteria have been set out by the EU regarding the relocation process, which needs to be completed before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. These criteria exclude Cyprus a priori from the possibility of bidding for EMA said the Foreign Ministry.

The criteria provide, among others, for the unobstructed operation of both organizations and require existing building infrastructure and frequent flying connections to ensure accessibility.

The Foreign Ministry describes the criteria restrictive and says that their adoption has been strongly criticized by the government of Cyprus on various levels.

It is added that upon the request of Foreign Minister IoannisKasoulides, a reference has been included, saying that the particular criteria and the relocation process will only apply in the case of EBA and EMA and not in future decisions concerning other organizations.

Finally, it is noted that in a letter to the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Donald Tusk and Jean Claude Juncker, respectively, President Anastasiades underlined on July 28 the need to ensure equal treatment of all member states, including small EU member states that are located in the Union’s periphery.

The President also underlined Cyprus’ readiness and strong desire to host a European organization on the basis of objective criteria, taking into account a balanced geographic distribution of such organizations, the press release concludes.

Source: Cyprus News Agency