EP President tells Cyprus House he wants to reduce distance between Brussels and EU citizens

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, on an official visit to Cyprus, has told the House of Representatives that he aims at reducing the distance between EU institutions and the citizens of the Union.

Addressing today an extraordinary meeting of the House plenary, Tajani, speaking through an interpreter, said that he strongly believes in the role of the EP and the role of the national parliaments.

He said that Europe is coming out of a difficult economic crisis which has affected Cyprus and his home country Italy, adding that the situation has improved and continues to improve. Tajani welcomed the reduction in unemployment rates in Cyprus saying that Cyprus has achieved a lot. He reiterated the Parliaments support for efforts to reunite Cyprus on the basis of UN resolutions and EU principles.

Referring to unemployment, the EP President said that jobs need to be created and that social policy will only come with strong support for the real economy, such as the small and medium size enterprises and the agricultural sector.

In his speech the EP President referred to efforts to tackle terrorism and illegal migration, pointing out that “we need to create prospects and not just raise walls.” Illegal migration, he added, should be prevented but solutions need to address the real problems in the Middle East and Africa.

He said that Cyprus could play a role to this end.

Tajani said that Europe needs to formulate its own policy and that decision-making cannot be left to bureaucrats but to the representatives of the people who must have a leading role. “Our future cannot be left in the hands of US, China or India, and we must safeguard our interests,” he stressed.

In his speech, he also referred to a letter he addresses to Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, about Non Performing Loans.

Tajani expressed his satisfaction with the agreement reached on Brexit.

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Source: Cyprus News Agency