Europe must work to address citizens’ concerns, FM Permanent Secretary says

Europe must work urgently to address its citizens’ multifaceted security concerns, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Alexandros Zenon has said, adding that for a small member state such as Cyprus, the sense of belonging to a great democratic family is of utmost importance,

Speaking on Thursday at an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome in Nicosia, Zenon said that politically, culturally, economically and otherwise, Cypriots have always looked towards Europe.

Joining the EU was the culmination of a belief in our joint core values and ideals, as well as in an increased feeling of security and a rule-of-law based international order � of outmost importance to every Cypriot, not least in the context of our divided and semi-occupied country, he pointed out.

Noting that Cyprus has embraced its role as a member state from the outset and actively contributes towards enhancing and strengthening the Union, he said that we continue to be fully engaged in the European project and add value, especially in areas where we have a unique vantage point.

With a record of good relations with our neighbours in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus continues to foster greater cooperation between those countries and the EU, for example through the trilateral cooperation mechanisms established by Cyprus and Greece with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, he said.

Ambassador Zenon referred to the many benefits the EU has offered to its citizens, saying that over the years, Europe became our second home.

The ‘four freedoms’, he added, of which there is much talk here in Cyprus lately, are today part of everyday life for over half a billion Europeans.

Referring to Brexit, he said that the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the EU was a rude awakening for all of us and continued by saying that Brexit should be a lesson for everyone.

We must work urgently to address our citizens’ multifaceted security concerns, by accelerating work towards a security Union that benefits all member states. We must do more to ensure long-term economic stability and the resulting prosperity, he underlined.

Concluding, Zenon said that the EU has changed the lives of our generation for the better, saying that it is our duty to ensure it remains strong and able to do so for all those who will follow us.

Source: Cyprus News Agency