European institutions can exert pressure on Turkey about the situation in Cyprus’ EEZ, MEP tells CNA [VIDEO]

European institutions have tools at their disposal to exert pressure on Turkey so that it puts an end to its illegal actions within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis has told CNA.

In an interview with Cyprus News Agency Sylikiotis expressed the view that the European Commission and the Council have the tools to exert pressure on Turkey so that it stops all these illegal actions.

The European Parliament, he noted, has rightly expressed clearly its position on these matters and exerts pressure where it can, but as we know the European Parliament does not have great power or capabilities and this is known.

Sylikiotis pointed out that the agenda of the European Summit due to take place in Varna includes Turkeys’ Customs Union agreement and the visa liberalisation.

According to the MEP the European Commission is the one who holds the key.

Referring to the European Parliament’s position, he said that since 2014 when Turkey has, through issuing a navtex, been provocative as regards the Republic of Cyprus’ energy planning, the positions of all political groups as well as the European Parliament’s President have been very clear.

Sylikiotis referred to his work as a Vice President of the European United Left�Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), noting that he takes part in the Conference of Presidents at the European Parliament which sets the agenda and the priorities of the organisation.

The Cypriot MEP is also a member of the parliamentary Committee of Industry, Research and Energy where the fourth energy package is being discussed as well as any regulations and directives which concern Cyprus as well.

He refers in particular to the new directives on intergovernmental agreements, on natural gas, on renewable energy sources, on electricity as well as on the new goals for energy efficiency of buildings set for 2030.

On the annual progress report for Turkey’s accession course, he noted that in cooperation with Cypriot MEPs and after an initiative on behalf of our political group we will try to have the best possible report as regards the Cyprus problem and Turkey’s obligations relating to Cyprus.

GUE/NGL is one of the political groups which always supports Cyprus’ positions with no exceptions, he stressed.

Sylikiotis said that he is working on the EU’s social policies. Like other countries Cyprus has serious problems regarding welfare policy, employee � employer relations and workers’ rights.

At the same time, he spoke of the need for solidarity, noting that he is the European Parliament’s President on relations with Palestine.

Without a solution of the Palestinian problem no peace can be reached in the Middle East as a whole, he said, adding that the EU should undertake more initiatives and expressing the view that it has the tools to play a leading role in the Middle Eastern peace process.

Replying to a question on whether he will be a candidate in the next European Elections Sylikiotis made it clear that it will depend on his party, which is expected to decide collectively by the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019.

Source: Cyprus News Agency