Peace in Cyprus should be sustainable and lasting, said the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, during a dialogue with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot young people at the University of Cyprus library on Friday. The President of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou, also participated in the dialogue panel. The dialogue was organised by the European Parliament Office in Cyprus and was broadcast live on the Facebook page of the European Parliament and the President of the House of Representatives.
The two Presidents discussed, inter alia, the concerns of young people regarding the Cyprus problem, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the energy crisis and the role of Cyprus, youth entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, internet safety, misinformation and the importance of education and culture.
In her opening remarks, Demetriou thanked the President of the EP for her presence in Cyprus. She said that the empowerment of women and young people is also reflected in the face of the President of the EP and this is the best message for young people, as they are the present and the future.
In response to a question on whether the European Union has a plan to restart negotiations on the Cyprus problem, President Metsola said that the European Union and the European Parliament have not done enough. “We tend to talk about the challenges Cyprus is facing, possible solutions, and then we forget or move on to the next challenge. And I wanted to focus on Cyprus, and I wanted to come here because I want to see peace on the European continent and especially now that we are witnessing a war. It is good to remember that other countries have suffered terribly in the last decades,” she said.
She added that apart from resolutions, efforts are being made to resume talks. “I will not stop until peace is found,” she said.
Moreover, she urged young people not to forget. “I know that you cannot rewrite history, but you can fix it and this will be achieved through dialogue and understanding of what is needed for this country and we will work with you to achieve this,” said President Metsola, a statement agreed with by the President of the House, who added that there are challenges and solutions need to be found within the European framework.
President Metsola was also asked about Ukraine’s candidacy for membership of the European family and said that the 705 Members of the European Parliament had responded to Zelensky’s proposal with a resounding yes.
Asked about the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Metsola said that there is already a document signed by 500 MEPs calling for 2023 to be declared a year for mental health, as we are gradually coming out of the pandemic and we can see its devastating effects, especially on women and young people. The EU has a strategy and it was demonstrated during the pandemic through the solidarity of the EU member states, she said.
Finally, the EP President and the President of the Parliament stressed the importance of education and knowledge of history and cultures as these contribute to understanding the culture of other peoples. “I am a fan of archaeology, and this year I went with my four sons to Delos, the ‘island of light’, and there we had a guide with us and my children learned a lot. I believe as Europeans we should keep our history and our investment in culture is a top priority,” she said. The President praised the role of the school-guide as a means to better understand the European Union and its institutions.
Source: Cyprus News Agency