Stop deriding the EU, Head of EP Office in Cyprus tells CNA

The Head of the European Parliaments Office in Cyprus, Andreas Kettis, has called on people to stop deriding the EU, noting that since its existence, the EU has improved substantially the lives of the European citizens.

In statements to CNA, on the occasion of Europe Day, celebrated today, Kettis said that because of the many challenges in recent years, the importance of todays Europe Day anniversary is perhaps more important than ever.

Noting that the EU is above all a political project for peace on the European continent, Kettis expressed the conviction that this peace emanates from the economic and political interdependence created by the EU institutions.

He said that his message for todays anniversary is that we should stop deriding the European Union, adding that despite the problems and shortcomings which have emerged in recent years, there is no douibt that a lot has been achieved through working together.

Asked about EU successes, he said that the EU has substantially upgraded the quality of life of European citizens. He said that enemies have become friends, dictatorships have given way to Republics, the borders have opened and the largest and most prosperous internal market in the world has been created.

He also spoke about a series of other achievements in Europe such as the protection of human rights, press freedom, the abolition of the death penalty, the abolition of child labor and exploitation, the protection of consumers and the protection of the environment.

Referring to EU failures, he expressed concern about the fact that many people are becoming more and more estranged from Europe, turn their back on it or do not understand the way the Union functions nor the benefits they enjoy as European citizens. He stressed that it is imperative to make Europe more effective and more understandable, noting the role of national governments as well in this effort.

Speaking about the EPs role, Kettis said that the European Parliament has been promoting transparency and direct contact of European citizens with the EU decisions and has a leading role among the EUs institutions in creating those conditions for the restoration of the confidence of European citizens, recognizing that distrust produces dissatisfaction, while trust creates optimism and a promising vision for the common future of the peoples of Europe.

Source: Cyprus News Agency