The focus for Cyprus on the European Union for the second half of 2012 is on restoring economic growth and making the European economy work better for people.
The country takes up the presidency of the EU on 1 July amid ongoing concerns over the slow pace of economic recovery and the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis.
Aligning public budgets with the EU’s agreed limits needs to happen in parallel with boosting growth. Cyprus will focus on measures promoting these aims over the next 6 months.
One of the country’s main tasks will be to achieve agreement on the Commission’s budget proposals for 2014-20. The budget sets the EU’s medium-term priorities – accelerating economic growth, creating jobs and improving competitiveness.
During its presidency, Cyprus will continue work on improving economic coordination among EU countries and monitoring national budgets to keep them within the agreed limits.
Another priority is investing in programmes that create more and better jobs and training people – especially unemployed young people – with the relevant skills.
Cyprus will push ahead with programmes promoting more active, healthier lifestyles and addressing issues relating to Europe’s ageing population.
Cyprus hopes to make progress on Commission proposals to bring the benefits of European economic integration (the “single market”) closer to both citizens and businesses – with the knock-on effect of stimulating growth.
Emphasis will be placed on measures to help small businesses thrive and on establishing a single digital market.
Cyprus will oversee ongoing talks on connecting Europe’s energy, transport and telecommunications networks. Connecting the EU’s infrastructure increases competition and helps bringing prices down for consumers.
And one of the country’s main objectives is to get agreement on a more integrated maritime policy. Commission proposals being considered by EU leaders aim at boosting EU coordination, to manage maritime resources more efficiently.
Reaching agreement on common rules for asylum seekers is also important following last year’s events in North Africa and subsequent large-scale immigration to Europe.
EU leaders are keen to improve the way the EU’s external borders are managed. They are also considering new agreements on the EU’s border-free internal area.
Source: Gozo news