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Harmonisation Coordinator optimistic over Cyprus? EU obligations
2003-09-05 18:02:16

Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) - EU Harmonisation Coordinator Takis Hadjidemetriou has assured that Cyprus will respond to the obligations set out by its Accession Treaty with the EU.

Speaking during a visit to the Cyprus News Agency, Hadjidemetriou also said he will be going to Brussels on Sunday, heading a multi-member delegation, to report to EU chief negotiator with Cyprus Leopold Maurer and other community officials regarding the issues on which Cyprus has made progress and explain the reasons why other matters are still pending.

Asked what steps should be taken on the part of Cyprus so that the Commission's report on Cyprus' implementation of the acquis communautaire is positive, Hadjidemetriou said ''we did not sit down and wait for the 25th of September when the official meeting of the Harmonisation Coordinator and the EU has been set to discuss the details of the report on Cyprus''.

For this reason, he said, a large delegation will be heading to Brussels on Sunday to hold talks with Maurer and other EU officials.

In statements to CNA, Hadjidemetriou said they would be going to Brussels to inform community officials on the issues where progress has been made and give explanations where the EU believes Cyprus has not moved forward.

On specific chapters, Hadjidemetriou said that as far as communications is concerned, the public auctioning for the second mobile telephony license is scheduled for October 30.

On the asylum seekers, Hadjidemetriou acknowledged there is a large number of applications in Cyprus, which has accumulated, and the EU is worried about repercussions with Cyprus' accession to the Union. However, he referred to the employment of additional staff that will work on the issue.

On merchant shipping, the Harmonisation Coordinator said ''we are working on this issue systematically'' and announced the appointment of additional staff to reinforce the Merchant Shipping Department.

On the environment, he said the relevant bills are ready and are being referred to the House of Representatives, where final decisions will be taken.

''I go to Brussels with a sense of responsibility that we are representing Cyprus, where a lot of work is being carried out, and the aim is to fully respond to our obligations and we will be able to respond and satisfy Europe's conditions and the provisions of the Treaty we signed on April 16 as far as the issues on which we are lagging behind are concerned'', he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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