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Three down, three to go for Cyprus' EU accession
2002-04-19 16:04:17

Brussels, Apr 19 (CNA) - Cyprus has closed three more chapters of the acquis communautaire, bringing their number to 27, and has thus reaffirmed it is ahead of all other candidate for EU accession countries.

With the wrapping up of the chapters on Taxation, Regional Policy and Institutional Affairs, at today's 16th EU Ministerial Conference, it can be safely said that Cyprus is the first candidate country to conclude its accession negotiations, as it has only three more chapters left, those of Competition, Agriculture and Budget.

Competition and Agriculture are on their last lap of negotiations, while all substantive talks on Budget have been wrapped up.|

Cyprus opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998.

During the conference, Spain's permanent representative Francisco Javier Conte Dessaro spoke of Cyprus breaking a "record", adding that the Cypriot side had given an outstanding performance in harmonisation with the acquis communautaire.

Today, Cyprus' Chief Negotiator George Vassiliou managed to secure all the Republic's requests, especially on the tough chapter of Taxation. He said this day was very important for Cyprus, as accession negotiations have almost finished.

Apart from attending the Conference, Vassiliou also had meetings during the past couple of days with EU officials.

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