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Oli Rehn Says Transitional Periods for Derogations for Cyprus, Exceptional
2009-04-03 10:39:57

Brussels, Apr 1 - EU Enlargement Commissioner Oli Rehn stressed Tuesday that transitional periods for derogations from EU principles and treaties in a Cyprus settlement could be “a few and in exceptional cases.”

“I am not marketing derogations from the principles the treaties of the EU,” Commissioner Rehn said during a meeting of the Turkey- EU Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Mr. Rehn was replying to a question of Cypriot MEP Yiannakis Matsis whether derogations from the EU four freedoms and principles could be transformed to permanent derogations in case of a Cyprus solution.

Furthermore, addressing a Breakfast Policy Briefing organized by the European Policy Centre (EPC), Mr. Rehn said that the solution of the Cyprus problem in 2009 constitutes a priority for the EU.

The EU Commissioner also said that under his capacity he is the guardian of the EU treaties and principles, recalling that the Commission provides legal and technical support to the current UN-led negotiations so that the solution of the Cyprus problem would comply with the treaties and the principles of the EU.

The solution must be found on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality and should respect the UN resolutions, he said, adding that a reunified Cyprus must have one voice in the EU.

Addressing the Breakfast Policy Briefing, Mr. Rehn said that the solution of the Cyprus problem in 2009 constitutes a priority for the EU.

He recalled that during his parliamentary hearings in 2004, when he appointed as the Enlargement Commissioner, he stated that he wanted to deliver on six goals, namely that of an EU of 27 member states by 2009, the accession process with Croatia would reach its final stage, the other Western Balkan countries would be firmly locked into the European orientation by Association Agreements, Turkey would be firmly on a European track, Kosovo's status would be settled and that Cyprus would be reunified.

“Looking back at the past years, we have achieved five out of these six goals set in 2004. We have done so by working together with the European Parliament and the Council. And by the way, there is now a serious process going on to reunify Cyprus – our priority this year,” he concluded.

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