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Verheugen: Cyprus accession irreversible, unconditional
2002-12-19 09:55:01

by Nicos Bellos-- Brussels, Dec 19 (CNA) -- The Copenhagen European Council's decision on Cyprus' accession to the EU is ''irreversible'' and ''with no preconditions attached to it'', Jean-Christophe Filori, spokesman of EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said here today.

Clarifying yesterday's statements by Verheugen before the European Parliament, Filori said the European Council took the irreversible decision for the unconditional accession of Cyprus to the EU as from May 1st, 2004.|

Filori said Cyprus as all other candidate countries will ratify its accession to the EU, following the procedures provided in the country's Constitution.

Verheugen's remarks were interpreted by some circles as suggesting a connection between Cyprus' accession and the political settlement on the island.

Filori explained that Verheugen, who was replying to a question, merely recalled EU principles and made only one reference to UN Secretary General's plan for Cyprus, relating to the procedure of approving the peace plan by the island's two communities.

The UN plan provides for a referendum among the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities on a comprehensive settlement, if one is reached. The referendum includes a question on Cyprus' accession as well.


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