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What are the priorities of the Presidency, how have these been determined and what are the strategies for achieving these?
The first identification of the most important issues that Cyprus will deal with was carried out in cooperation with our Trio partners, Poland and Denmark and the Council Secretariat, and set out in our common 18 month Programme. The majority of the priorities have been determined on the basis of the inherited agenda and it must be said, that Cyprus will deal with a heavy agenda, which includes very important dossiers.
One of the most challenging issues that the Presidency will be called to handle is the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2014 -2020. The Presidency is committed to working hard towards the aim of finalising the MFF negotiations and aims to attain the greatest possible progress in the related policies and financial programmes. Of course, the Presidency will promote any further measures deemed necessary to counter the effects of the crisis, implementing the new enhancedframework of economic governance, supporting the creation of a financial firewall and promoting the legislative framework in relation to financial services.In light of the 20th anniversary of the internal market in 2012, which is a key component for growth, the initiatives of the Single Market Act will be promoted.
Special emphasis will also be given to the establishment of the Common European Asylum System by the end of 2012, contributing to the creation of a common area of protection, based on the principles of solidarity and of equitable burden sharing among all Member States.
Addressing the demographic challenges in the context of the Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and promoting the Europe 2020 Strategy goals is also on our agenda.
Furthermore, the Presidency will carry on any relevant actions for the re-launching of the Integrated Maritime Policy, the development of the Trans– European Networks of transport, telecommunications and energy and the promotion of green growth, research and innovation.
The promotion of the Southern Dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy, the enlargement process and the progress on the Union’s development commitments will contribute to the enhancement of Europe’s role in the world.
Cyprus aims to be a results-oriented Presidency, and in order to achieve this, mechanisms have been implemented to ensure the strategic management of each dossier. The aim is to set a strategic goal for every file before the Presidency and give to the chairpersons the necessary mandate so as to be able to progress negotiations and reach an agreement where possible. To that end, we are in close cooperation with the EU institutions and we will aim to achieve rigorous cooperation with theEuropean Parliament, a key partner for every Presidency. Most importantly, wewill maintain an objective and neutral stance so as to achieve compromises,contributing to the general interest of the Union.