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27-06-2019 21:10

Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, at a reception hosted under his auspices by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Press and Information Office on EU’s Strategic Agenda 2019-2024

It is a great pleasure to be here with you this evening. At the outset, let me first thank the Director of the Press and Information Office, my very good friend Sophie Michaelides, for this excellent initiative and of course Kornelios Korneliou, on the occasion of the new Strategic Agenda of the European Union. I would also like to warmly welcome the representatives of the Diplomatic Missions and the correspondents from the EU member states.

As the new political cycle for the European Union begins, the Strategic Agenda sets the direction for the Union and defines its political priorities for the next five years. The new Agenda reflects the changes that Europe has undergone in recent years. It also highlights the increasing need to protect our territory and external borders and to strengthen the European unity and resolve on the international stage.

The Strategic Agenda provides an overall framework and direction for that response focusing on four main priorities:

• protecting citizens and freedoms - Europe must be a place where people feel free and safe.

• developing a strong and vibrant economic base - This is of key importance for Europe’s competitiveness, prosperity, its role on the global stage and for the creation of jobs.

• building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe - As the effects of climate change become more visible, we urgently need to step up our action to address this existential threat.

• and finally, promoting European interests and values on the global stage –The EU must remain the driving force behind multilateralism and the rules-based international order.

The world has become increasingly complex. This creates both opportunities and challenges. The EU can strengthen its role in this changing environment, building on our values and the strengths of our model. It is of vital importance to engage with our citizens and the civil society and focus on what really matters.

Cyprus fully supports the Strategic Agenda and we will work with our partners and the EU Institutions for a more resilient and integrated Union. The newly-created Secretariat for European Union Affairs chaired by Mr. Kornelios Korneliou which aims to strengthen the effectiveness of processes on European Union matters will be catalytic in this regard. In a world of increasing uncertainty, the EU needs to increase its capacity to act autonomously to safeguard its interests, uphold its values and its way of life and to help shape the global future.

Thank you very much for your presence tonight.