Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2004

14 May 2004
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following leader article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 14 May 2004.
EU equality above all
"...any settlement must comply fully with the EU acquis and respect for human rights, without any derogations. This is imperative to ensure that the people of Cyprus, whatever their ethnic origin, become EU citizens equal in every respect to the citizens of the other 24 members of the union... so that Cypriots may then feel they are not some sort of second class citizens denied the basic rights enjoyed in every other EU state. If nothing else, this would do away with some of the most outrageous provisions of the Annan Plan that in effect grant non-Cypriot EU citizens greater rights in Cyprus than those of the native Cypriots themselves."

A MONTH after the rejection of the Annan Plan our politicians, even among those who voted no in the referendum, have yet to adopt a clear unified strategy on how to face the difficulties ahead and to ensure the reunification of the country. Some say the plan is dead. Others say it needs revision and yet others still insist it must be accepted in a second referendum, even without changes as the only solution, adopting the view of some foreign powers. Speaking during the opening of the Cyprus International Trade Fair yesterday President Papadopoulos stressed yet again that a settlement must be firmly based on respect for EU values and principles ``in order to create suitable conditions for a settlement that will satisfy the reasonable concerns of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.'' This vague position must be reduced to a simple demand that any settlement must comply fully with the EU acquis and respect for human rights, without any derogations. This is imperative to ensure that the people of Cyprus, whatever their ethnic origin, become EU citizens equal in every respect to the citizens of the other 24 members of the union. The EU Commission and Parliament should be asked to provide its own backing to whatever amendments are necessary to make the Plan fully compatible with EU principles, so that Cypriots may then feel they are not some sort of second class citizens denied the basic rights enjoyed in every other EU state. If nothing else, this would do away with some of the most outrageous provisions of the Annan Plan that in effect grant non-Cypriot EU citizens greater rights in Cyprus than those of the native Cypriots themselves."