Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Not Fortress Europe but Europe as an open space says CEC president

The President of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) spoke out tonight "Not for Europe as a fortress but for Europe as an open space". Pastor Jean-Arnold de Clermont made his remarks in response to Androulla Kaminara, head of the EU's representation in Cyprus, at a reception during CEC's central committee meeting which is being held at the same time as the Churches' Commission on Migrants in Europe (CCME) is holding its meeting.
Ms. Androulla spoke of the EU's determination to combat traficking and also of the need for develoment work to go hand in hand with immigration policy.

Until coming to Cyprus I had not realised quite how close to Lebanon it was. Reading my guide book about this divided island, of which only one part is in the EU, I also learnt that there are a alot of trafficked women in both parts ot the island. The large numbers of tourists mean that there is a high demand for the services of the sex industry. Meanwhile, many of the workers in the hotels we are staying in are internal EU migrants from Eastern Europe.
All this makes Cyprus a fascinating place to discuss both trafficking, which the meeting will begin to do tomorrow, and also issues of peace and reconciliation. Despite the karaoke machines and high-rise tourist entertainment, the border with the North is only a few kilometres away, a constant and very real reminder of the need for bridge-building, overcoming the past and imagining a new and better future for this beautiful island which is still separated.


Tom Zweifler said...

Actually, the EU considers that the whole of Cyprus belongs to the European Union. However, in the northern part of the island, in the areas in which the Government of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, EU legislation is suspended in line with Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty 2003. The situation will change once a Cyprus settlement enters into force and it will then be possible for EU rules to apply over the whole of the island. However, the suspension does not affect the personal rights of Turkish Cypriots as EU citizens. They are citizens of a Member State, the Republic of Cyprus, even though they may live in the northern part of Cyprus, the areas not under government control.

This all makes the situation more complicated and more promising.
More here

Jane said...

Thanks Tom for putting me right - I was watching Cyprus tv

Tom Zwiefler said...

An interesting additional point is whether the phrase "the areas in which the Government of Cyprus does not exercise effective control" refers not only to the Turkish Republic of Norther Cyprus but also to the British sovereign territory on Cyprus!! Yet these are the only parts of British sovereign territory in which the Euro is legal tender!!!

Jane said...

trust you to know such details!