EU Enlargement on Trio Presidency Meeting Agenda
Presidents of the 2012 EU Trio Presidency are meeting in Warsaw to discuss priorities, including EU enlargement, greater investment in research, innovation and education, and a new financial framework for after 2013, said a government spokesman.
President Demetris Christofias, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen are meeting in Poland ahead of their assumption of the EU rotating presidency.
Each country will hold the chair for six months, starting mid-2011. Cyprus' turn will be in the second half of 2012.
Enlargement challenged by Turkey-Cyprus deadlock
Cyprus' official position is that it wants Turkey in the EU provided it fulfills its obligations under the Ankara Protocol, so the government's approach to the issue during its EU presidency is sure to be under the spotlight.
Eight chapters of Turkey's EU accession negotiations have been frozen because the country does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. Instead it is the only country in the world which recognises the unilaterally-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus administered by Turkish-Cypriot authorities. The continued deadlock over the island's political reunification prospects has lasted for 37 years since Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus.
Germany and France have both said that there is a possibility that Turkey could join the bloc as a privileged partner instead of a full member. But Turkey insists on full membership, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu saying on Europe Day May 9th: "our country’s resolve to accede to the European Union (EU) continues to be the main priority of the Turkish foreign policy. Despite certain obstacles we encounter from time to time, our faith and will for the accession to the Union are stronger than ever."
Trio to discuss EU response to illegal immigrant wave from N. Africa and Middle East.
Also on the Trio's agenda are the EU's response to the situation in North Africa and strengthening democracy in the region. Illegal immigration in the wake of unrest in the Middle East will also be discussed, said the spokesman.