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Christodoulides: ‘Our Vision for 2030 is Effective Multilateralism’

Christodoulides: ‘Our Vision for 2030 is Effective Multilateralism’

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Christodoulides spoke at the 10th Limassol Economic Forum about politics and international relations focusing on Europe’s Political vision for 2030. 

The Minister pointed out that over the past decade, we have seen the emergence in some cases, the intensification in others, of challenges that have now reached a tipping point: That if not decisively and effectively addressed now, would lead to disastrous outcomes in the very near future.

He then analysed the vision for the political orientation of the EU in the next decade and what we see as Europe’s response to these global challenges.

“A more short-term look to the past decade and the crises we have had to address, and their lasting consequences,” he said, “tells us that the challenges we face at international and national level are challenges that no country can address on its own - they require a collective, effective response.” According to Christodoulides, they require effective multilateralism anchored on a robust Rule-Based Global Order. They require the EU to strengthen its role in international affairs as a Real and Credible Global Actor.

“I belong to the school of thought that supports a Strong Federal Europe,” he said and added that he believes in a united and fully integrated European Union, that will assume a decisive role in International Affairs. He supports a European Union that will become a genuine Global Actor, with a strengthened capacity as a security provider and producer, not only beyond its boundaries but also within its own territory.

“Our vision for Europe 2030 is simply put, more effective multilateralism, with a more effective Europe, a more united, sovereign Europe at its heart, as a driving force,” noted Christodoulides. “The EU has proven that although imperfect – and the economic and migration crises have shed more light on the cracks of the European project – is an effective, benevolent global player. The current geopolitical situation provides an opportunity for Europe to fully assert this role as a global player.”

The EU is the largest free trade zone in the world but also so much more than that: it is a diplomatic, political and security player. In the coming decade the EU ought to assume its role fully, and develop the most flexible and effective toolbox to do so. “Indeed,” he stressed, “the new Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, currently under discussion, offers us the opportunity to do that now.”

Taking into account our vision for Europe 2030 - effective multilateralism with a stronger and federal Europe at its heart – Christodoulides shared some examples of how Cyprus is exerting efforts to be a vehicle for the implementation of this vision.

“Being a member of the European Union, Cyprus is part of what I call European Security Architecture,” he said and continued, “Our country plays a vital role in addressing the various regional threats, even the threats that tend to become hybrid, terrorism, cyber warfare, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organized crime, irregular migration and human trafficking.”

According to the Minster, Cyprus, a member state of the Union and at the same time a country of the region with excellent bilateral relations with its neighbours and a deep understanding of the dynamic of the region, can, and has been playing an important role in bringing the EU and the region closer together. “And this,” he said, “is what it turned to be our Foreign Policy motto, that our bilateral and regional policy in the eastern Mediterranean adds value to the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU.”

Cyprus is deeply committed to multilateralism, and it is proving this in practice, leading by example in its own neighbourhood. “The re-drawing of the energy map in the Eastern Mediterranean, he added, “coupled with our conviction that the region’s natural resources can be a catalyst of cooperation and synergies, triggered the development of multilateral cooperation in the region that has gradually become a driver of change.” The trilateral cooperation partnerships that Cyprus established together with Greece and neighbouring countries such as Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, are a prime example of effective cooperation, said Nikos Christodoulides.

According to the Minister, at times when international relations are becoming more introvert, Europe must become more extrovert, build more partnerships and synergies, diversify, and in doing so, it is crucial that it pays closer attention to the Eastern Mediterranean.

To the deep and complex challenges we face, the Minister concluded, the answer is more Europe, a stronger Europe with a more robust footing in international affairs.

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