CNA News

EU Affairs Dep. Minister takes office ahead of second Cyprus EU Presidency preparations

The second Cyprus EU Presidency should place Cyprus in the hard core of the European Union with concrete initiatives and coherent action to lead the Council, taking the unification process one step further, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, said in his speech on Wednesday during the swearing-in ceremony of the Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Marilena Raouna, at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia. 

President Christodoulides congratulated Raouna, noting that the appointment of the Deputy Minister for European Affairs marks the official start of preparations for the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of EU in the second half of 2026. 

He pointed out that the second Cyprus EU Presidency should place Cyprus in the hard core of the EU with concrete initiatives and structured action that will lead the Council, “taking the integration process one step further for the benefit of European citizens and of course our country.” 

President Christodoulides explained that the Cyprus EU Presidency is part of the Trio Presidency which starts with Poland in the first half of 2025, continues with Denmark in the second half of the same year and ends with the Cyprus Presidency in the first half of 2026. 

He said that Cyprus is a Member State with a significant contribution to European affairs and with substantial participation in the development of policies on major issues of concern to European citizens, with a role and a voice for the interests of European citizens, including Cypriots. 

At the same time, he continued, the Cyprus issue is now a predominantly European issue. He reiterated that Nicosia is the last illegally divided European capital, and the EU has an obligation, but also an interest, to contribute actively, using all the political and economic instruments and tools at its disposal, in the context of both EU-Turkish relations and enlargement in general, to achieve a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue, always within the agreed framework. 

Receiving her appointment, Raouna thanked the President of the Republic for honouring her with his trust, adding that “I am fully aware of the responsibility I am taking on and the great importance of the mission entrusted to me as head of the preparation of the second Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2026”. 

Raouna noted that the path to European integration passes through the solution of the Cyprus issue, which is a crucial European issue. 

She said that she will work hard and with dedication together with the whole team she will create for an ambitious and successful Presidency that will leave a positive footprint, acting as an honest mediator in promoting the interests of the Union and its citizens through the effective advancement of as many legislative acts as possible. 

On May 1, 2004, Cyprus became a full EU Member State, along with the other nine acceding countries – The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. On January 1, 2008, Cyprus joined the eurozone. Cyprus assumed the six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1, 2012 and the next Cypriot EU Presidency is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2026.