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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-07-31
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 31 July 2002
 Agriculture Chapter partly closedThe Eighteenth Meeting of the Inter - Governmental Conference for the Accession of Cyprus to the European Union at Deputy level was held in Brussels on 30 July 2002. The Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' Accession to the EU Mr George Vassiliou represented Cyprus.
During the meeting, the Chapter on "Agriculture" was examined and negotiations were completed on veterinary and phytosanitary issues.
On behalf of the European Council Presidency, the Permanent Representative of Denmark to the EU Mr Poul Skytte Christoffersen expressed the support of the Presidency in the efforts of the UN Secretary-General for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and stressed that the conclusions of the Helsinki European Council would remain as the main point of reference.
On behalf of the European Commission, the Director General of the DG- Enlargement Mr Eneko Landaburu expressed satisfaction with the progress of the EU - Cyprus negotiations, stressing the fact that 28 Chapters of the acquis communautaire were closed. He welcomed the important efforts of Cyprus in the adoption of the acquis and expressed the European Commission's satisfaction with the adoption of about 50 laws, since last May, in the framework of harmonizing the Cypriot legislation. He also expressed the conviction that in the following weeks, all problems would be solved and Cyprus would be able to be in the first wave of countries to join the EU.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' Accession to the EU Mr George Vassiliou referred to the important work that had been achieved in legislation, by the Government, as well as the House of Representatives, stressing that Cyprus increased the pace of harmonization with the acquis.
Mr Vassiliou also referred to the direct talks on the Cyprus problem, noting that no progress had been achieved. "We are firmly convinced", he said, "that the reunification of our island is to the benefit of all Cypriots and, particularly, of the Turkish Cypriots." "We will, therefore, continue our efforts to achieve a solution prior to the Copenhagen Summit. If, despite our efforts and goodwill, this does not become possible and we join the Union within the framework of the Helsinki European Council Conclusion, we want to assure you that we will continue our efforts so that a solution is achieved in the months following the Copenhagen Summit."
Mr Vassiliou also had a meeting with the Head of the Cyprus Team Mr. Leopold Maurer, and the members of the negotiating team, where they reviewed the progress of the accession talks. During the meeting, an agreement was achieved for the exemption of the electricity production stations in Dhekelia and Vassilikos regarding the emission of waste.
On the issue of money laundering, the Cyprus Chief Negotiator assured the European Commission that there was no reason for concern, a fact that was reflected in the positive reports by international organizations that have evaluated Cyprus on combating this problem.
 European Union contributes an additional € 30 million to regions bordering with candidate countriesThe European Commission has adopted a decision "which makes available an extra € 30 million to fourteen cross-border and interregional cooperation programmes (INTERREG) for regions bordering candidate countries". According to a Commission press release, this "special support will enable them to further cross-border co-operation in fields such as transport, training, support for SMEs and intercultural co-operation".
"As a result of this decision, the European Union has increased support for regions bordering candidate countries to fund new projects under INTERREG. This will allow them to address both problems and opportunities linked to enlargement, for instance by assisting SMEs to find partners and new markets in neighbouring regions. It will be of clear benefit for the people on both sides of the border in these regions and contribute to the success of the enlargement process" the Commissioner responsible for regional policy Mr Michel Barnier said, announcing the decision.
 City of Jacksonville condemns Turkish invasionThe City of Jacksonville proclaimed Sunday, July 20 2002 as "Day of Remembrance of the Republic of Cyprus", in a proclamation signed by the Mayor of the city of Jacksonville, North Carolina, Mr George L. Jones.
The proclamation notes that 200.000 Christians were ethnically cleansed, in disregard of United Nations Resolution 353, and considers the reunification of the island as the only acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/