Brussels said on Wednesday it was now better prepared to embrace a reunified federal Cyprus into the European Union, as EU Commission’s Maarten Verwey met with the two leaders.
Verwey, who is Director General of the Structural Reform Support Service, met with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci at the old Nicosia airport under the auspices of the UN.
After the meeting, the Dutch official said that significant progress had been made in the Commission’s work in Cyprus, despite limitations posed in certain areas and not having the EU acquis apply throughout the entire island.
“I believe that we now have a far better understanding of the level of preparedness for the EU of the Turkish Cypriot Community than before,” he said.
Anastasiades later told reporters in the south that the nature of the meeting was “informative,” adding that findings of an ad hoc committee were discussed “for future acclimatisation of the Turkish Cypriot constituent state, in case of a solution, with the European acquis”.
But the President said they did not go into detail “because we want the European committee’s report to be discussed by field experts”.
Verwey, who has extensive experience in advising Cyprus during the bailout years, said he came to meet the two leaders following their joint request to EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker in mid-2015.
The Commission has organised dozens of meetings and missions to Cyprus with over 200 officials and experts assisting the bicommunal ad hoc committee for EU preparation, Verwey said.
“From our side, we stand ready to continue our support through Commission experts, deploying technical assistance upon request, involving private sector experts and Member State officials and assisting with analysis and advice in partnership with other international actors,” he said.
“This is an ongoing effort,” he said.