The Cypriot government frequently forms committees in response to criticism or to show action, often providing roles for political allies. The effectiveness of these committees, such as the proposed Unitary Supervisory Authority, is questionable, raising doubts about their operational facilitation versus being merely symbolic.
What is the governmental practice of forming committees in Cyprus?
The Cypriot government frequently forms committees as a response to criticism or to demonstrate action. This practice, initiated by President Nicos Anastasiades, often provides roles for political allies. The effectiveness of these committees, such as the newly proposed Unitary Supervisory Authority, is questioned regarding their operational facilitation versus being merely symbolic. Critics are skeptical about their enforcement efficacy due to past failures like the inactive Mokas unit.
The Trend of Committee Creation
In Cyprus, the formation of committees has become a go-to solution for the government when faced with critique or the need to show action. This trend was initiated by Nicos Anastasiades during his presidency. Whenever the government faced criticism, the answer was often found in the establishment of a committee, providing roles for political supporters. These committees were not as financially rewarding as the commissions set up by Anastasiades over his decade in power.
Current Presidency’s Approach to Committees
Nikos Christodoulides, within the first eight months of his presidency, has followed a similar pattern. Various committees have been set up, including one for overseeing appointments, another for guiding the government on semi-governmental board appointments, and one to ensure the implementation of sanctions. The effectiveness of these committees, however, is debatable—do they facilitate government operations, or are they merely for show?
The Unitary Supervisory Authority
A new committee, dubbed the Unitary Supervisory Authority, is in the pipeline, aimed at supervising professional service providers implicated in the Cyprus Confidential papers. Despite being agreed upon last June, action was slow until the release of the ICIJ reports, which spurred a newfound urgency. The government now intends to complete the relevant legislation before year-end. This authority is tasked to oversee auditors, lawyers, and financial service providers, who currently are self-regulated by professional bodies that often prioritize their members’ interests over maintaining standards.
Enforcement Efficacy and Past Failures
Enforcement authorities in Cyprus have a track record of spectacular failures. The example of Mokas, a unit fighting money laundering for 19 years, is telling. Despite numerous allegations of money laundering, Mokas has been largely inactive. This raises doubts about the efficacy of another state authority with well-paid appointments. The skepticism is heightened by the fact that the Bar Association has expressed its opposition, although the government has indicated there’s no turning back.
Other Noteworthy Topics
- Military and Diplomatic Movements: Cyprus is increasing military spending, and the United States and Ukraine are planning a military industry conference.
- Social Engagement: Students in Cyprus commemorate the Polytechnic uprising by marching to the US Embassy.
- Humanitarian Concerns: The quest for a humanitarian corridor continues, with progress reportedly still needed.
- Education Debates: A school in Paphos receives backing from the Education Ministry for expelling students.
- International Relations: Gaza becomes a focal point during Erdogan’s visit to Germany.
- Environmental Issues: The Forestry Department points to the electricity authority as responsible for summer fires.
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- The Cypriot government frequently forms committees in response to criticism or to show action, often providing roles for political allies.
- The effectiveness of these committees, such as the proposed Unitary Supervisory Authority, is questionable, raising doubts about their operational facilitation versus being merely symbolic.
- The trend of committee creation was initiated by President Nicos Anastasiades and has continued under the current presidency of Nikos Christodoulides.
- A new committee, the Unitary Supervisory Authority, is being established to oversee auditors, lawyers, and financial service providers implicated in the Cyprus Confidential papers.
- Enforcement authorities in Cyprus, such as the Mokas unit, have a track record of failures, raising doubts about the efficacy of another state authority.