The House President, Annita Demetriou, passionately advocates for the retention of EU member states’ veto power to maintain balance, protect smaller countries, and prevent a divided Europe. Demetriou’s concerns are especially relevant to Cyprus’s unique challenges, and the upcoming European Council meeting will address proposed legislative amendments that could potentially abolish the veto power.
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In August 2023, Cyprus experienced a 33% decrease in asylum applications, with only 895 new applications, a drop from the previous year’s 1,340. In contrast, the EU saw a 19% increase, receiving 91,735 applications. Germany, Spain, France, and Italy accounted for 68% of the EU’s new applications, while Syria was the leading country of origin for asylum seekers in the EU.
The debate surrounding the EU unanimity rule revolves around the balance between efficiency and national sovereignty. Some member states advocate for a shift to a qualified majority system for foreign policy decisions, while opponents argue that this would undermine the sovereignty of smaller states. President Nikos Christodoulides has refrained from opposing the initiative, suggesting a possible shift towards a more coherent and assertive EU on the global stage.