Eu/cyprus : Nicosia Ready to Challenge Trnc Direct Trade Regulation

Article excerpt

The Cypriot government has expressed its readiness to appeal to the European Court of Justice in order to avert the implementation of the regulation on direct trade of the EU with the Northern part of Cyprus. "We will use all the institutional and political procedures we have at our disposal, and even if the regulation is promoted in the end, we will appeal to the Court of the European Communities," Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said, on 21 April, after attending a meeting of the Committee on Foreign and European Affairs in the Cypriot parliament.

The statement comes as a reaction to the re-launch of an adoption procedure for the Council regulation on direct trade between the EU and the Northern part of Cyprus, a document dating back to July 2004. Due to the Cypriot government's opposition, the proposal drafted by the European Commission has never been adopted, as its approval required unanimous decision of all EU member states. After six years, the European Commission re-launched, in early March, the adoption procedure, but under different rules of procedure.

Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the proposal for the direct trade regulation falls under the co-decision procedure. It implies participation of the European Parliament in the process on equal terms with the Council. The ultimate approval of the proposal by the Council will not any more require unanimity but rather qualified majority.

On 1 March, the Commission submitted the proposal on the direct trade regulation to the European Parliament, the Council, and the national parliaments, which following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty take part in EU decision making procedure. …