Eu/turkish Cypriot Community : Direct Trade Regulation: Juri Committee Sides with Nicosia
After much deliberation, the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) has rejected the legal basis proposed by the European Commission for a regulation facilitating direct trade with the Turkish Cypriot community. In a report by Kurt Lechner (EPP, Germany), adopted on 18 October, the committee concluded that direct trade with the North of Cyprus - known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) - is not a question of commercial policy but rather an internal matter that should be governed directly by the Union's single market and customs union rules.
The committee recalled that the whole territory of Cyprus, including the Northern part of the island, is part and parcel of EU customs territory and therefore the movement of goods there should not be regulated on the basis of trade policy, as proposed in 2004 by the Commission. According to the committee, this would "imply that de facto the line separating the territory of Cyprus would be tantamount to an external border of the Union". "We need to keep things simple. It is difficult to draft a regulation on the basis of external action and trade policy because Cyprus as a whole is already a member of the EU," commented Lechner.
The JURI committee's opinion was welcomed by the Cypriot government, which described it as "a positive development". Nicosia has long questioned the legal basis of the regulation proposed by the European Commission. …