Jean-Claude Juncker, who was elected by the European Parliament as the new President of the European Commission at the election that took place on 15 July 2014 after being nominated for the Presidency at the June 2014 EU Summit of Heads of State and Government, has made a statement that the matters for which the members of the new Commission will be responsible throughout their upcoming 5-year term have been determined.
In this connection, we have observed with concern the news indicating that the Turkish Cypriot Task Force, which exists under the Directorate-General for Enlargement, will be placed under the Directorate-General for Regional Policy. While constituting an internal arrangement within the structure of the Commission, this arrangement which is not in line with the realities on the Island is a development which will endanger the continuity of the work that we have been conducting with the European Union as of 2004.
Our expectation from the European Union in relation to the negotiation process, which resumed on 11 February 2014 and that the Turkish Cypriot side has been striving to move forward through its constructive efforts aiming at finding a just, viable and comprehensive political solution, is to contribute to ensuring that the bi-communal bi-zonal structure as well as other factors securing internal balances which will arise from a solution will become a part of the fundamental law of the Union and, in effect, are legally binding and safeguarded. However, this recent development has served only to increase our concerns that the European Union may be unable to maintain the impartial approach needed to provide this expected contribution. It is also amply clear that this approach, which has led to false expectations by the Greek Cypriot side, will not contribute to the comprehensive settlement negotiations which are taking place within the framework of the UN Good Offices Mission.
It is the desire of the Turkish Cypriot side to maintain a constructive stance throughout our relations with the European Union. Furthermore, it is not possible for the Turkish Cypriot side, which clearly demonstrated its will towards a settlement at the referendum in 2004, to become victimized by the mistake of the European Union in admitting South Cyprus to the EU in the absence of a settlement. While we expect the European Union to fulfill the promises made to the Turkish Cypriot side following the referenda, particularly those within the EU Council decision dated 26 April 2004, we regret the steps taken by the EU which will have a negative impact on these efforts.
We maintain our expectation that the EU will harmonize a settlement with its internal law and step up its efforts to prepare the Turkish Cypriots for EU accession, as promised by Council President Van Rompuy and Commission President Barroso in their joint statement made on behalf of the EU following the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration of the Leaders.
In this framework, the transference of the Turkish Cypriot Task Force from the Directorate-General for Enlargement to the Directorate-General for Regional Policy poses a contradiction to the current legal situation. This development, which only serves the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side rather than responding to the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot side, needs to be re-evaluated.