National Federation of Cypriots President, Mr Peter Droussiotis, on Friday evening addressed a full meeting of Forward in Europe, organised to coincide with Cyprus’s assumption of the EU Presidency. Having been invited to speak on Cyprus for the benefit of a better understanding of the island’s division, UN negotiations for reunification, the Cyprus EU Presidency, current economic constraints,
natural resources and the island’s potential regional role and fortunes, Mr Droussiotis’ speech covered a wide range of topics and themes.
Forward in Europe is an affiliate member of the European Movement, an independent and all-party organisation that calls for closer integration at the EU level, with more powers for the democratically elected institutions of the EU and more popular involvement in its intergovernmental decision-making structures.
Sir Christopher Audland, former Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission and a Patron of Forward in Europe introduced and thanked Mr Droussiotis, on behalf of a large audience of Forward in Europe members, for taking the time to travel to Cumbria in order to address the gathering. Mr Droussiotis’s speech was followed by a lively question and answer session. The vote of thanks given by one of the organisation’s officers commended Mr. Droussiotis for a most interesting and informative – as well as timely – speech.
Mr Droussiotis expressed his pleasure at being given an opportunity to meet and speak to Forward in Europe members in the North West of the country, saying: “ Forward in Europe is a progressive organisation that recognises the important and life-changing potential of a strong European Union in a multi-polar world. The current crisis in the Eurozone is troubling and illustrates the need for the European Union to reform so that it can preserve its institutional unity, guided by the all important principle of community solidarity. We need a better, more effective and more sustainable Europe based on democracy, growth and prosperity and a Union that is more relevant to its citizens. These are key priorities of Cyprus’s six-month presidency of the European Union and represent a vision for a fairer and more socially cohesive Europe. It is within that vision and based on the values of the European Union that Cyprus can again be reunited.
“It is important for the Federation to develop close links with other UK organisations nationally and it is always a pleasure to spread a deeper understanding of Cyprus, its history, its struggles and its future potential. During a period of well-documented economic hardship it is important to remind people of Cyprus’s many strengths, both economically and politically, and I was honoured to be given this platform tonight.”
The dinner was held in the Longlands Hotel, Tewitfield, in the Lake District, under the auspices of the organisation’s patrons, the Lords Lieutenant of Cumbria and Lancashire; Sir James Cropper KCVO, FCA, Lord Shuttleworth, Sir Christopher Audland KCMG, DL, Lord Inglewood and Tony Cunningham MP.