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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-03-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the European Union Committee of the Regions (CoR) Luc Van den Brande has said that the Committee is preparing an opinion to address the Cyprus question at local level, but reserved the right to say more at the next plenary session of the CoR in April. He pointed out that the direct talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus offer a window of opportunity to end the division of the island, noting at the same time that the European Union has a role to play in the resolution of the problem. A confederation, he added, is not a long-term or even a mid-term approach and stressed that the solution in Cyprus has to be a compromise.

    In an interview with CNA, on the occasion of his recent visit here, Van den Brande said that the CoR was created in 1994 by the Treaty of Maastricht with the aim to raise the voice of local and regional people in the European Union. In April we will commemorate fifteen years since the establishment of the CoR, he noted.

    He added that CoR is a consultative body composed of representatives of regional and local authorities of the 27 EU member states, noting that it is consulted by the European Commission and the Council of Ministers on a wide range of areas that have local or regional implications, such as economic and social cohesion, the environment, health, culture, education and transport. He pointed out that CoR role will evolve over time so as to take part in the co-decision legislative procedure of the EU, adding that he is making efforts to enhance the institutional capacity of the CoR by widening the inter-institutional relation with the European Parliament.

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