The raising of the EU flag for Europe Day took place

Under the sounds of the anthem of the European Union

Screenshot 2 8 EU, PRESIDENT

To the sounds of the European Union (EU) anthem "Ode to Joy", the EU flag was raised on Thursday morning in the forecourt of the old Nicosia City Hall - Davila Bastion in Liberty Square, thus marking the start of the events for the Day of Europe.

The President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulidis, was also present at the event, who in his greeting said, among other things, that "in this great challenge to end the occupation and reunify our homeland, we look forward to the assistance of the EU, the biggest peace initiative in the people".

President Christodoulidis indicated that today's symbolic but also very meaningful ceremony is a reminder of the honor due, primarily, to the founders of the European edifice but also to those who are working today for the prevalence and implementation of European principles and values.

"Today, first and foremost, we commemorate the pioneers of the European family, to which we organically belong for 20 years. We owe unlimited gratitude to the founders of the Union, especially Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, who 74 years ago, after the disastrous World War II, planted the seed for a more peaceful world, for a better Europe," he said.

He added that twenty years after the accession, after the most important success of the Republic of Cyprus since its establishment in 1960, the positive catalytic changes from the accession to the EU are noticeable, noting that "in this twenty-year course, which was not without difficulties and challenges, together with our partners, together with the institutions, we faced unprecedented crises".

At the same time, the President of the Republic expressed the strong belief that joining the European Union has shielded and strengthened the Republic of Cyprus, a small state, which, as he said, has been under Turkish occupation for fifty years.

"In this great challenge to end the occupation and reunify our homeland, we look forward to the assistance of the European Union, the largest peace initiative in the world", said President Christodoulidis, indicating that the solution of the Cyprus problem will be a development that will contribute decisively and in consolidating the sense of security and creating conditions of stability in the wider Middle East region, a region adjacent to the EU.

He sent the message "that we will do everything possible - we know the problems, the difficulties, the challenges - so that the time will come when the wall of occupation will come down and in place of the barbed wire nature will find a way to give birth to trees, plants and flowers, so that 'dreams take revenge', as the poet prophetically insists."

President Christodoulidis said that he envisions a Cyprus for all its legal residents, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, a homeland of free European Citizens, members of the great European family, which has a population of half a billion people, from different cultures, religions, languages, which respects in action and not in words every person regardless of color, gender and social origin.

At the same time, speaking about the upcoming elections for the selection of new members of the European Parliament, the President praised the importance of the mass participation of citizens at the ballot box, saying that "it will also send a resounding message of our desire for a more united, more efficient and more solidarity".

The European Commissioner responsible for health and food safety, Stella Kyriakidou, said that today, 74 years ago, Robert Schuman set his vision for uniting Europe, building and maintaining peace and of prosperity.

He added that from the ashes of war emerged the largest peace plan in recent history noting that "in May 2004, together with 9 other countries, Cyprus became part of the largest enlargement in the history of the EU".

“As we reflect on the past 20 years, we recognize how being part of this unique European family has transformed the way we work, the way we travel, opened up countless new opportunities. It gives us hope that future generations will live in a Union where their rights and freedoms are guaranteed, freedoms we should never take for granted," said Ms Kyriakidou.

"The freedoms and democracy we know must be nurtured to thrive give us hope that our country will be reunited," he said.

He further noted that the European anthem, "Ode to Joy", is about peace and is against war and despair saying that "this is what our European Union stands for. Hope, peace, prosperity, solidarity. We are stronger together."

The Head of the Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus, Andreas Kettis, said that 74 years ago today, on the day of the Schuman Declaration, Europe was in a deep crisis, still completely devastated by the effects of the Second World War and looking for politically a path to ensure that the atrocities of war could never be repeated.

He added that "we should never forget that the EU above all else is a political project for Peace and Prosperity on our continent" noting that the continuation of the war in Ukraine as well as in the Middle East are events that they further emphasize to everyone the value of Peace.

At the same time, Mr. Kettis mentioned that this year's celebration of Europe Day, exactly one month before the European elections, makes its symbolism more important than ever, emphasizing that "let us have no doubt that the upcoming European elections will be of decisive importance for the future and of 448 million European citizens".

The Mayor of Nicosia, Konstantinos Giorkatzis, stated that in the same place (the old Nicosia City Hall) the citizens celebrated the accession of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004 noting that "the essence of the European Union from 1950 to today was and remains peace and above prosperity, mobility, freedom and open-mindedness were built on it".

Mr. Yorkatzis said that "the contribution of European resources to Nicosia is reflected here par excellence with the regeneration of Freedom Square, but also of the entire center of the capital in general". Speaking about the Cyprus problem, the Mayor of Nicosia stated that the European Union and each individual member state must put pressure on Turkey and claim for Cyprus and all its citizens, while underlining the need for solidarity between the member states. He also stated that the EU must actually help to reduce illegal and instrumentalized migration flows.

After the speeches, the raising of the flag of the European Union followed by the anthem of the European Union "Ode to Joy" played by the philharmonic orchestra of the Cyprus Police.

The ceremony was attended by, among others, the President of the Parliament, members of the Government, leaders or representatives of parties, MPs, Ambassadors of EU member countries and other officials. The event was organized by the Municipality of Nicosia.

Source: KYPE