On July 5 Cyprus took over the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) from Denmark. Coming at the heels of a request for emergency financial assistance from EU authorities, Cyprus will face a tough task in steering Europe’s policy-making at a crucial time of the fiscal crisis. Moreover, the Cypriot presidency also marks the first time in the history of the EU that a candidate country – Turkey- does not even recognise the country presiding over the Council. Notwithstanding, Cyprus has announced an ambitious agenda based on four main priorities:
a more efficient and viable Europe;
a Europe with a more efficient economy based on growth;
a Europe which means more to its citizens, with solidarity and social cohesion;
a Europe in the world and closer to its neighbours.
The new presidency also inherited a number of ‘unfinished’ items
from its Danish predecessor - it will take over the negotiations for the Multiannual Financial Framework, Erasmus for All, and the Horizon 2020 programme to name a few
. As for the area of higher education, the primary focus will be on successfully pushing forward the discussions and reaching an agreement on Erasmus for All. Quality assurance and modernisation of higher education (including internationalisation) will equally receive the presidency’s attention
but find themselves ranked below literacy, equity, and excellence in vocational education and training on the to-do list.
The Cypriot presidency of the Council will end on January 1, 2013, when the rotating leadership will be handed over to Ireland.
Cypriot EU Presidency
Cypriot EU Presidency (Education priorities)