The divided island’s Foreign Ministry is in the process of re-evaluating the Green Line Regulation in a bid to tackle existing problems and make it more effective.
This is what Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides told the House Foreign and European Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
Committee members were briefed on the European Commission’s sixteenth report on the implementation of the Regulation which is to be tabled before the Council this week.
“After meetings with organised groups and talks during the Informal Foreign Affairs Council, we are now in the process of re-evaluating all data from the Green Line Regulation,” the Minister said.
“Cyprus, in fact, goes one step further and proposes counter trade, that is from the government-controlled area of the Republic to the occupied territory, so as to boost commercial activity between the two sides,” he added.
The Green Line Regulation entered into force on May 1, 2004. It defines the terms under which provisions of EU law apply to the movement of persons, goods and services across the line between the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the government does not exercise effective control and the areas in which it does.
Christodoulides also said that consultations with relevant ministries is ongoing on issues such as food hygiene and/or safety which are top priority for the Republic of Cyprus.
The European Commission has recommended that the Regulation gets extended to also include the transport of processed products such as juices and tahini – a prospect which is received reluctantly by Nicosia. Because this is something to be debated when the political state of play allows, insiders say.
According to official statistics, the total value of goods with accompanying documents crossing the Green Line rose by 1.4% to €4,856,892 in 2018 compared to €4,790,964 the year before.