Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Friday that Europe needs to tackle “taboo” questions threating the project and warned against a Europe of isolation, protectionism and populism.
Petrides, who was addressing the 14th The Economist conference, in Nicosia said that “we, here in Cyprus, owe a lot to Europe, as of course most of the European countries do.”
“We owe our security to be a part of the bigger European family. We owe our prosperity to open borders and trade. And neither our security or prosperity can be guaranteed if we lived in a Europe and a world of isolation, protectionism and populism,” he stressed.
In particular he referred to the need of Europe to address its position on matter such as its socioeconomic direction and its position on internal security, migration, refugees and diversity, as well as its geopolitical relations with countries such as Turkey, Russia and Syria.
“If the EU is about to survive it has to offer answers to the “taboo” questions that threaten its very existence,” he pointed out.
“In the absence of Europe repositioning itself on those topics, extremists of various likes challenge the mainstream political elite by providing their own answers and put in jeopardy the European project itself,” he added.
Petrides stressed that such questions must be addressed if the European Project is to survive.
He said a shared future of peace and prosperity cannot be possible with those who see the retreat to the nation state as the solution to absolutely everything.
It is against those populists who we have to redefine and defend our common basis of values, he pointed out.
(Cyprus News Agency)