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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 13:41 GMT
European panel: Costa Ioannides
MEET THE PANEL
Costa Ioannides
Name: Costa Ioannides
Age: 29
Lives: Nicosia, Cyprus
Works: Events organiser
The EU to me in 10 words or less: "A prospect for justice, progress and reconciliation for all Cypriots"

The main issues that should be discussed at the EU summit are the reform of the CAP, the reduction of the UK rebate and the revival of the European Constitution.

Given EU enlargement, the redistribution process must be reformed as soon as possible with the UK conceding its rebate and the older members abandoning the subsidisation of inefficient farming methods.

Such reforms are inevitable - it's just a matter of when.

Rather than creating more ill will between nations, the older EU member states should bite the bullet now rather than delaying progress and adversely affecting public opinion and faith in the EU.

As far as the UK's EU presidency is concerned, its aversion to Europe is clear through its insistence on limiting EU funding, and by blatantly following a US-aligned policy with regards to making concessions over Turkey's accession talks.

Recent comments made by Sir Charles Crawford, the British Ambassador to Warsaw, characterising the CAP as "the most stupid, immoral state-subsidised policy in human history", do little to inspire confidence in the UK's position.

EUROPEAN PANEL: EU SUMMIT
What is required at the summit is a valuable consensus on the urgent issues at hand and less focus on national interests and bickering.

Naturally, with short-sighted politicians looking to score political points with their electorate back home, it's difficult to see progress being made on anything from the budget to reforming the EU democratic process within the newly formed 25-member block.

Closer to home, the Cypriot government has been cautious in dealing with the issue of Turkey opening accession talks with the EU.

Although clearly distrustful of British motives on the issue, the Cypriot government, led by President Papadopoulos, was careful not to escalate this clearly volatile and emotive situation.

Instead the government here has chosen to pursue a policy of patience and trust in the EU's legal processes and universal basic principles.





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