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During its Presidency, Cyprus will work Τowards a Better Europe, more relevant to its citizens and to the world; meaning a more effective Europe, contributing to growth and job creation. A European Union working on the basis of the underlying principle of solidarity, committing itself to a better future, promoting social cohesion and providing hope to its citizens; a European Union, with an enhanced role in the international scene.  All efforts will be directed to bequeath a better Europe to the younger generations. The priorities of the Cyprus Presidency are: Europe, more efficient and sustainable. Europe, with a better performing and growth economy. Europe, more relevant to its citizens, with solidarity and social cohesion. Europe in the world, closer to its neighbours. Τhe four priorities are further elaborated in the six month Programme of the Presidency, which can be found here. In connection with Criminal and Civil matters, the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency of the European Council are as follows: Creditors in a more advantageous position.

At present, a creditor seeking to recover his debt in another Member State faces significant difficulties. The Cyprus Presidency will place great emphasis on further promoting the Proposal for a European Account Preservation Order to Facilitate Cross Border Debt Recovery.  Basically, the proposed Regulation will establish a new and self-standing European procedure for the preservation of bank accounts which will enable a creditor to prevent the transfer or withdrawal of his debtor's assets in any bank account located in the European Union. Simplification of the legislative framework for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The Presidency will finalise the work for the adoption of the amendment of Brussels I Regulation (Recast of the Regulation on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgment in Civil and Commercial Matters), which constitutes an indispensable tool for resolving cross-border disputes in civil and commercial matters involving EU citizens. The recast proposal aims at simplifying the existing rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial cases and abolishing obstacles regarding cross-border enforcement of judgments, in favour of, inter alia, consumers and employees. Enhancing the Procedural rights of suspects and accused persons.

The Cyprus Presidency will give emphasis on the roadmap concerning the procedural rights of the suspected and accused persons in criminal proceedings. More specifically, the Directive on access to a lawyer will be a high priority during the Cyprus Presidency aiming to conclude the negotiations on this proposal. Protecting the internal market to aid development. The Cyprus Presidency will give emphasis on the Directive concerning insider dealing and market manipulation. This Directive aims to increase investor confidence and market integrity by prohibiting those who possess inside information from trading in related financial instruments and by prohibiting the manipulation of markets through practices such as spreading false information or rumours and conducting trades which secure prices at abnormal levels.

Furthermore, the Directive ensures the effective implementation of EU policies through criminal law. EU criminal law can foster the confidence of citizens in using their right to free movement and to buy goods or services from other member states through a more effective fight against crime and providing minimum criminal sanctions for these offences. It follows that the adoption of EU criminal law measures, in view of the cross-border dimension of many crimes, can help ensure that criminals can neither hide behind borders nor abuse differences in national legal systems for criminal purposes. The Directive narrows down the possibility for criminals to choose the Member State with the most lenient sanctioning system in certain crime areas. A certain degree of approximation of the national laws prevents the existence of such “safe havens”.

Furthermore, common minimum rules can enhance the mutual trust between member states and the national judiciaries. Property disputes between former spouses and registered partners. A great number of European citizens live with their spouse or partner in a member state other than their member state of origin. Consequently, in case they separate or get divorced, they are subject to different legal regimes within the EU. The Cyprus Presidency aims to further promote the two legislative proposals concerning property disputes between former spouses and registered partners. These proposals aim to establish a legal framework that will deal with these issues and facilitate the free circulation of judgments in the EU.

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