The Cypriot EU presidency, which begins in July, hopes to have EU budget talks finalized by the end of the year, EUobserver reported Wednesday.
A Cypriot source whose name was not reported told EUobserver the EU's third-smallest member will be tackling the Union's biggest problem, money. The EU is in the process of working out details on its $1.3 trillion-plus, seven-year budget.
"It's the big bang in the EU because everything gets put on the table -- own resources [automatic revenue funneled directly into the EU budget], administrative spending, external aid, cohesion, agriculture," the source said. "We're really ambitious to finalize [the budget talks] by the end of the year ... if it is not possible, we at least want to reach a stage where an agreement is within reach."
The six-month Cypriot presidency hopes to address EU rules on asylum seekers and a new maritime policy, the source told EUobserver.
Turkey, Cyprus' biggest neighbor and source of conflict, has said it will boycott Cyprus-chaired EU meetings. The source said Cyprus plans to invite Turkey to EU meetings "as if there was no particular problem ... it's up to them to decide what they want to do."
Cyprus and Turkey are locked in a 40-year-dispute over territory in northern Cyprus.