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The EU as an Actor in the Solution of the Cyprus Dispute: The Questions of 'How'?

Author(s): H. Tarik Oguzlu

Journal: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
ISSN 1617-5247

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2002;
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Keywords: Cyprus | Cyprus Question | European Union | EU accession | Greek Cypriots | Turkish Cypriots | Federal Cyprus | Centralization

This article argues that, despite the optimistic expectations of the international community, the accession process of the Republic of Cyprus with the European Union (EU) has so far only contributed to further 'securitization' and 'perpetuation' of the conflict. It is argued that the dangers of EU membership of a divided Cyprus would far outweigh the expected benefits. As a consequence, the paper contends that if the EU wants to make a constructive contribution to the resolution of the Cyprus dispute, it should adopt a new approach-one that foresees the active support of the European countries to the EU membership of a loosely-centralized federal Cyprus. Compared to the traditional sovereign sensitive approaches, the author argues that neither the confederal approach of the Turkish Cypriots nor the tightly-centralized federal approach of the Greek Cypriots could find a niche within the post-modern and post-Westphalian environment of the European Union. Given that the EU is the only institution that could affect the incentive-matrixes of the interested parties in the conflict, the author concludes that a change of mind is required by the EU for a breakthrough to come about.
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