Prospects for solving the Cyprus problem and the role of the European Union

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    Abstract

    Although the Cyprus problem is basically an international question and a geopolitical issue, the problem's domestic aspects are directly related to its international dimension. Resolution of the problem's domestic aspects, within the framework of a federal constitutional arrangement based on the high-level agreements of 1977 and 1979, the relevant United Nations resolutions, and the provisions of the European Union acquis communautaire is perhaps possible. A federal system is a compromise between a unitary state, as initially desired by the Greek Cypriot majority-community, and a confederation, as currently pursued by the Turkish Cypriot minority-community with the support of Turkey. Nevertheless, even though federation is the agreed framework for a solution, a sizable proportion of Greek Cypriots express misgivings about a federal solution because they fear that what is actually being discussed is a system lying between federation and confederation. A viable federal solution would create a pluralist democratic state with a market-oriented economy in the Eastern Mediterranean. Given that the Republic of Cyprus is on its way to joining the EU, the EU could play a substantive role in promoting such an outcome. From a geopolitical perspective, a united Cyprus, as a member of the EU, would be an asset to the EU and also contribute to stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-239
    Number of pages23
    JournalPublius
    Volume30
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000

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