Prospects of Cyprus Settlement
Marmara Journal of European Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1-2 (2000), pp 59-74
The very factor that was being perceived by Turkish Cypriots prior to the December 1999 Helsinki European Council summit to pose the gravest danger to Cyprus settlement—namely, the European Union (EU) membership of Cyprus—may prove to be vital in settling the issue in the post-Helsinki period, provided the EU and the rest of the world community recognize the existence of two separate nations and two separate states on the island. In the light of historical realities and continued intransigence by Greek Cypriots, the establishment of federation or confederation in Cyprus is neither possible nor feasible. What is achievable is the division of the island into two states, which has already had a de facto existence since 1974 and, for which, the partition of British India into India and Pakistan over half century ago provides the most pertinent analogy. By resorting to this extreme option—that is, by giving de jure status to the existing partition in Cyprus—the international community, particularly the EU, may in fact start a reverse process, leading to the establishment of a two-states confederation in the initial phase and eventually a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation. As far as the question of the island’s membership in EU is concerned, Brussels should consider the option of admitting the two states of Cyprus, one Greek Cypriot and another Turkish Cypriot, separately for EU membership. In this context, some valid precedents are available. Full Text