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The Importance of the Cyprus Issue in terms of the Accomplishment of the ESDP

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

METU INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT IRS 3140558 The Making of European Security Prof.Dr.Mustafa T�RKES 'CYPRUS-TURKEY-EU TRIANGLE' The Importance of the Cyprus Issue in terms of the Accomplishment of the ESDP BURCU SE�KINER 1458595 April 2006 Abstract....................................................................................... 3 Introduction................................................................................... 4 EU- TURKEY- CYPRUS TRIANGLE................................................... 5 I. History of the Conflict and the EU's Intervention * Living in Disharmony II. Cold War Times................................................................ 7 * NATO vs. WEU III. Post-Cold War and the EU.................................................... 8 * The transformation process of EU's stance............................. 9 * Helsinki Summit........................................................... 11 IV. Positions of the Related Countries with regard to the Security Perspective of Turkey's Candidacy and the EU's Enlargement........................ 12 * Turkey's Position * Greece's Position........................................................... 13 * The European Union's Position.......................................... 14 Conclusion.................................................................................... 15 Bibliography.................................................................................. 16 ABSTRACT The Cyprus issue is a matter of intense dispute between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. It is also a major matter of dissension between Turkey and Greece, standing alongside other matters at stake between the two states in the Aegean, where disputed ownership of some craggy isle, or more substantially, bitter disagreements over territorial waters or oil prospecting rights, crop up from time to time, in what is an unresolved situation.1 One of the reasons, perhaps the principal reason, for the Cyprus dispute is each side's intense historical memory and conviction that history has done it an injustice. Cyprus, both directly and indirectly, has been of central significance in the development of a common European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Since ESDP acquired institutional shape at Cologne in June 1999 and assumed military ambitions at Helsinki in December 1999, one of the most serious problems has been that of associating with the project the non-EU members of NATO. These countries had previously been fully involved in European security and defence cooperation through the flexible structures and processes of the Western European Union (WEU). The de facto demise of WEU and the transfer of security competence to the EU effectively closed the door in the face of several key allies, notably Turkey. ...read more.

Middle

Another significant factor was the presence of Greece giving full support to the membership of the Greek Cypriot Administration, which successfuly utilized the Turkey's application to satisfy the Greek claims over the island. As the EU started to appear more and more on the stage, one might expect that the USA would stand against it, however, it has been the opposite. The USA, especially after the Cold War, had the belief that the best solution to get rid of this long-lasting conflict was the membership of Turkey to the EU, as a last step towards its incorporation to the western international community, and with the idea that as both Cyprus and Turkey wanted to become an EU member, there was nothing wrong with the EU's interference in the issue. Perhaps we may say that the US wanted to share the burden of such a critical political issue with the EU. * The transformation process of EU's stance When studying the change in the EU's attitudes over the Cyprus issue, we may divide the process into three periods: 1 - First period (1989-1994): We have seen before in this paper that during the Cold War the EU's place in the Cyprus dispute was insignificant. Infact, it may be fair to say that many European Union member states have not been too eager to take Cyprus up into the Union. The island's conflict poses a number of difficult questions about the territorial boundaries of the EU law and the acquis communautaire, and also about the Union being drawn into a conflict.10 The application for accession by the Greek Cypriot administration to the European Communities dates back to 1990. In 1993, the European Commission judged positively the feasibility of the accession of Cyprus to the EC but initially suggested that the question of the division of the island was to be resolved first. It was felt at that stage that in the absence of a prior settlement, the application of Community law and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms could not be guaranteed on the whole of the island. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rather than seeking to tackle specific Turkish issues such as human rights or the Cyprus question on a singular basis, the EU should try to formulate a cohesive and strategic approach in its relationship with Turkey by looking at the complete picture.16 CONCLUSION The parties involved in Cyprus are either a part of, or have special relations with the EU and and can appreciate and support a European initiative on Cyprus. The EU, which has repeatedly expressed its concern over the lack of settlement on the island, is now in a unique position to play a role in bringing about permanent peace and stability on the Mediterranean island and the region.17 The best solution for the Cyprus dispute would be to negotiate on the grounds of the Annan Plan which reflected that the security in Europe in general and the Eastern Mediterranean in particular would be more easily realized by Turkey's true presence in the western international community by its EU membership. It is not only the wish of the two nations but also the will of the international community to end the dispute in the island which has been a home for various ancient civilizations and today the home of two nations differing in their language, religion and nationality, however sharing the same identity of being a Cypriot above all. Although there are many factors which need to be resolved, and, with the addition of the EU into the process now more states involved in the issue to obtain a settlement, it is highly dependent on the decisiveness and efforts of the both nations to achieve a peaceful and fair settlement acceptable to both Cypriot communities through negotiations and appeal to all sides to refrain from all actions which might jeopardize efforts for a settlement. Rather than using the Cyprus dispute to underline Turkey's non-European security identity and to oppose its membership, the everlasting resolution of the Cyprus dispute on the basis of Annan Plan might accelarate Turkey's admission to EU by contributing to coming closer to the Union in terms of the organizing principles of security in Europe. ...read more.

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