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Michael Attalides

Abstract

The complex interrelations between Cyprus membership of the EU and processes connected with the ongoing attempts to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem are central issues in the contemporary Cyprus political scene and have become issues for the European Union. In this paper it is argued that the main parameters of these issues were set by developments between 1999, with the decisions on Cyprus and Turkey of the Helsinki European Council, and 2004, with the referenda in Cyprus on the Annan Plan. It is argued that accession to the EU was made possible by the processes which were set in train by the Conclusions of the European Council of Helsinki in December, 1999, and that despite the fears and criticisms expressed from many sides, the complex of events and processes form an instance of a degree of Europeanization of a conflict situation. Despite this, accession did not result in a solution of the Cyprus problem. The reasons for this include difficulties connected with the frequently overlooked factors that Turkey only agreed to effective negotiations after the Cyprus accession treaty was signed, and also because of the ongoing survival of the ‘acquis’ of the intercommunal negotiations since 1974, which seems to have been specifically exempted from Europeanization.

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Keywords

Cyprus, Turkey, negotiations, European Union, accession, Europeanization, conditionality, acquis, `

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