Stelios Stavridis


The existing academic literature argues that the EU’s enlargement policy provides for peace and democracy among applicant states. Central and Eastern European countries are cited as recent examples of such a process following the historic events of 1989-1991. Previous examples include Greece and the Iberian countries in the 1970s. Now that the Republic of Cyprus has joined the EU and that Turkey has begun its accession negotiations, this article argues that in both cases (Cyprus and Turkey), the EU has not acted in such a positive way, especially in failing to bring the Turkish occupation of the north of Cyprus to an end. This study then moves on to the new context of a possible future ‘European solution’ to the Cyprus Problem. It deals with this question both from a general perspective and from a
specific angle: the views of Cypriot MEPs. As for the time being there are only Greek-Cypriot MEPs because of the ongoing division of the Island, this article only addresses their concerns, ideas and suggestions. The article concludes that when taken within its diachronic evolution, the EU’s record has not been that positive. Therefore, it seems at this stage at least, that a ‘European solution’ to the Cyprus Problem is more a ‘false promise’ rather than a ‘real opportunity’. This piece does not discuss what a European solution would look like all the same. Another conclusion of this study is that the EU as a whole, but also the European Parliament, may be using the Cyprus situation as a means to block, or at least delay, Turkey’s accession, but without having any real interest in finding a solution to the ongoing Turkish occupation of nearly 40 per cent of Cyprus’ territory. The wider implications are important not only for the credibility of the EU as an international actor but also for the impact of its enlargement policy in the future.


Bahcheli, Tozun (2004) ‘Saying Yes to EU Accession: Explaining the Turkish Cypriot Referendum Outcome’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 55-65.

Basri Elmas, Hasan (1998) Turquie-Europe, une relation ambiguë. Paris, Syllepse.

Birand, Mehmet Ali (2004) ‘Papadopoulos Has Saved Us from Our Complex’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 105-108.

Brewin, Christopher (2000) The European Union and Cyprus. Huntington, Ethoen.

Brewin, Christopher (2004) Memo for Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Cyprus. House of Commons, London, 18 October 2004.

Catsiapis, Jean (1996) ‘L’ Union européenne et la crise gréco-turque d’Imia’, Études helléniques/Hellenic Studies, Autumn, pp. 155-165.

Chiclet, C. (1997) ‘Chypre aux portes de l’Union europeenne’, Politique internationale, No. 77, pp. 107-120.

Chislett, William (2004) European Commission Recommends Accession Negotiations with Turkey, but with Certain Conditions. ARI Paper No. 154/2004, Madrid, Elcano Royal Institute, 7 October 2004 [www.realinstitutoelcano.org], accessed 13 October 2004.

Christou, George (2002) ‘The European Union and Cyprus: The Power of Attraction as a Solution to the Cyprus Issue’, Journal of Ethnopolitics and Minorities Issues in Europe, Issue 2/2002 [www.ecmi.de], accessed 25 May 2005.

Coufoudakis, Van (2004) ‘Cyprus – The Referendum and its Aftermath’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 67-83.

Couloumbis, Theodore (1996) [in Greek] The Cyprus Issue: Errors, Lessons and Perspectives. Athens, Sideris.

Diez, Thomas (2000) Last Exit to Paradise [www.copri.dk], accessed 11 February 2005.

Drevet, Jean-Francois (2000) Chypre en Europe. Paris, L‘Harmattan.

Eloriagga, Gabriel (2004) La diplomacia parlamentaria. Madrid, Imagine Ediciones.

Faustmann, Hubert (2004) ‘Cyprus: Security Concerns and the Failure of the Annan Plan’, Südosteuropa Mitteilungen, pp, 44-68.

Fisher, Nora (2005) Turkey and the EU after 2004: A New Beginning in the Relationship? Report to the Panel Discussion held at the European Studies Centre, St Anthony’s College, Oxford University, Oxford, 7 March 2005.

Font, Nuria (2005) Turkey’s Accession to the EU: Interests, Ideas and Path Dependence, Quaderns de Treball No. 43/05, UAB, Barcelona [www.uab.es], accessed 9 June 2005.

Fouskas, Vassilis and Richter, Heinz (eds.) (2003) Cyprus and Europe – The Long Way Back. Mannheim, Bibliopolis.

Gordon, Philip (1998) ‘Storms in the Med Blow towards Europe’, The World Today, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 42-44.

Güney, Aylin (2001) ‘Turkey: beyond the Customs Union?’ in Attinà, Fulvio and Stavridis, Stelios (eds.), The Barcelona Process and Euro-Mediterranean Issues from Stuttgart to Marseille. Milan, Giuffré, pp. 201-225.

Güney, Aylin (2004) ‘The USA’s Role in Mediating the Cyprus Conflict: A Story of Success or Failure?’, Security Dialogue, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 27-42.

Hadjiantoniou, Katerina (2000) [in Greek] Prospects and Limitations in the Development of
Cyprus’ Defence Capacity – The Case of the S300s. Working Paper No. 6, Institute of Defence Analyses/IAA, Athens.

Heraclides, Alexis (2004) ‘The Cyprus Problem: An Open and Shut Case? Probing the Greek-Cypriot Rejection of the Annan Plan’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 37-54.

Hughes, Kirsty (2004) Turkey and the European Union: Just another Enlargement? Exploring the Implications of Turkish Accession. Friends of Europe Working Paper, Brussels, June 2004.

Insel, Ahmet (ed.) (1999) La Turquie et l’ Europe – une cooperation tumultueuse. Paris, L‘Harmattan.

International Expert Panel Report (2005) A Principled Basis for a Just and Lasting Cyprus Settlement in the Light of International and European Law. The Committee for a European Solution in Cyprus.

Ker-Lindsay, James (2006) ‘Presidential Power and Authority in the Republic of Cyprus’, Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 11, No. 1, March, pp. 21-37.

Kirisci, Kemal (2004) ‘Turkey and the European Union: The Domestic Politics of Negotiating Pre-Accession’, Macalester International Journal, Vol. 15.

Kyle, Keith (2004) ‘Twenty-one Years with Cyprus’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 109-112.

Loizos, Peter (2005) ‘The Greek Cypriots Referendum Vote on Annan Five: Perceptions of non-elite voters’. Unpublished paper that has been widely circulated among the academic community.

Lorca, Alejandro and Escribano, Gonzalo (2006) Perspectivas ante el inicio de las negociaciones de adhesión de Turquía la Unión Europea. Working Paper, Real Instituto Elcano, Madrid [www.realinstitutoelcano.org], April 2006.

Lordos, Alexandros (2004) Can the Cyprus Problem be Solved? Understanding the Greek Cypriot Response to the UN Peace Plan for Cyprus. An Evidence-based Study in Cooperation with Cymar Market Research Limited, Nicosia.

McLaren, Lauren and Müftüler-Baç, Meltem (2003) ‘Turkish Parliamentarians’ Perspectives on Turkey’s Relations with the European Union’, Turkish Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring, pp. 195-218.

Melakopides, Costas (2004) A Commentary on “Cyprus Gets off to a Bad Start in the EU”, Special Cyprus in the EU CY 01/2004, IUEE-UAB [www.uab.es/iuee], accessed Spring 2004.

Melakopides, Costas (2006) ‘Implications of the Accession of Cyprus to the European Union for Greek-Turkish and Euro-Turkish Relations’, Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1, Winter 2005-2006, pp. 73-101.

Moutsouglou, Vasilis (2000) [in Greek] Turkey in a Changing International Context and Greek-Turkish Relations – From the Lancaster House Meeting to the Helsinki Decision. Athens, Papazisi.

Müftüler-Bac, Meltem and McLaren, Lauren (2003) ‘Enlargement Preferences and Policy-Making in the European Union: Impacts on Turkey’, Journal of European Integration, Vol. 25, pp. 17-30.

Munuera, Gabriel (1994), Preventing Armed Conflict in Europe: Lessons from Recent Experience. Chaillot Paper Nos. 15/16, Paris, June 1994.

Nas, Cidgem (2005) EU and Turkey: Challenges and Opportunities in Enlargement and Foreign Policy. FORNET Plenary meeting, session II, Group IV, Brussels, 21-22 April [www.fornet.info], accessed 24 May 2005.

Nugent, Neil (2000) EU enlargement and the Cyprus Problem’, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 131-150.

Oguzlu, Tarik (2003), ‘An Analysis of Turkey’s Prospective Membership in the European Union from a “security” perspective’, Security Dialogue, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 285-299.

Palley, Claire (2005) An International Relations Debacle – The UN Secretary-General’s Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004. Oxford, Hart.

Pieridis, Kyriacos (2001) [in Greek] Europe in a Process of Change. Athens, Livani.

Richmond, Oliver (2005) ‘Shared Sovereignty and the Politics of Peace: Evaluating the EU’s “Catalytic” Framework in the Eastern Mediterranean’, International Affairs, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 149-176.

Robins, Philip (2003) ‘Confusion at Home, Confusion Abroad: Turkey between Copenhagen and Iraq’, International Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 3, pp. 547-566.

Rouleau, Eric (2000) ‘Turkey’s Dream of Democracy’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 6, November-December, pp. 100-114.

Savvides, Philippos (2002) Cyprus at the Gate of the European Union. ELIAMEP Policy Paper No.1, Athens, June 2002.

Soler, Eduard (2004) Chipre: una mala entrada. Editorial 13/2004, IUEE/UAB, Barcelona [www.uab.es/IUEE], accessed 19 August 2004.

Soler, Eduard (2005) ‘Debating on Turkey’s Accession: National and Ideological Cleavages in the European Parliament’ in Barbé, Esther and Herranz, Anna (eds.), The Role of Parliaments in European Foreign Policy – Debating on Accountability and Legitimacy. Office of the European Parliament in Barcelona, Barcelona, 2005, Chapter 4
[www.uab.es/iuee], accessed 21 October 2005.

Stavridis, Stelios (1991) ‘Foreign Policy and Democratic Principles: The Case of European Political Cooperation’. Unpublished PhD Thesis, LSE, London.

Stavridis, Stelios (2002) ‘Parliamentary Diplomacy’: Some Preliminary Findings. Jean Monnet Working Paper in Comparative and International Politics No. 48, Political Studies Department, Universita di Catania [www.fscpo.unict.it/euromed/cjmhome.htm], November 2002.

Stavridis, Stelios (2003) ‘The International Relations of the Cypriot Parliament’, Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, Vol. 5, No. 3, December, pp. 337-354.

Stavridis, Stelios (2005a) ‘La cuestión chipriota’ in José-Román Flecha, Andrés and García Nicolás, Cristina (eds.), El Mediterráneo en la Unión Europea ampliada. Salamanca, Publicaciones Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, pp. 31-56.

Stavridis, Stelios (2005b) The European Union’s Contribution to Peace and Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean (the so-called Athens-Nicosia-Ankara Triangle): a critique, Fundación Seminario de Investigación para la Paz, Zaragoza [www.seipaz.org], 30 November 2005.

Stavridis, Stelios (2006a) Why the EU’s ‘Constitutionalization’ and ‘Parliamentarization’ are Worsening the Existing Democratic Deficit in European Foreign and Defence Policies. Jean Monnet Working Paper in Comparative and International Politics No. 59, Jean Monnet Centre EuroMed, Department of Political Studies, Universita di Catania [www.fscpo.unict.it/euromed/cjmhome.htm], February 2006.

Stavridis, Stelios (2006b) ‘CYPRUS VOTES’: The Forthcoming 21 May 2006 Parliamentary Elections in the Shadow of the 2004 Annan Plan Referendum Results. Research Note, Fundación Seminario de Investigación para la Paz, Zaragoza [www.seipaz.org], 11 May 2006.

Stavridis, Stelios (2006c) Towards a ‘European Solution’ of the Cyprus Problem? Assessing the Views of Some (Greek-)Cypriots MEPs. Fundación Seminario de Investigación para la Paz, Zaragoza [www.seipaz.org], 22 May 2006.

Stavridis, Stelios (2006d) The European Parliament and the Cyprus Problem: A Preliminary – and Critical – Assessment. Institute of International Economic Relations Working Paper, Athens [www.idec.gr/iier], July 2006.

Stavridis, Stelios and Fernández Sola, Natividad (2005) Conceptualizing the EU as an International Actor after Enlargement, Constitutionalization and Militarization. University of Zaragoza’s Doctoral Programme on the European Union Working Papers Series, Zaragoza [www.unizar.es/union_europea], 17 May 2005.

Tezcan, Ercüment (2004) ‘La Turquie et l’Union européenne: le point sur les arguments des partisans et des adversaires de l’adhésion de la Turquie à l’Union européenne’. Revue du Marché commun et de l’Union européenne, No. 482, October-November, pp. 569-575.

Theophanous, Andreas (2004a) The Cyprus Question and the EU – The Challenge and the Promise. Nicosia, Intercollege Press.

Theophanous, Andreas (2004b) [in Greek] The Next Step: What Do We Do After the Annan Plan? Research Centre Note, Intercollege, Nicosia, July 2004.

Tocci, Nathalie (2004a) Reflections on Post-referendum Cyprus, EUI/RSCAS, Florence, June 2004.

Tocci, Nathalie (2004b) Conflict Resolution in the European Neighbourhood: The Role of the EU as a Framework and as an Actor. EUI Working Paper RSCAS No.2004/29, Florence.

Turunc, Garip (2001) La Turquie aux marches de l’Union européenne. Paris, L‘Harmattan.

Ülgen, Sinan and Zahariadis, Yiannis (2004) The Future of Turkish-EU Trade Relations –Deepening vs Widening, CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies) EU-Turkey Working Paper No. 5, Brussels, August 2004.

Vachudova, Milada (2005) Europe Undivided – Democracy, Leverage, and Integration after Communism. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Vaner, Semih (2004) ‘Por qué es necesaria la adhesión de Turquía’, Política Exterior, Vol. XVIII, No. 101, September-October, pp. 73-81.

Veremis, Thanos and Savvides, Philippos (2004) ‘Cyprus after the Referenda of April 24: What Next?’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 83-93.

How to Cite

“Towards a ’European Solution’ of the Cyprus Problem: False Promise or Real Opportunity?”. 2018. Cyprus Review 18 (1): 87-119. https://cyprusreview.org/index.php/cr/article/view/303.