Joseph S. Joseph


This article explores the search for a settlement of the Cyprus problem and the prospects of Cyprus joining the EU and becoming part of "the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe." The presentation and analysis of issues revolves around two principal questions: first, why so many efforts, carried out by the UN or in the name of the UN have failed to solve the problem? And second, can the EU and Cyprus's prospects of joining the Union help in the search for a settlement on Cyprus? It is argued that the EU, which has repeatedly expressed its concern over the lack of a settlement on the island, is now in a unique position to play a role In bringing about permanent peace and stability on Cyprus and in the region. With Cyprus's accession, the institutions, legal order, principles and policies of the EU - the acquis communautaire - can provide a conducive framework in the search for a long overdue political settlement on Cyprus. In other words, the European integration process can be used as an instrument for conflict resolution. An underlying assumption is that a political settlement of the Cyprus problem has the potential of producing only winners. If a solution is combined with accession of Cyprus to the EU, the benefits will increase considerably for all parties involved in Cyprus or concerned over peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.