OPINION

Need for a European solution

The decision to invite the Republic of Cyprus into the European Union constituted a qualitative step in the Mediterranean island’s course since Turkey’s 1974 invasion. This is neither because the Greek Cypriots will receive any economic benefit from joining the Union – the opposite seems more likely – nor because they will become more secure, as the EU possess no security mechanism for safeguarding its members. Rather, it is because, for the first time, a national political goal was achieved in spite of Ankara’s persistent antagonism. The Copenhagen decision, indeed, spawned new momentum which has automatically rendered UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s blueprint obsolete by virtue of its post-colonial conception and inability to function. Several government cadres in Athens and Nicosia have tried to depict skepticism toward the UN plan as absurd, naively suggesting that those who reject the proposed solution are essentially backing the island’s permanent partition. This, however, is a spurious dilemma and the primary objection to the Annan plan concerns the fact that it suspends automatic compliance to the EU’s acquis communautaire, while allowing the formation of a non-viable state within the EU. It’s a plan which is bound to lead to partition sooner or later. In order to sustain the momentum of the Copenhagen decision, we need a solution that is perfectly in tandem with the EU’s acquis communautaire – something that will have to be drafted by the European Commission and the European Council and not by outsiders. What we need today is not to embrace the UN plan in order to please the planners, rather, we need a solution that will forge Cyprus into a genuinely single European state that is fit to function in the Union. No one can carry out this mission but the EU.