Memorandum from Niyazi Eren
EU AND BRITISH
British and EU utterances on Cyprus, if continued,
will do irreparable damage to the talks initiated by Mr. Denktas.
The direct talks started in good faith on 16 January 2002 must
be given a chance to succeed. The British and the EU must stop
rocking the boat.
It is often emphasised by the EU (and endorsed
by Britain) that a solution to the Cyprus problem is not a precondition
for Cyprus to become a member of the EU. This is a point which
is legally in dispute. There is a substantial body of legal opinion
which states that this would be against the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.
Only a judicial review can settle this legal issue. But more to
the point is the fact that this is also not what is written in
the Helsinki Agreement. The British and the EU are acting irresponsibly
and indeed against their own stated principles (see below) in
adopting this position. The EU and Britain must exert equal pressure
on both parties and not on the Turkish Cypriots alone. This can
easily be done by emphasising the more relevant conditions set
down by the Helsinki European Council Report, 10 & 11 December
1999 paragraph 4 namely:
1. "The candidate States are participating
in the accession process on an equal footing"
2. "They must share the values and objectives
of the European Union as set out in the Treaties. In this respect
the European Council stresses the principle of peaceful settlement
of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter and
urges candidate States to make every effort to resolve any outstanding
border disputes and other related issues."
3. "Failing this they should within
a reasonable time bring the dispute to the International Court
4. "The European Council will review
the situation relating to any outstanding disputes, in particular
concerning the repercussions on the accession process and in order
to promote their settlement through the International Court of
Justice, at the latest by the end of 2004."
Paragraph 9(b) of the above Report states as
"The European Council underlines that a
political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to
the European Union. If no settlement has been reached by the completion
of accession negotiations, the Council's decision on accession
will be made without the above being a precondition. In this the
Council will take account of all relevant factors."
This paragraph properly read does not negate
paragraph 4 above. All it means is that a decision on accession
will be made whether there is a solution or not, and whilst making
this decision all relevant factors will be taken into account,
including the fact that there has not been a solution. Indeed,
since "the Council underlines that a political settlement
will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the EU", logically,
it could be argued (and no doubt will be by some when the time
comes) that a non-settlement will not facilitate its accession,
because that is one of the factors to be taken into account together
with the factors emphasised in paragraph 4 above. There can be
no other interpretation of Paragraph 9(b). Otherwise, Paragraph
4 would serve no purpose at all and it might as well have been
left out altogether.
How can the EU advocate that Cyprus will become
a full member of the EU, divided as it is, and without a solution,
given the fact that a solution is indeed one of the relevant factors
to be decided on, as clearly stated in the Helsinki Report quoted
above? The EU and Britain should stop pre-empting the EU Council's
decision. They should confine their comments to what is stated
in the Helsinki Agreement which is binding all signatories including
Turkey. Only thus can the EU make a positive contribution towards
a lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem.