By James Ker-Lindsay
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Extra resources for An Island in Europe: The EU and the Transformation of Cyprus
As Papadopoulos put it in his famous televised philippic on 7 April: One can reasonably ask what will be the repercussions if the people vote ‘No’ at the referendum. If the sovereign people reject the Plan by their vote, the Republic of Cyprus will become a full and equal member of the European Union. e. 25 Another powerful argument in favour of rejection was that Cyprus would be in a stronger position to get a better deal once it was inside the EU. ’26 The guarantee of accession not only took away the major incentive to compromise, but made it – at least from a rational approach’s logic – more lucrative to wait for a settlement after membership.
However, the election of a national hardliner on the part of the Greek Cypriots was never anticipated. It is rather unfortunate – or even ironic – that the ‘catalytic effect’, and with it a solution, failed to materialise due to Greek Cypriot intransigence. Conclusion The unusual decision to allow the accession of a divided country is most of all the product of Greek persistent diplomatic efforts. The Greek threats and the insistence on an unconditional admission of the Mediterranean island broke the EU neutral stance and forced the EU repeatedly into concessions.
In the second place, Turkey’s accession prospects would encourage Ankara not only to soften its tone over the Cyprus’ issue but, as long as Turkey was interested in a future as an EU Member State, to show a more conciliatory attitude. To state the matter differently, if Ankara did not want to see its EU accession prospect worsen, it would have to withdraw its soldiers, abandon any territorial claims, and persuade the political elite of the TRNC, especially its doyen Denktash, to endorse a (UN-brokered) solution.
An Island in Europe: The EU and the Transformation of Cyprus by James Ker-Lindsay