Cyprus: What is a comprehensive settlement? (1)

Cyprus: What is a comprehensive settlement? (1)

As the Cyprus talks apparently land at yet another standstill, it is high time to look into what the parameters are that the Turkish Cypriot side envisions must be encompassed in a comprehensive settlement on the eastern Mediterranean island

Turkish Cypriots view a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus as an inescapable necessity for promoting peace and stability, not only on the island of Cyprus, but also in the region. That is contrary to the persistent efforts of the Greek Cypriot side to convert the talks into a “constitutional exercise.” The Turkish Cypriot side wants the talks to end up with an accord that would provide a resolution that foresees de facto creation of a “parthenogenesis,” or “virgin birth,” partnership state for the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot peoples of the island. 

Accordingly, this would have effective legislative, executive and judicial functions and institutions, and would possess a single international personality reflecting and recognizing the equal status of its co-founders. That is, unlike the 1960 partnership of the Republic of Cyprus, the new partnership state would not be established on a universal “seven-to-three” ratio. Rather, the new state would be established on the principle of the full political equality of the two founding polities.

Thus, at the level of the senate where the two founding states would be represented, the ratio would be 5/5. However, in order to reflect the demographic reality, a seven-to-three ratio in favor of Greek Cypriots would be adhered to at the House of Representatives, employment at federal offices, and such. The federation must also have a rotation-presidency system in order to underline the equality of the two founding states.

The Turkish side would also join the EU when an accord is completed, of course. But to prevent upset of the “outer balance” of the sensitive Cyprus equilibrium, special provisional rights ought to be given to Turkey for the maintenance of balance between Turkey and EU-member Greece vis-a-vis their relations with the new EU-member Cyprus “Partnership State.” Turkish nationals, for example, should enjoy the three liberties (settlement, ownership of property, and movement) confined to Cyprus until Turkey joins in the EU. Accompanying this, of course, Greek Cypriots could get cross voting (the possibility of the two communities having a ten percent effect on the outcome of the presidential vote of the other community).

The new federation would be sovereign as per the competencies and functions assigned to it by its co-founders. Residual powers would rest with the co-founder states. Consequently, while the co-founder states would retain a layer of sovereignty in the form of residual powers, one layer of sovereignty would be assigned to the “Partnership State,” and another layer transferred to Brussels as a result of accession to the EU. Naturally, since the new federation would be a parthenogenesis one, the EU accession treaty with Cyprus should be scrapped and a new one made. Thus, the derogations made in Acquis Communitaire by the Cyprus deal would become the EU’s primary law and could not be challenged at European courts.

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