EjSBS - The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

Online ISSN: 2301-2218
European Publisher

The Effects of European Union Border Security Policies on Cyprus Conflict

Abstract

One of the common policies of the European Union is the removal of internal border controls. When the Schengen system has put into practice, Member State expectations regarding external borders has become a common interest. Thus, the EU countries not only improved the security of the outer borders on common standards, but also the use of common elements of information sharing, liaison, education projects and joint operations in terms of border security. In the enlargement process, European Union has implemented different criteria to candidates of separate profiles. However she couldn’t develop policies towards different structured union countries on border security. During the enlargement process, Cyprus case constituted an example. With accepting the existing dispute does not constitute an obstacle to the process on membership of Greek Cypriot Administration to the EU as the sole representative of Cyprus, it has created contradictory situation within the designed criteria. In accordance with the enlargement principles, the conditions for resolution of border disputes required from other members have not been met by Greek Cypriot Administration. Within this regard, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate European Union Border Security Policies in the frame of Cyprus Conflict. It intends to provide a projection on harmonization of legal regulations within border security for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Presence of United Nations Force in Cyprus in the region would make this debate more comprehensive. In this study literature survey and recent official reports has been used. In conclusion, after EU’s enlargement, the establishment of “Integrated Europe Border Management Model” was a solution regarding exterior borders for the members apart from Cyprus. It is considered that the reason for decrease in trade between both parties is due to the atmosphere of insecurity besides latest crisis in economy of Cyprus. According to the recent reports of the UN Secretary-General on the UNFICYP, there is a significant decline in the number of illegal border crossings and violations of the military forces compared to previous years, which has the effect on improving mutual confidence.

Keywords: Border security, integrated border management model, European Union, Cyprus, UNFICYP

Introduction

The “border” concept is closely connected with the sovereignty of Westphalia system. In the case of Europe, border have reshaped modern nation state and beginning with the 19th century it was used as the "effective map" for the European colonial empires (Anderson & Borth, 2001, p. 15).

The argument that liberals point out is the increasing irrelevance of national borders to the conduct and organization of economic activity. They focus on the growth of free trade, the capacity of transnational corporations to escape political regulation and national legal jurisdiction. Even if the state is no longer prepared to insulate its citizens from the vicissitudes of the world economy, it is still expected to secure them from the threats. Only the state can meet these and many other challenges such as “border protection” and transnational crime. There are no market-based solutions to these dangers (Burchill, 2005).

EU enlargement and the inter-state and inter-societal integration it forges is a fundamental process of conflict resolution and peace building that is particularly relevant for the era of globalization. With the enlargement of the EU borders, the community’s possibility of facing new problems towards its exterior borders has been increased, so “Europe Integrated Border Management Model” which has been developed to solve problems (Diez, 2006).

Changes in the understanding of security make an effective border security system as a basic necessity for all countries. Besides, Border Security is considered as a common problem of every country. Border Security is playing an important role in the establishment of international cooperation and in confidence building. The weaknesses that countries show in their border security also affect neighbor countries and other countries as well. Specifically, with the approval of the free movement of people in the interior borders of the EU, border management in the neighbor countries have become important for all EU countries. There is a new and dynamic border management understanding that have been developed for the sake of finding common applications related to border checks within the EU Schengen legislation and other EU legal acquis. Such actions of the EU emerged “Integrated Border Management” approach. The new border management approach has a structure which requires cooperation and coordination with transportation firms, non-governmental organizations and institutions that have direct or indirect links with border management. This also aims to have open but controlled and safe borders (Akman, 2010).

The candidate states to EU membership need to solve the existence of border conflict in their region before their membership. In the framework of enlargement principals, the conditions related to the solution of the border conflicts which is applied to other candidate states, was not applied to the Greek Cypriot Administration. With the Treaty of Accession, which was put into practice in 2004, TRNC gained a new position in the EU level. In this protocol, TRNC soil was mentioned as “the Republic of Cyprus area which the government has not active control”. The implementation of community legal acquis in this region has been suspended. Related protocol puts forward that the measures can be taken for economic development “in the regions of Cyprus Republic that is not under the effective control of Cyprus Republic government” In this respect, European Council accepted the regulation, named as “Green Line Regulation”, which organizes the movement of good, service and people between the TRNC territory and the Cyprus Republic (EU Protocol 10, 2003).

The existence of seven border gates underestimates the embargoes on TRNC. Due to TRNC’s lack of recognition in the international arena, it is possible that the Greek Cypriot Administration would abuse TRNC’s weaknesses regarding its border security. In respect to the EU border security policies, on contrary to other member states’ exterior borders, a different model for Greek Cypriot Administration borders was not offered. It is possible to say that this situation was not consistent with EU policies who tried to stay away from conflicts (Demir, 2005).

From the view of the EU policies, the evaluation of the Cyprus Conflict, which has not yet showed progress and the issue of border security, could be regarded as a part of the problem. As a result of literature review; there is a need for inspection towards the EU border security policies and Cyprus border. With this study, it is aimed to provide a project with respect to the gaps on TRNC’s legislation with the EU border security policy.

The Removal of Interior Borders and Exterior Borders Problem in the EU

In addition to economic purposes, one of the primary aims of the EU is “the establishment of a better Union among the European people” as it is given in the Treaty of Rome. Hence, it’s a political union (TWAC, 1995, p. 22).

The EU is a political and economic organization composed of 27 member states as of year 2013. It is established after series of agreements. The Union which was established as European Coal and Steel Community and continued as European Economic Community, named as European Union after the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992. With this Treaty, common foreign affairs, security policies, justice and homeland affairs were began to be synchronized and developed. Furthermore, one of the aims of the Union was the removal of interior border checks. The implementation of this purpose was identified when Schengen legal acquis was added to the the Treaty of Amsterdam (Beşe, 2002).

Free movement in the interior borders has created more security need for the external borders. It was stated in the Treaty of Amsterdam that in addition to immigration and asylum seeking, the Council takes measures for external border checks, takes precautions for establishing free movement in the interior borders and also takes measures in relevant matters (EU Treaty of Amsterdam, 1999).

In the decisions of Council of Europe’s Tampere Summit; In order to stop the legal migration and to fight against the international crime organisations, it’s been emphasized to control external borders with consistent measures. In the decisions of Laeken Summit, it’s been emphasized the importance of the control of external borders, therefore management of external borders would have an important role against terrorism, illegal migration and human trafficking.

Moreover, Council of the European Union asked for an investigation for cooperation on external borders and common standards. (EU, 2009).

In the Schengen Agreement, essential principles and requirements for passes from external borders was identified (Schengen Agreement, 1985). In 2002, a Common Handbook had been prepared on the procedures and regulations of borders controls on passing the EU Zone and published on legal newspaper of the EU. In the document, it was stated that controls in external borders not only affected the country, it also affected the whole union. It was clearly emphasized that the interest of the EU should be taken into consideration. However, some legislation document was prepared to provide more operational cooperation, coordination, harmonisation and development of border units which were responsible for border watch and control, in order to put a standard for border organisation. This document was called “The Integration Management Plan of External Borders” (Akman, 2010).

The Integration Management of European Union External Borders

Council of the European Union has published “Towards the Integration Management on External Borders of EU Member States” in May 2002. The purpose of the document was suggesting a mechanism to provide the coordination in order to get together in the same strategy on versatile operations which belongs to the border offices of member states. In this document it was pointed out that joint border management would contribute to the EU security, and it would increase the understanding of the feeling of the EU citizenship, belonging to the same region and sharing the same faith. It was stated that the EU’s expanding process increases the need to intensify and maintain the civil security and the difficulty in organising the operational activities at the external borders. Moreover, “integrated border management” term was used in the document. Although EU’s security oriented approach, it was mentioned that integrated border management besides having an effect on the development of trade in member and third party countries and contribution for the movement speed of people, it has the function of increasing security, (Kısa, 2009).

As EU Commission’s purpose of external borders strategy defined at Laeken Summit Decision in 2001 has prepared a memorandum called “Management of the External Borders”. Consideration was given to measures relating to:

a common corpus of legislation,

a common coordination and operational cooperation mechanism,

common integrated risk analysis,

staff and interoperational equipment,

burden-sharing between Member States. (Council of the European Union, 2002: Annex 2).

In the External Borders Management Plan, integrated border security model was defined as four stages. This control policy was spread under the four supplementary stages with more activities. Activities in the third countries, countries with departure point or activities in transit countries, bilateral or international cooperation activities will be measured at the external borders and lands under the sovereignty. In the plan, one of the elements of the integrated border management was creating a common legislation. According to this fact, Schengen Borders Code was prepared and approved by EU Parliament and Council of the EU in 2006. The four stages approach which were used with integrated border security by External Security Management Plan and integration management of cooperation and coordination with member states (Council of the European Union, 2002: Annex 2).

Integrated border management is a concept consisting of the following dimensions:

− Border control (checks and surveillance) as defined in the Schengen Borders Code, including relevant risk analysis and crime intelligence.

− Detection and investigation of cross border crime in coordination with all competent law enforcement authorities.

− The four-tier access control model (measures in third countries, cooperation with neighbouring countries, border control, control measures within the area of free movement, including return).

− Inter-agency cooperation for border management (border guards, customs, police, national security and other relevant authorities) and international cooperation.

− Coordination and coherence of the activities of Member States and Institutions and other bodies of the Community and the Union (EU Schengen, 2009).

In the Thessaloniki summit in 2003, EU commission required an observation to make a new department to provide coordination of border management. By the result of Commission of the EU exercises, establishing of European Union Agency (FRONTEX) was adopted for the Operational Cooperation for External Borders. FRONTEX become legally operational by the decision of Council of the EU in 2004. Main purpose of FRONTEX was outlined as; operational coordination of the external borders management among member states, creating the common training standards, making risk analysis, following the researches about control and watch of the external borders, giving technical support and help to the member states, helping member states on deporting operations (Kısa, 2009: 30-12). FRONTEX is set up in response to the need to improve the integrated management of the external borders of the European Union. Although responsibility for the control and surveillance of external borders lies with Member States, the agency will facilitate the application of existing and future EU measures relating to the management of these borders (CEU, 2004). The remarkable points made show the importance that was given to the aspect of security dimension in the definitions.

European Union – Cyprus Relations

EU-Cyprus relations were started after the establishment of Republic of Cyprus. “Preferred Commercial Agreement” was signed between the Republic of Cyprus and England in 1961. As this agreement aimed to decrease taxes on some goods, England has become one of the important markets for the goods that were imported from the Cyprus.

After England’s application to the Union for full membership in August 1961, Republic of Cyprus faced the risk of losing most important export market which constituted the %72 of its total export products. Under these circumstances, Republic of Cyprus was required to apply for full membership to the EU. Turkish Cypriots perceived the issue with moderateness. In 1962, Republic of Cyprus applied for full membership to the Union. Due to the problems between the two communities in 1963, it has not become possible for Turkish Cypriots to join into negotiations between the Republic of Cyprus and EU (TRNC, 2011).

Following the negotiations between Greek Cypriots and the Union, an agreement that builds partnership between the Union and Cyprus was signed in Brussels in 19 December 1972. With the agreement, gradual removal of custom tariffs and other restrictions for Custom Union was suggested. After the assistance provided, “Agreement of Custom Union” was signed between Cyprus and the Union which came into effect in 1 January 1988 (PRIER, 2013).

Greek Cypriot Administration, on behalf of the whole Cyprus, applied to the Union for full membership in 4 July 1990. Turkish Cypriot Administration criticized and have objected the application and claimed that it was not consistent with the law therefore, the application should be denied. Despite all the objections and criticisms, EU Commission approved the application in June 1993. The decision for speeding up the evaluation of progress regarding the application of Cyprus was accepted in Korfu Summit which was made in Greece in June 1994. It was emphasized in the Essen Summit in Germany that the first expansion will comprise Cyprus in 9 December 1994. In Luxemburg Summit in December 1997, the decision was taken regarding the full membership negotiations of Cyprus to be started. After the decision, full membership negotiations between EU and Cyprus started in March 1998. Consequent to the negotiations, Cyprus become a full member to EU in 1 May 2004 (TRNC, 2011).

EU Commission stated its preference on a united Cyprus to join which is preferred by EC. However, UN plan could not get enough support from the referendum which was supposed to find comprehensive solution for Cyprus Case in 24 April 2004. %65 of Turkish Cypriots accepted the plan yet Greek Cypriots denied the plan with %76. Hence, Cyprus became a member to EU (TRNC, 2011). Following the failure of the 2004 UN-led referendum, membership of a divided Cyprus for the European Union has shown an unprecedented anomaly within the Union’s system (Anastasiou, 2009).

TRNC gained a new statue in EU level with the appendix 10 of Participation Agreement which was signed in Athens in 1 May 2004. In this protocol, TRNC territory is defined as “territories of Republic of Cyprus which are not actively governed by the Cyprus government”. Implication of the acquis Communautaire in these regions was suspended. Implication of the acquis Communautaire would only be possible with the suggestion of Commission and the cooperation of Council. Relevant protocol had put forth that the precautions could be taken in order to provide economic development in the regions which were not actively governed by Republic of Cyprus. In this concept, EU Council, by using its power, acknowledged a regulation which is called Green Line Regulations which settled movement of goods, service and people between TRNC territory and Republic of Cyprus in 29 April 2004 (TRNC EUCO, 2011).

According to the Protocol No 10 on Cyprus; “In the event of a settlement, the Council, acting unanimously on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, shall decide on the adaptations to the terms concerning the accession of Cyprus to the European Union with regard to the Turkish Cypriot Community.” (EU, 2003: Art.4).

Directorate General for Enlargement of EU had undergone a method called “Institutional Reconstruction Program” with the aim of providing support to the implication of Future Union Law by Turkish Cypriots for the reunion of the island. This program could be considered as a step towards the removal of EU Acquis Communautaire which has not been continued in the Turkish side (TRNC EUCO, 2011).

On 26 April 2004, the Council at its meeting in Luxembourg noted the results of the simultaneous referenda in Cyprus on the Annan Plan and stated the following:

“The Turkish Cypriot community has expressed their clear desire for a future within the European Union. The Council is determined to put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. The Council invited the Commission to bring forward comprehensive proposals to this end, with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island and on improving contact between the two communities and with the EU. The Council recommended that the 259 million euro already earmarked for the northern part of Cyprus in the event of a settlement now be used for this purpose” (CEU, 2004).

After the referendum, the EU Commission has proposed a comprehensive package of aid and trade measures. EU adopted rules of procedure in order to promote the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community for the establishment of a legal instrument (CEU, 2004).

Three objectives will focus on the financial aid. These include the development of physical infrastructure, promoting economic and social development and affiliating the Turkish Cypriot community to European Union. The objective of the EU financial assistance was the economic integration of the island between the two communities and a gradual harmonization with the EU legislation and the development of contacts by highlighting the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community to support the reunification of Cyprus. EU Directorate of Enlargement have called on Member States and wanted the approval of the direct trade regulation with European Union (TRNC EUCO, 2011).

European Union and TRNC have mutual borders but different policies. Yet, TRNC which is not officially recognized by the EU have various problems regarding isolation, economy, illegal migration and etc.

European Union Border Policy and Cyprus

EU has differences from other organisations. Common policies are gathered in the EU. Besides member states have to respect to mutual agreements, they could use their national law as long as it is not against union’s interests. In this extend, EU is beyond an international organisation. Apart from common policies, EU works as an international organisation on security and defence matters (Kızıltan, 2005: 220).

One of the common policies is the removal of interior border control. Cooperation on the exterior borders started on the second half of 1980’s with Shengen document. The removal of border controls between member states was specified with Shengen Agreement. When Shengen system was put into effect in 1995, interior border lines were removed. Furthermore, when Amstertam Treaty was taken into effect in 1999, Shengen system was integrated into EU’s system and it became necessary for the new member countries. Agreement covered exterior security matters with comprehensive regulations (Demir, 2005: 366).

Free movement of the internal borders of the European Union has given rise to the need for better protection of the external borders. In Amsterdam treatyand added that measures on common standards and procedures for the determination of the outer limits with respect to the would be taken (Amsterdam Treaty, 1999: art. 61).

With the expansion of the boundaries of the EU, it has increased the probability of facing new challenges towards the outer limits of the community. To resolve this issue, "European Integrated Border Management Model" was to be developed. Whether it is an improved version of national forces or in the form of a wholly structured force, it is perceived as one of the most difficult projects developed in EU's independence, security and justice context (Monar, 2005). In order to prevent illegal immigration at the joint external borders, this model predicts an approach that includes “integrated and collective reaction” (Carrera, 2007).

European Union Commission issued the document named “Towards the Intagrated Management of the Joint External Borders of the Member Nations” in May 2002. The primary purpose of the document was to submit a mechanism which enables the gathering of the versatile operations of the border authorities belonging to the member nations to coordinate them in a common strategic setting. In this document; it was pointed out that a joint border management would contribute to the EU’s security, and it would increase the understanding of the feeling of EU citizenship, belonging to the same region and sharing the same fate. It was stated that the EU’s expanding process increases the need to intensify and maintain the civil security and that the principal difficulty was organizing the operational activities at the external borders. Also, “Integrated Border Management” was mentioned in the document which was eye catching. Although EU’s security oriented approach, integrated border management would contribute to the development of trade in member and other countries and the movement speed of people in addition to the security (Akman, 2009).

The institutional elements of EU’s border management undergo a radical change with the progress of Europe information bank, information transmission channels and biometric technology. Schengen border principals were associated with the institutionalization of EU border management. It has leaded to the establishment of institutions such as FRONTEX (European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union), RABIT (Rapid Border Intervention Teams), EPN (European Patrols Network (Guild, 2009: 2). Among these institutions, FRONTEX has a purpose of training, risk analysis, research, providing a rapid response capability, assisting member states in joint return, information systems and information sharing environment and joint operations (Akman, 2009). Council regulation (2007/2004 of 26 October 2004) synchronized the area of responsibility of FRONTEX for the related members. Yet, FRONTEX have no effective control on the borders of Cyprus.

For TRNC, the land border with EU refers to the Green Line demarcation which is not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus (FRAN, 2013: 60). By the way some of EU member’s borders are not included in the regulation.

Within the EU’s enlargement process, one of the remarkable issues is the EU membership of Cyprus. EU’s Cyprus policy changed after Greece’s EU membership in 1981. Following Greece’s EU membership, the Cyprus problem became “European”. In EU-Turkey relations, it was a case of “independent integrity of Cyprus” until that date for EU, it became “Cyprus problem” after the membership of Greece (Yinanç & Tasdemir, 2002).

It is seen that the EU evaluates texts about enlargement inconsistently depending on the candidate countries. Especially the fact that they have agreed by accepting the Cyprus Greek Administration’s submission to be a member to the EU as the sole representative of Cyprus has created a paradoxical situation. At the same time, this paradox has produced a disloyalty towards the situation created in the setting of the 1960 Agreements which led to the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus. It was stated that the connection made between the acceptance of the Cyprus Greek Administration into the EU and the full membership of Turkey is not entirely compatible with the strategy followed by the EU related to enlargement. Within the frame of enlargement principles, the conditions for the resolution of the border incompatibilities required by the other candidates were not a condition for the Cyprus Greek Administration. During the announcement of the countries for membership at the Copenhagen Summit, the EU maintained its’ attitude towards the Cyprus by announcing that in the event of a disagreement in the resolution plan, they would accept the Cyprus Greek Administration into the EU as a full member.

In the “Agenda 2000”document accepted by the EU on 15 July 1997, it is stated that the candidate countries need to resolve any existing border incompatibilities before the membership. According to the mentioned text, “Enlargement does not imply the importing of the border disputes to the EU. What’s expected from the expanding agreements is to deal with the resolution of the border conflicts by being a strong factor for nations (Aksu, 2004, p. 128).

In the referendum held in the two communities of Cyprus on 2004, the Turkish Cypriots agreed on the Annan Plan despite being subject to a massive population migration for the third time, but the Greek Cypriots rejected the plan. After this outcome, it was observed that the Cyprus Greek Administration actively continued the isolation towards the TRNC. Just after the referendum the EU Council gave a declaration for removing the limitations of Turkish Cypriots, and later in order to eliminate the economic imbalance between the two sides and help for the resolution, the Council issued the Green Line Regulation, the Financial Aid Regulation and the Direct Trade Regulation. Despite the decisions on getting rid of the restrictions, it was stated that the Cyprus Greek Administration continued its’ efforts to maintain the isolation. As the Direct Trade Regulation, which would enable them to directly trade with the EU countries and had a greater importance for the Turkish Cypriots was vetoed by the Cyprus Greek Administration (TRNC, 2010).

European Union Commission’s 2013 Report associated with the Financial Support for Encouraging the Economic Development of the Turkish Cypriot Community

According to the report, this programme is implemented in those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government does not exercise effective control and where the application of the acquis communautaire is temporarily suspended pursuant to Protocol 10 of the Treaty of Accession. Assistance is implemented primarily through centralized management by the European Commission. Some projects are jointly managed with the United Nations Development Programme. Between 2006 and the end of 2012, €311 million was programmed for operations under the Aid Regulation and in 2012 programme €28 million was used (EU, 2013, p. 1). As to the report, progress towards meeting the main objective of the Regulation to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development is difficult to achieve, given the operating context in the northern part of the island (EU, 2013, p. 9). TRNC has barriers for the amount of money given for support. Also there are limitations for the kind of funds to the projects in a political manner by EU.

European Union Commission’s 2013 Report associated with the Execution of the Green Line Regulation

TRNC has gained a new position within the EU with the Participation Agreement Appendix 10th Protocol that came in effect on 1 May 2004. In the Protocol, the TRNC lands were mentioned as “the Republic of Cyprus lands which are not under effective control by the Republic of Cyprus”. At these areas the application of community acquis has been postponed. With the Commission’s reference and cooperation the application of community acquis will be available on these areas. The related Protocol number 10, it was stated that at “the Republic of Cyprus lands which are not under effective control by the Republic of Cyprus”, precautions can be taken in order to provide economic development. In this matter, the EU Council, using the authority given to them, accepted the regulation, also known as the “Green Line Regulation”, which regulates the mobility of the assets, services and of the individuals on 29 April 2004 (TRNC, 2011).

From there, it is beneficial to indicate the degree to which the regulation is utilized rather than its applications. Each year a report associated with the application of the mentioned regulation is issued by the EU Commission. It will be possible to approach the problems existing at the border more correctly with the examination of the general results of this report.

The report is explained under the titles of crossings from the legal crossing points, illegal crossings from the points that are excluded from the green Line and value of trade, type of goods, irregularities, obstacles and difficulties concerning the movement of goods, smuggling of goods and facilitation of trade.

According to the report, the number of apprehended irregular migrants seems to confirm a downward trend but the irregular crossing of third country nationals still remains an area of concern. In 2012, the value of trade across the Line was three times lower than in 2011. This sharp decrease is due to the fact that the sale of electricity from the northern part of Cyprus to the government controlled areas, which was agreed in July 2011, stopped in March 2012. Without taking into account the sale of electricity, the regular Green Line trade decreased significantly due partly to the economic recession. The overall scale of the trade still remains in part due to the restricted scope of the Regulation itself. During the reporting period, certain obstacles to trade remained. It appears that smuggling of goods across the Line has decreased but remains widespread. Overall, the Green Line Regulation continues to provide a workable basis for allowing the passage of persons and goods to and from the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus. However, the Commission is concerned by the decrease of both the crossings of persons and the trade volume, which is linked, to the economic crisis but could also indicate a decrease in economic interdependence between the two communities (EU, 2013: 8-9).

As a result, according to the report, the Green Line Regulation is continuing to provide a continuous working environment at the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus by providing the crossing of people and goods.

The Existence of the United Nations Peace Force in Cyprus

The UNFICYP is one of the longest existing peace keeping forces of the United Nations. Since 1964, according to the verdict number 186, they were allocated at the buffer zone in order to prevent any conflicts that might happen between the communities of Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

The UNFICYP continues its activities of monitoring the events of the crossing points and the border. In the period after the Greek Cypriot Administration joined the EU, there was a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants and refugees. It was evaluated that this increase would increase and intensify the work load of the UNFICYP. To this extent, the UNFICYP continues the execution of the missions of stationary monitoring and patrolling, and continues the execution of the activities of doing the necessary research in order to preserve the status quo, to minimize the tension between two sides and to provide communication lines between two sides (UN Report, 2004).

In the research, five reports of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus between the 2011 and 2013 period were inspected. Generally the topics of the reports are prevention of a recurrence of fighting and the maintenance of the military status quo, demining, restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions, committee on missing persons, financial and administrative aspects and observations.

“During the reporting period, the situation along the ceasefire lines remained mostly calm and stable, with a low level of military violations. Safety and stability in the buffer zone continued to be negatively affected by unauthorized civilian activity. Civilian activities in the buffer zone are a natural consequence of an increased sense of overall security by the local population. Such activities, however, will only promote trust between the communities if they are undertaken in accordance with UNFICYP procedures.

The financial and economic crisis affecting Cyprus has the potential to negatively impact intercommunal contacts and relations. Contacts promote trust between the communities and help to address the concerns of isolation expressed by the Turkish Cypriots. As we saw at Limnitis/Yeşilırmak in 2010 and Ledra Street/ Lokmacı, Nicosia, in 2008, such initiatives can improve overall confidence between the communities.

The existing minefields both in and outside the buffer zone continue to pose danger to both civilians and patrolling military personnel. It proposed that such a move can be made unilaterally and does not require mutual agreement. And it is important to ensure that any new-found wealth, which belongs to all Cypriots, will benefit both communities.

The seven crossings established to date have greatly facilitated the movement of people between the two sides, making a tangible difference to the everyday lives of many Cypriots across the island. Progress on this front will help to improve the overall confidence between the communities” (UNFCYP, 2013)

In UN Security Council’s decision of 30 July 2013 which extends UNFICYP’s mission in Cyprus for 6 months, “Recalling the importance attached by the international community to all parties engaging fully, flexibly and constructively in the negotiations, and noting that the move towards a more intensive phase of negotiations has not yet resulted in an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions, encouraging the sides to resume the substantive negotiations on the core issues, and stressing that the status quo is unsustainable” (UN, 2013). Resolution was adopted by a vote of 13 in favor to 0 against, with 2 abstentions (Azerbaijan, Pakistan). In the voting of the previous resolutions in which Turkey was the impermanent member of the Security Council, other countries voted positively for the decision of Security Council but Turkey voted against it. The main reason of Turkey’s rejection is the UN’s statement that there is only one side in Cyprus which takes place in every UN Security Council resolution. Since 1963, it is mentioned that there is no common and constitutional government that represents whole Cyprus.

Conclusion

European Union has chosen to remain inactive and passive in an approach of wait and see. The European Union ought to assume its historic role as a peace-building system, elaborate a proactive peace-enhancing policy approach to the Cyprus problem and become fully engaged so as to bring its conflict-resolving and peace-building dynamic to full fruition in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

After EU’s enlargement, the establishment of an “Integrated Europe Border Management Model” was mentioned to solve problems regarding exterior borders in particular borders. This model cannot be implemented in Cyprus. The “Green Line Regulation” organizes the movement of good, service and people between the TRNC territory and the Cyprus Republic which is insufficient in terms of content and application.

The procedure of the EU financial support is very complex and works slowly. In this situation, there can be a decrease in the use of funds related to Regulation. Furthermore, it is considered that the decrease of trade between two sides can be resulted from lack of confidence and the latest crisis in economy of Cyprus.

In the EU Commission report, it is mentioned that there is %50 decrease in the number of illegal migrants. Besides other factors, it is thought that opening of the several border gates between two sides has an important role in this decrease.

According to UNFICYP reports of UN Secretary General, Turkish side is weak in terms of its cooperation with the UNFICYP. It is considered that this expression is connected with the UNFICYP’s statements of “there is only one side on the island” while taking its decisions to extend its mission. By the way as a mediator, UN should discard unilateral explanations and conclusions especially in its official reports.

One of the important matters mentioned in the UN reports is the decline in the number of military violations between two forces in comparison to last years. Although it is an important threat, the non-existence of such violations has a healing effect in confidence building. Especially the civilian use of areas in the green line should be debated in terms of border security. Moreover, the illegal border crossings in areas of the British Sovereign Base Area should be solved by the responsible administration.

Finally, recent progresses on peace talks seem to have a basis on mutual benefits. Stalled negotiation resuscitated for the purpose of reuniting the island. A confluence of events – unimaginable a decade ago– has created the conditions for unforeseen hope. On three sides, officials are describing the discovery in the eastern Mediterranean natural gas reserves as a game- changer that has made a settlement pressing. Washington, which played an unexpectedly active role in re-igniting the talks, waded in after it became clear that exploitation of the hydrocarbons would require regional stability.

Acknowledgements

The author(s) declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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About this article

Published online: 30.08.2014
Pages: 367-384
Publisher: Future Academy
In: Volume 10, Issue 3
DOI: 10.15405/ejsbs.138
Online ISSN: 2301-2218
Article Type: Original Research
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