EU Accession Dynamics and Conflict Resolution: Catalysing Peace Or Consolidating Partition in Cyprus?
Since 1993, the European Commission, EU member states and the Republic of Cyprus have raised the expectation that the prospect of Cyprus' EU membership would act as a catalyst for a settlement of the island's conflict. Yet the divisions between the positions of the principal parties widened and the 1990s witnessed an escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thereafter, despite the re-launch of the peace process in 2002-2004, the divided island joined the EU on 1 May 2004. This study analyzes the case of Cyprus and the EU. It explores the interrelationship between the evolution of the conflict and the development of EU-Cyprus relations within the accession process; it explains the factors driving the conduct of EU policies towards the conflict; and it demonstrates that the EU framework could have added important incentives for a resolution of the conflict by providing an alternative context within which to address the basic needs of the principal parties.
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