A Realist Evaluation of Cyprus’ Survival Dilemma as Result of the Annan Plan
Giorgos I. Kentas
This article elaborates on theories of international politics in order to evaluate the provisions of the Annan Plan in relation to Cyprus’ survival dilemma in the aftermath of its accession to the EU. The author mainly estimates the survival concerns of Cyprus in the scenario that Cyprus accepts or denies the provisions of the Annan Plan. He assumes that should Cyprus join the EU, without a solution to its political problem on the basis of the Annan Plan, it will need to redefine its national strategy. The accession of Cyprus to the EU constitutes in itself a new framework of interaction between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and offers an alternative option for the settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the founding principles of the EU, the Union’s acquis and human rights. At the same time, Cyprus, as a member state of the EU, has to provide for its defence and ensure its survival in a world of anarchy. The EU is not an organisation of collective security and its preliminary security and defence mechanisms cannot offer military guarantees to its member states. As a member of the EU, Cyprus will remain outside regional security structures. Since international politics are without governance there is nobody to guarantee the survival of Cyprus. Until a solution is reached, Cyprus needs to continue basing its security on national defence and on its alliance with Greece.
“Defining the alternative options of a state
is of no account unless you evaluate them”
This article aims at elaborating on Realism Theory to evaluate the options of the Cypriot leaders in relation to Cyprus’ survival dilemma in the aftermath of its accession to the European Union (EU). To that end, I will first make a synopsis of the realism theory in international politics; secondly, portray the Cypriot state as a unit of the international system; thirdly, outline the main assumptions of two alternatives to realism theories (international idealism and neoliberal institutionalism theory); and fourthly, cross-examine the provisions of the United Nations Secretary-General’s (Kofi A. Annan) Plan for the solution of the Cyprus issue (hereafter the Annan Plan or Plan) with the assumptions of international idealism, neoliberal institutionalism and realism in relation to the survival dilemma of Cyprus.
The collapse of the Soviet Empire which left the United States of America as the only superpower in the international system is the post-Cold War era’s starting point for the study of international politics. In the aftermath of the Cold War, students of international politics sought to portray the emerging ‘new world order’ and debate the role of state and international governance. The debate on the future of international politics was rapidly extended to the role of national power and multilateral cooperation, international organisation and distribution of gains, national interdependence and democratic peace. Students of international relations are interested in the effects of international institutions (such as the UN, NATO, EU, IMF, WTO and World Bank) on the international-political structure and the international-political process. Last but not least, the research interest of students of international relations is enriched by discussions on ‘the acceleration of globalisation’, ‘international political economy’, ‘the eroding role of multinational corporations on national sovereignty’, and the role of ‘domestic and international civil society’ in the making of global politics today. This article trusts in realism epistemology (traditional and structural) to study the nature and the function of international politics.
In the first part, I will outline the main assumptions of structural and traditional realism, and portray the nature of the Cypriot state as a unit of the international system. I will argue that since the international system remains statecentric -states are the most important units of the international system- and constrained by anarchy and the unequal distribution of capabilities across the units, Cyprus’ primary concern is to survive as an independent and sovereign state. In order to survive, Cyprus seeks to deal with structural constraints and overcome the post-Turkish invasion status quo. Its foreign policy is mostly conditioned by that situation.
The contemporary survival dilemma of the
Cypriot state is analysed in the second part through three alternative
theoretical approaches of international politics: (a) neorealism (Waltz, 1979),
(b) neoliberal institutionalism (Keohane, 1984, 1989; Keohane and Nye, 1977;
Axerlod and Keohane, 1985), and (c) international idealism (Kant, 1795; W.
Wilson, 1916-19). In this part, I will define and evaluate two options in
relation to the survival dilemma of Cyprus in the aftermath of EU accession. I
elaborate on this methodology having in mind the public and academic discourses,
and the questions raised throughout the debate on the Annan Plan. Although the
review of the bibliography would be of great importance for the reader to
understand the debate on the Annan Plan and on the alternative theoretical
assumptions on international politics, which are demonstrated by international
idealism, neoliberal institutionalism and neorealism, I will develop the
argument in a way that the main points will be understood without the review of
the bibliography having been a precondition.
The evaluation shows that the Annan Plan cannot solve the survival dilemma of Cyprus and it does not improve the sense of security among Cypriots. The Cypriot leaders need to elaborate an alternative option. The accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU will mainly signal its ‘bandwagoning’ to an intergovernmental regional economic and political organisation. This will offer Cyprus the opportunity to increase its capabilities and help the Republic to remain the only internationally recognised sovereign entity on the island. Although EU membership does not make for survival under more secure conditions, it offers Cyprus the opportunity to develop a new national strategy, set up new goals and influence the framework for the solution of the longstanding Cyprus issue. The chief aspiration of Cyprus is to settle its political issue on the basis of the nature of international politics, the founding principles of the EU (Article 6 of the TEU) and its ‘acquis communautaire’, a settlement that will satisfy the state’s survival conditions and will certainly favour all the legal citizens of the island both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. That assumption is limited by the absence of international governance to enforce international law and human rights in Cyprus, the ongoing imbalance of power between Turkey and Cyprus and the lack of will by the Turkish side to compromise on a settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of fundamental political, juristic and humanistic principles.
1. Realism Theory of International Politics and the State of Cyprus
The structure and the process of international politics affect the state of Cyprus. In this part, I will first make a synopsis of the realist theory on international politics and then I will examine the nature of the Cypriot state in the international system.
1.1 The Nature of International Politics
In order to understand how international politics operate, we need to understand both the structure and the process of the international system. International politics are conditioned both by the system’s international-political structure and the interactions between the actors of the system. The most important actors of the international system are the states, which are called the units of the international system. Hence, I will portray the structure of the international system and the logic of interaction between the units of the system. To portray the structure of the international system, I will use the ontological principles of structural realism’s research programme; to portray the logic of the interaction between the system’s units, I will use the explanations of traditional realism. From a realist -structural and traditional- perspective, international politics are understood “if the effects of structure are added to the units-level explanations of the traditional realism”.
A. Structural Causes
According to Kenneth Waltz, the structure of the international system is characterised by three principles: first, by the arrangement of the units in the international system; second, by the functional differentiation of the system’s units; third, by the distribution of capabilities across the system’s units.
I. International Politics Without Governance
Neorealists define structure as the arrangement of the units in a system. They show how political structures shape and shove the political process. Once a political structure functions enduringly under the same conditions, it is expected to shape and shove the political process of the system similarly and to set the same constraints on the behaviour of the units. Since a system consists of a structure and of interacting parts, only changes of the arrangement of structure’s parts are considered structural changes.
The organising principle of the system’s structure is the anarchical ‘order’ of international politics. The units of the international-political structure are arranged within a decentralised system. States interact under the condition of anarchy; they deal with international politics without governance. Although states are regularly organised within international institutions, the authority in international politics is quickly reduced “to a particular expression of capability”. The absence of an international agency to regulate international politics gives states cause for concern over their survival.
Although anarchy is an abstract condition, its outcomes are visible. So long as anarchy conditions states’ situations, they will “seek to ensure their survival”. Neorealists assume that anarchy functions as a structural force when it constrains states’ worry about survival.
Survival is the primary goal of states and power “is one of the means to that end”. Within the neorealism research programme, power is not an end in itself; it is primarily a means (but not the only one) for survival. Once states maintain their survival they can use their power to achieve other goals (e.g. domination over others). Anarchy conditions the worry of states about the power of others and this encourages them to engage in balancing behaviour. So long as anarchy endures, survival becomes “a prerequisite to achieve any [other] goals states may have”. When states interact within an anarchic system, they seek to maintain their survival by themselves; their survival is not given, they gain it. Because this is so, since states are socialised within an anarchical system, they “prefer survival over other ends obtainable in the short run and act with relative efficiency to achieve that end”. States are concerned about both their power and the power of others. This situation drives them to competition and generates the security dilemma.
Thus, the neorealism ontology is firstly defined by the ordering principle of the international structure, which is the theoretical notion about the condition of anarchy. States operate within competitive self-help systems without governance. Although anarchy does not determine the behaviour of states, it makes them worry about survival. Neorealists assume that states, which interact under the condition of anarchy, place a high premium on survival before any other goal. Their relative power is one of the most important means to achieve survival.
II. The Functional Character of the Units
The undifferentiated functional character of the system’s units defines the second ontological principle of the international-political structure. Neorealists assume that states are the units of the international system, and the most powerful of them are those which construct, by their interactions, the international-political structure.
It is assumed that “a structural definition applies to realms of widely different substance so long as the arrangement of the parts is similar”. Thus, the system’s anarchical order implies functional sameness to the system’s units, regardless of their major or minor role in the international system; so long as anarchy endures, states remain like units.
International structures “vary only through a change in the organising principle [from anarchy to hierarchy] or, failing that, through variations in capabilities of units”. Although the first part of this assumption deals with an epistemological dimension of neorealism theory (based on Durkheim’s theoretical remarks on “mechanical societies”), the second part (structures vary through variations in capabilities of units) copes with both epistemological and ontological dimensions. Waltz assumes that if we wish to explain whether states’ functions are differentiated or undifferentiated we need to identify the ordering principle of the structure. When states are organised within anarchical systems (or metaphorically within “mechanical societies”), their lives “are characterised by duplication of effort rather than by a division of labour that would produce their integration”. One has to be impressed with “the functional similarity of states” when he or she realises that “[s]tates are alike in the tasks they face, though not in their abilities to perform them”.
Thus, the assumption about the functional undifferentiated character of the system’s states when they operate under anarchy defines the second ontological principle of neorealism. Neorealists assume that states are (1) functionally undifferentiated units (they perform similar tasks) and (2) differentiated according to their aggregate capabilities (they have dissimilar means to perform similar tasks). Although the first part of this ontological dimension is spare to the definition of neorealism’s structural theory (“is not needed in defining international-political structure, because so long as anarchy endures, states remain like units”), it remains a main part of neorealism’s ontology. On the other hand, the second part of the statement above (the differentiation of units in aggregate capabilities), defines in itself a third ontological principle in neorealism theory.
III. The Distribution of Capabilities
The capabilities of states identify the only variance in the international structure (when the international structure endures under the condition of anarchy). We can explain how international structures vary only if we can explain how the distribution of capabilities across the units varies (or how the units of the system are placed in relation to their capabilities). Because this is so, neorealism’s epistemology has a preference for a “materialistic ontology”. Neorealists assume that the international structure varies only in the distribution of capabilities (mainly material means) across the units.
Since international politics are without governance, Waltz aims at picturing a positional situation of states by defining them as like units and by distinguishing them according to their capabilities. In doing so, he abstracts “from every attribute of states except their capabilities”. This indicates more plainly what I had described as the materialistic ontological preference of neorealism’s epistemology: The units of an anarchic international structure are primarily distinguished by their greater or lesser capabilities to perform similar tasks.
Structural changes are changes of the distribution of capabilities across the units under the condition anarchy. If we wish to explain structural effects within the system, we need to examine (1) how changes in the distribution of capabilities affect the behaviour and the attitude of states and (2) the outcomes of their interactions. Since this is a concrete epistemological dimension of neorealism (which I will not examine here), it affects its major ontological principle: neorealism’s materialistic “ontological preference”. Like all theories, neorealism has chosen its own ontological premises.
Neorealists do not aim at an absolute abstraction from the attributes of the states but only at the maximum of abstraction which “allows a minimum of content, and that minimum is what is needed to enable one to say how the units stand in relation to one another”. Neorealists assume that states are differently placed in the system according to their relative power. The assumption about the distribution of capabilities across the units is found at the core of neorealism ontology, without this meaning that the other principles are of less importance. Thus, the third, and final, ontological principle of neorealism is defined by the states’ differentiated positioning at the system-level in relation to their capabilities.
To sum up, neorealism ontology is defined by three principles: first, by the anarchical order of the international-political structure; second, by the functional undifferentiated character of the system’s units; and third, by the differentiation of the units’ systemic identities in relation to their capabilities.
B. Units-level Explanations
The structure of the international system defines both the constraints and the attitudes of states. On the other hand, the structure of the international system does not function as a deterministic force. Although states are constrained by the structure of the international system, their decisions are based on perceptions about national interest and the intentions of other states. States do not always have the same preferences and interests and they make decisions without always taking into account the system’s structural constraints. Since states acknowledge that they operate in a self-help system, which lacks international governance, they try to avoid miscalculations. They know that “those who do not help themselves, or who do so less effectively than others, will fail to prosper, will lay themselves open to dangers, they will suffer”.
Since the era of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War international politics have operated under the same logic: The distribution of capabilities across states is unequal, the growth of power across the international system continues to be asymmetrical and the system’s units seek power, wealth and prestige. States are not perfect rational actors. They sometimes base their decisions on imperfect information.
Thucydides demonstrated the reason why states are concerned about relative gains and reluctance to cooperate. States operate under the condition of anarchy and they seek to maximise their capabilities in order to ensure security. Their fundamental goal “in any relationship is to prevent others from achieving advances in their relative capabilities”. States cooperate when the possibility of war lessens and when the distribution of the cooperation’s gains will not alter the balance-of-power between them. Since the shadow of the future is unknown, the security dilemma operates enduringly.
Although more and more states become free market democracies, more institutions operate in international politics and complex interdependence grows between states, international relations continue to operate under the “Thucydidian logic”. Gilpin was correct to argue that “[t]he history of Thucydides provides insights today as it did when it was written in the fifth century B.C. One must suspect that if somehow Thucydides were placed in our minds, he would (following an appropriate short course in geography, economics, and modern technology) have little trouble in understanding the power struggle in our age”.
Geopolitics gives a valid picture of one aspect of the reality of national power. The geostrategic significance of a state, in the context of geography, natural resources and the distribution of capabilities across the system’s units has great influence on its interactive capacity. In each era, the hegemonic power, superpowers and great powers of the international system are interested in exploiting the geostrategic position of others to pursue national interest. They do so by dominating them, by forcing them to bandwagon or by making alliances with them.
Cyprus, which is under examination in this article, has an important geostrategic position in the world. Conflicts of interest between great powers in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East create problems for Cyprus. Both the United Kingdom (a great power) -which after the independence of Cyprus in 1960 established two post-colonial sovereign military bases on the island, the so-called Sovereign Base Areas (SBA)- and Turkey (a big regional power) -which invaded the island in 1974 using as pretext the Greek junta’s coup d’état against the President of the Republic and since then has occupied 37% of the Republic’s territory illegally - managed to exploit the geostrategic position of Cyprus to pursue their national interests. Although the structure of the international system, the distribution of capabilities across the units and the regional power struggle impose limitations on the sovereignty of the Cypriot state, the Turkish occupation and the several provisions of the Treaty of Establishment on the SBA impose constraints, which further restrain the ability of the Cypriot state to make decisions on internal politics and foreign policy.
Turkey, another state that interests us here, also has an important geostrategic position. This geostrategic position made Turkey a vital ally of the US and a pivotal member state in NATO. Although Turkey managed -during both the Cold War and in the post-Gulf War (1991)- to exploit its geostrategic position in its own national interest, it failed to do so during the 2003 US-Iraq war, when it refused to grant permission to US forces to use its territory as a crossroad to the northern front of the Iraqi war. Turkey understands that should the US manage to stabilise post-war Iraq politics and use that state as a protectorate, its geopolitical significance in the region will be reassessed under the new distribution of capabilities and the new rules that the ‘hegemon’ will build in the region .
Geopolitics is conditioned by the anarchical structure of the international system, the distribution of capabilities across the units and the national leadership of the time. Because this is so, we need to keep in mind that the settlement of the Cyprus issue has always been affected by the regional geopolitical realities, the distribution of capabilities across the units, national interests and national leadership. Each time those parameters change, the political process for the settlement of this international problem change too.
II. Democratic Peace?
The new thesis about democratic peace is a problematic one. The increase of democratic states -mainly in post-World World II and post-cold war Europe- did not change the logic of interaction in international politics. Those who argue that the domination of democracies across the system increases cooperation and eliminates war (“democracies do not fight against democracies”) could hardly defend their thesis. States cooperate not because they are democracies; they cooperate when they believe that they will pursue a national goal without the risk of suffering a relative loss, which might deteriorate their power position.
In 2001, for instance, the US chose to cooperate with Pakistan and lift the sanctions it raised against that regime three years ago, not because Pakistan became a democratic regime -it remains a post-coup d’état dictatorship- but because Pakistan’s geostrategic position and intelligence resources were vital for its war against terrorism. Both theoretically and historically we can hardly find coherent argument to defend the thesis that democratic states cooperate more and fight fewer wars. In the post-Cold War era, the US, the most powerful democratic state of the system, went to war more often than any other democratic or authoritarian state. States go to war because they have the power to do so and because they expect higher payoffs than losses. As long as anarchy endures, wars occur because there is nothing to prevent them. Democracy may fashion a better quality of life for the citizens of a state but it does not always engender an improvement in the quality of relations among states.
Even the abstracted hypothesis that “democracies of the good kind do not fight between them” could be scarcely verified. The causes of war vary and it will be very difficult for a theory to explain how war becomes obsolete in international politics. Rousseau, explained that war is bound to endure in international politics so long as states operate under anarchy and master the means by which to destroy others. Since the lethality and agility of states has increased due to war technology and since world disarmament is not possible, the absence of governance in international politics makes war a choice. When offensive is better than defensive, war becomes a political choice, the “continuation of political activity by other means”.
War is unthinkable only between nuclear powers with second-strike capability. This was the case during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, and the blocs they led (NATO and WTO). The president of Russia explained that this is still the case between the United States and Russia: “The state of our deterrence is such that we feel safe and secure, and this is the most important thing to us”.
III. International Organisation
International organisation has a minor role in international politics. The national capabilities and interests of states express the logic of international organisation. Decisions are taken by member states, which use their relative power to pursue national interests. Susan Strange explained that international organisations are ruled by the most powerful states, which have the power and interest to lead. She explained, for instance, that
“international organisation is above all a tool of national government, an instrument for the pursuit of national interest by other means... The fate of Mexico is decided in Washington more than Wall Street. And the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is obliged to follow the American lead, despite the misgivings of Germany or Japan”.
States remain deeply concerned about the strong effects of anarchy and the weak effects of institutional organisation. Even when they operate within defensive alliances or other institutions with security aims, states reserve their self-defence rights and they seek to maintain credible national power capability. Furthermore, the relative power of states is important simply because the strongest state has the capacity to impose its interest within the institutional framework and check the distribution of the gains. This has always been the case within both NATO - the most successful alliance of guarantee in the twentieth century - and the EU - the most successful economic organisation in Europe, which recently developed security and defensive aims.
The war in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrated once more that though international treaties could facilitate national strategies, great powers prefer to depend on their national power capabilities. Although in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NATO -for the first time in its history- enacted Article 5 (“an armed attack against one or more of [NATO member states] shall be considered an attack against them all”) the United States used its national capability to retaliate against the Taliban regime and al Qaeda, primarily because its national mechanisms are more effective and flexible than the allied ones. Henceforth, the US assumes to ameliorate its security by national means instead of the means of “shared burdens” within NATO. Although NATO has always been a treaty of guarantee to its member states, the US has always been the guarantor of the treaty. In order to fight a preventive war in Iraq the US downgraded the role of international institutions. The US showed that the sovereignty of others is a side issue when it comes to national interest and security.
IV. National Interdependence
National interdependence has always been a weak effect in international politics. According to Waltz, in early 1970s interdependence could be described as “an ideology used by Americans to camouflage the great leverage the United States enjoys in international politics by making it seem that strong and weak, rich and poor nations are similarly entangled in the thick web of interdependence”. In the early twenty-first century, “democracy, combined with the tightening of national interdependence, fulfils the prescription for peace offered by nineteenth century liberals and so often repeated today”. The myth of interdependence can only promote false promises for cooperation and peace.
Contrary to realists, neoliberal institutionalists endorse the reflections of “complex interdependence”, as they were developed in the late 1970s. They argue that complex interdependence is what “characterises relationships among democratic industrialised countries, though not necessarily elsewhere in the world”. Interdependence is conceived as a cause with strong effects for, at least, international relations of the western democratic countries. Potentially, this statement flawed after the US withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty. Neoliberals would assume that, at least, the US would have negotiated its intention to withdraw from a cornerstone international antiballistic regime with its partners, and their interdependent relationship would have great influence on its final decision. Although neither Europeans nor Japanese nor Canadians favoured the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, the US chose to “go it alone” because it had the power to do so.
The refusal of the European big powers (Russia, France and Germany) to bandwagon on the US-led war-alliance against Iraq showed that interdependence could have a weakening effect on foreign policy when relative gains are at stake. The US’s former European allies of the Afghan war were so intent “on the question of how the pie already in existence [their influence in the Gulf region, their merit on Iraq’s oil etc] should be divided that they forgot about the possibility of increasing the amount each will have by working together to make more of it [a possible multilateral control of Iraq]”. Even if the big three European powers knew that they had complex interdependent interests, the distribution of the post-Iraq war’s gains constituted a crucial problem that prevented them from cooperating with the US and making “the largest possible pie”. The Europeans did not like the US dividing the post-Iraqi war “pie”.
Neoliberals are surprisingly realising that “[s]o far, the missing criterion is a broad coalition of allies”. They assume that to fight the Iraqi and future wars against states that sponsor terrorism, the US cannot go it alone, but they fail to explain why the US likes to go it alone when national security is conceived to be at stake and its allies do not believe it. The US seeks to take partners on board not so much for fighting wars but for sharing the post-war burdens of security and reconstruction.
Cooperation may occur as a result of structural constraints and perceptions about gains and losses in the short and in the long run. When states cooperate, they set up “relative win/loss games” because they know that in any relationship there is the possibility to enjoy a relative gain and the risk of suffering a relative loss. A win/loss game lasts so long as the possibility to run the risk of suffering a relative loss does not threaten the relative power position of states and so long as the possibility to run the risk of fighting a war among them stays at bay. When states decide to cooperate, they have no fear of suffering a fatal relative loss. Within institutional cooperation, states seek to avoid losses that will deteriorate their relative power position.
When the game is repeatedly played successfully, it produces a condition, a coincidental situation, which confirms that states can cooperate under the anarchical structure of the international system. That situation is constrained by the relative sensitivity of states as to their power position and the distribution of gains. States’ sensitivity on cooperation is conditioned by their perceptions about the shadow of the future and the importance of the gains of others. If their sensitivity is high then the game will not be frequently played, and it will possibly not be played at all; if their sensitivity is low, the game could be frequently played.
The general theoretical hypothesis about a multilateral relative win/loss game is that states run the risk of suffering a relative loss because they bet on a bigger relative gain. States do not cooperate because absolute gains could become better than relative gains in the shadow of future. On the contrary, states cooperate when they assume that the distribution of gains will relatively privilege them more than others. Strong states assume that a multilateral game will keep them strong, and able to check the distribution of gains in a way that it will not threaten their relative power position. Weak states assume that when they bandwagon on a multilateral win/loss game they will not be dominated by the strongest states of the system and they will probably gain more in a multilateral game than in a solo game. The decision to play a multilateral game is taken unilaterally when states believe that their choice is rationally profitable and it will not cost them a high relative loss.
States which usually play the game will accept or not accept a new player according to their perceptions (1) of their relative power position after the accession of a new player, and (2) of the risk of suffering a high relative loss. States do not admit a new player to the game when they fear suffering high relative losses. On the other hand, states invite a new player to the game when at least one of the following three preconditions is satisfied: First, its accession will maximise the possibility of gaining more. Second, the new distribution of gains will not threaten their relative power position. Third, keeping that player out of the game is baneful to their interests.
A state will ask to join the game when it assumes that (1) the possibility of running the risk of suffering a relative loss is low, and (2) the possibility of gaining more in the shadow of the future is high. The players of the game will choose to transform the game when they assume that taking new enterprises will still offer them (1) low risk of suffering relative losses and (2) high possibility of gaining relatively more. States reserve their interest to opt-out or veto the game when they can either earn more by acting autonomously out of the game and/or when their relative gains are threatened by the rules of the game. On the other hand, when states lack the power to doubt the game, they risk suffering a relative loss. This induces anxiety about their power position in the shadow of the future. When a situation like this occurs, the possibility of conflict increases dramatically.
To sum up, although more states become democracies, more institutions and regimes are launched, and national interdependence mediates in international politics, the international political process operates under the Thucydidian logic. States seek for power, wealth and prestige and they are concerned about balance of power and relative gains. Although they try to avoid miscalculations, states sometimes base their decisions on imperfect information and misperceptions; states are not perfect rational actors. States cooperate when they can run freely the risk of suffering a relative loss. In fact, cooperation between states is not a permanent phenomenon in international politics; it is a situation that is caused by structural constraints at the system-level and by interactions between states at the units-level. Conflict of interest, struggle for power and the relative gains problem restrain cooperation. When states cooperate, they bet on the pursuing of a national interest with low risk of suffering relative losses. International organisation produces neither a social order of cooperation in international politics nor conditions of states’ interdependence. Cooperation may become a habit when the structure of the systems endures alike and serves the states’ interests for a long period. Once the distribution of capabilities across the system’s units change, states re-examine cooperation. On the other hand, when states’ objectives are pursued autonomously and risks of relative losses rise, cooperation ceases or is cancelled.
1.2 The Nature of the Cypriot State in the International System
The Cypriot state is a small unit in the international system which has an important geostrategic position and remarkable wealth standards. Although all states face systemic and units-level limitations on their sovereignty, caused by the anarchical order of the international structure, the asymmetrical distribution of capabilities across the system and their inability to control the international-political process, Cyprus faces extraordinary limitations. Since the day of national independence, Cyprus has been deeply concerned about its survival and seeks to overcome the limitations on sovereignty that the guarantor powers imposed upon it.
In the aftermath of the Turkish invasion (1974) that created the illegal military occupation of 37% of the island’s territory, the government of the Republic of Cyprus makes a twofold struggle for survival. First, it strives to avoid the military control and the full domination of Turkey. It seeks to put an end to the illegal Turkish occupation, regain the territory it lost, restore human rights for all its citizens and communities, and rebuild the state’s constitutional order under a new legal and internationally recognised state of affairs. To that end, the leaders of the Greek and Turkish-Cypriot communities of the island have attended (since 1974) bicommunal negotiations under the good offices of the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG). Those negotiations are endless and fruitless because they are conditioned by the absence of balance of power between the two negotiating sides and by the Turkish side’s lack of will. Turkey, which is the occupying military power in the northern part of Cyprus, fully controls and manipulates the politics in the Turkish-Cypriot community and seeks to enforce its conditions on the new state of affairs. Since the regional balance of power and geopolitics favour Turkey, the absence of international governance -UN Security Council’s failure, for instance, to enforce its Cyprus resolutions and to put an end to the longstanding political problem of the island- make breakthrough possible only when the Greek side accepts the Turkish conditions. Should geopolitics and the balance of power change and should Turkey lose control over the Turkish-Cypriot community and run less freely the risk of suffering high cost for occupying Cyprus’ territory illegally, a balanced and lasting settlement is possible.
The Republic of Cyprus also has a second survival concern that conditions its behaviour. Although the UN Security Council recognises only one sovereign entity in Cyprus, namely the Republic of Cyprus, and “calls upon all States to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus”, Turkey has systematically sought to challenge Cyprus’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Both Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, make every effort to persuade the world that there are two sovereign entities on the island. Their most important initiative took place in November 1983 when the Turkish-Cypriot community, manipulated by Turkey and Mr. Denktash, launched a pseudo-state, the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”). The United Nations Security Council considered “invalid” the “attempt (of the Turkish-Cypriot “administration”) to create a “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus...[and expressed its concern that this attempt would] contribute to a worsening of the situation in Cyprus”. Turkey is the only state that recognises “TRNC” and it has been unsuccessfully trying to gain, mainly from some Arab states, political recognition and economic support for its protectorate in the occupied part of Cyprus. This has alerted the Republic of Cyprus, which realises that if a separate entity is recognised, the negotiating position of the Turkish side will be improved considerably.
Cyprus’ struggle for survival is based on its national defensive and deterrence capability and on the Common Defensive Space Agreement signed with Greece in 1993. The Republic of Cyprus’ struggle for “judicial survival” is based on several juristic and political means, such as its membership in the United Nations and other international organisations, the several UN resolutions on the Cyprus issue, the European Court of Human Rights’ decisions and its recent accession to the European Union. Both the UN and the EU do not recognise any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus.
Thus, since 1974, the primary concern of the Republic of Cyprus is to survive both as a sovereign independent state and as an international legal personality. All its initiatives in foreign policy are conditioned by this dual struggle. Cyprus makes every effort to weather through the illegal post-Turkish invasion status quo and to restore its sovereignty and the human and political rights of all its legal citizens and communities.
The solution process of the Cyprus issue is externally conditioned by the UNSG’s mission of good offices, the intervention of other states -mainly the UK and the USA- the balance of power between Greece and Turkey and the geopolitics of the region. As I argued in the previous section, the solution of the Cyprus issue is affected by the regional geopolitical realities, the distribution of capabilities across the units, the main players’ national interests and national leadership.
The latest proposal for the settlement of the Cyprus issue, the 2002-2003 UNSG’s Plan (the so-called Annan Plan), had smoothly portrayed geopolitical and power “realities”. The Annan Plan proposes the creation of a state which (1) is “determined to maintain special ties of friendship with, and to respect the balance between, Greece and Turkey, within a peaceful environment in the Eastern Mediterranean”, (2) has to continue serving the national and strategic interests of Britain on the island and (3) “as a European Union member state shall support the accession of Turkey to the Union”. On the other hand, the authors of the Plan miscalculated the ability of the UN to enforce it and the intention of Turkey to accept it. Although UN, US and British diplomats assumed that the Annan Plan was the best proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, they failed to acknowledge that international politics are still without governance and the national interest of the strongest party of the game (Turkey) did not fall in line with their Plan.
The accession of Cyprus to the EU is a change that we need to take fully into consideration. Since the Republic was an independent and sovereign state, even though it operated under the conditions I have explained, it was able to apply for accession to the EU. Cyprus has been accepted to join the EU because it satisfies the rules of the game. Its accession will not threaten the gains of other member states. Its participation in the EU’s institutional framework offers to the existing EU member states relatively more benefits than keeping it out. Cyprus sought to join the EU in order to strengthen its economy, improve its survival conditions, avoid domination by stronger states and increase its possibilities to win more.
To sum up, so long as the international system remains statecentric, the primary concern of Cyprus is to survive as a sovereign state. This concern continues to condition the behaviour of Cyprus. Since Cyprus does not wish to lay itself open to dangers, it needs to continue to increase its national means of survival. And the island’s means of survival depends upon its national defence capability, the effectiveness of the Greco-Cypriot Common Defence Space, the wealth and the prosperity of its economy, its national leadership, social cohesion and citizens’ patriotism.
In the aftermath of Cyprus’ accession to the EU the dilemma before the Cypriot leaders is clear: Do they regulate the status quo in Cyprus under the provisions of the Annan Plan, or redefine the national strategy of the Republic of Cyprus on the basis of the new realities of EU membership? This is the question to be addressed in part two.
2. Cyprus’ Survival Dilemma as result of the Annan Plan
In this section, I will analyse the effects that the accession of Cyprus to the EU and the provisions of the Annan Plan have on the survival dilemma of the Cypriot state. Cyprus’ survival dilemma will be examined through three alternative theoretical approaches: (1) international idealism; (2) neoliberal institutionalism; and (3) neorealism.
Cyprus is interested in joining the EU for political and economic reasons. In the aftermath of its accession to the EU, the Cypriot leaders are trying to figure out how the Cypriot state can survive and prosper under more stable and secure conditions. Thus, the Cypriot leaders mainly deal with two options:
The first option is to seek the immediate solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the Annan Plan -before May 1, 2004; the actual date of accession- so that a re-united Cyprus could join the EU. Hence, the Cypriot state will be transformed on the basis of the provisions of the Annan Plan and it will enter a new and unknown era. The survival of the state will then be dependent on the Plan’s functionality and viability and on the will of the guarantor powers to “keep their promises”. If this option is chosen, we need to elaborate on the effects that EU membership will have on the survival dilemma of the new Cypriot state. Those who consider the Annan Plan to be the best possible solution to the Cyprus issue, though they understand its weaknesses and its huge problems of functionality and viability, assume that EU membership will help to overcome all these problems and weaknesses.
The second option is to redefine the national strategy of the Republic of Cyprus to the new realities of the EU accession. Cyprus’ new strategy will aim at taking advantage of the EU membership to (1) increase its national means for survival, (2) strengthen its economy, (3) create a centre of attention to Turkish Cypriots in order to transform their perceptions about the solution of the Cyprus issue, (4) produce cost to Turkey for illegally occupying the northern part of Cyprus, and (5) reinforce the process of negotiations so that the Cyprus issue could be settled on the basis of the nature of international politics, the EU norms, the acquis communautaire and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In that case, we need to elaborate on the effects that the accession of Cyprus to the EU will have on its survival dilemma and its aims at settling the Cyprus issue on the basis of international politics, European standards and the Union’s acquis.
Hence, I will evaluate those two options through three alternative approaches. I will first make a synopsis of the fundamental assumptions of each approach to international politics and then I will examine the parameters of the Cyprus’ EU accession and the Annan Plan which affect the survival dilemma of Cyprus. This methodology will help to understand the philosophical hypotheses of the Plan’s authors on the future of the Cypriot state as a unit of the international system and evaluate the alternative options before the Cypriot leaders with regard to (1) the survival dilemma of the Cypriot state and (2) their initiatives to settle the Cyprus issue under the state of affairs proposed by the Annan Plan or under better conditions. At the end of sections 2.1 - 2.3 we will be able to conceptualise the main parameters of the survival dilemma of Cyprus and understand what is at stake.
2.1 The Idealist Approach
Idealists assume that the anarchical circumstances of international politics and the political behaviour of states could be transformed to a condition of world order, based on normative standards, lasting cooperation and harmony of interest in peace. International organisations, such as the United Nations, and the European Union, develop an interdependent framework for cooperation, mutual understanding and improved human ethics, and bind states on international law and ethics. It is assumed that when states operate within international organisations and regimes the anarchical structure of international politics is eroded and states are able to develop a new international order; a world made safe for democracy and lasting peace, in the words of W. Wilson.
In such a world, the national interest will become part of the global interest. The participation of the people of the world within regional and international organisations will create a spirit of global solidarity. The nation state will lose its monopolistic importance in international politics and the people of the world will seek a global collective identity. Idealists emphasise the evolution of international politics in terms of Adam Smith’s liberal principles. In democratic and prosperous societies there is always an “invisible hand” to show the way toward harmony of interests among competitive individuals who strive for their personal good. It is assumed that when units operate under a perfect liberal order, the collective interest of the state is expressed by the individual interest of its citizens. At the international level, the interdependent relationship of states promotes cooperative normative standards and encourages states to engage in regimes.
The final purpose of the global community of institutions, states and people is to create a new order in regional and world politics where peace will prevail and the military means of states will lose their importance. International demilitarisation, starting from the development of WMD-free regions, will then be possible. International and regional organisations will have the primary role in international politics and several forms of international governance will be constructed. Once an international collective security system is installed and respected, war between states will be “delegitimised”; states will not conceive war as the continuation of political activity by other means.
Idealists assume that when democratic regimes prevail, our world will be free and safe. The national, regional and international civil society will be enlightened and motivated to monitor the leaders of the world. The world’s public opinion will function as a peace-building force. The third force in international relations is the “uprising” transnational civil society.
In the previous part of this article, I showed that international politics are still conditioned by the anarchical structure of the international system, the functional undifferentiated character of the system’s states, the asymmetrical distribution of capabilities across the system’s units and the lack of change in the logic of interaction between states. This world is far away from the normative approach of utopians. It is hard to see how the “order” of international politics could change into a utopian one. Since cooperation between states evolves within win/loss games, the risk of suffering a relative loss and the uncertainty about the shadow of the future make states sensitive about balance of power, national security, sovereignty, freedom and independence.
The launch and the evolution of the EC/EU were based on the security and stability of the post-World War II environment in Western Europe. The Cold War’s stability improved the intergovernmental cooperation on free commerce, single market and integrated several aspects of the economy of the EC’s member states. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the openness of the former Central and Eastern European states’ economies, the EU accepted the application of ten states to open negotiations under the conditionality of the acquis.
The distribution of the post-World War II gains as well as the Soviet threat made longstanding cooperation between the great EC member states permissible and war unthinkable. Western European states were the US clients of security and so long as the Cold War lasted all of them could freely run the risk of suffering a relative cost.
Although enduring cooperation developed a sub-system situation among the EU member states, lack of common interest and concerns about balance of power and relative gains eliminated cooperation. The EU member states cannot build a politically integrated super-European state with common foreign, security and defence policy. Even in low politics, the EU member states do not share common views. European great powers, which are EU member states, are disagreeing over Common Agricultural Policy, Budget, and Taxation. So long as the EU fails to balance the US’s power, it will not be able to develop credible institutions of security and defence. NATO is still the only collective defence and security organisation of Europe and US is the dominant power in Europe.
The post-Cold War’s structural constraints, mainly the new distribution of capabilities across the system’s units, force EU member states to rethink the possibility of political integration. The US’s supremacy and unilateralism drives some EU member states toward wanting to counterbalance the US’s power. But so long as most of the EU member states feel comfortable either by bandwagoning on the US’s missions or by safeguarding their national sovereignty, political integration is unlikely. A core of EU member states may form a regime of closer political cooperation outside the Union, but this is not the course for all EU member states.
When Cyprus joins the EU, it will become a member of an intergovernmental organisation, which has common policies on several low-political issues and intergovernmental policies on some high-political issues. It is important for Cyprus to be able to fully participate within the institutional framework of the Union.
First Option: Cyprus Adopts the Annan Plan and Joins the EU
The Annan Plan is conditioned by an innovative and misleading idealism about the transformation of the Cypriot state. This “idealism” is alien to the nature of international politics and the reality of the EU politics. The authors of the Plan conceived a state whose survival would depend on the spirit of good cooperation between the two Cypriot constituent states and also of the possibility of stable and enduring common interests between Turkey, Greece and Britain, on the fate of Cyprus. Such a state can survive only when the constructing parts of the new state of affairs (Turkey, Greece, Britain and the two Cypriot constituent states) are able to operate under a condition based on harmony of interest.
In case of troubles, the authors of the Plan have the inspiration of a patent breakthrough mechanism only for potential internal problems. When the two constituent states or the members of the Legislative Boards or the Members of the Presidential Council fail to agree on how the federal government is to function, the Supreme Court can rule on almost the whole spectrum of the state’s policies and functions; i.e. Budget, Taxation, Legislation, foreign policy. It is important to mention here that the Supreme Court will consist of “three judges hailing from each of the constituent states and three non-Cypriot judges who shall not be citizens of Greece, Turkey or the United Kingdom”. In any case, the three non-Cypriot judges will have the “last word”. The authors’ warped idealism about the survival of such a state is based on their assumption that a new political culture will arise in Cyprus. The constituent states, the politicians, the judges and the guarantor powers will cooperate for the sake of the state. The Plan has no provisions to settle any external problems between the guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and Britain).
The accession of the “Annan state” to the EU will add no dynamism for its survival. The EU can only offer economic aid and technical assistance for the harmonisation of the Turkish-Cypriot constituent state with the acquis. As an EU member state, the new Cyprus will have to develop the judicial and administrative capacity necessary to implement and enforce the acquis all over its territory.
It is also provided that Cyprus, “as a European Union member state shall support the accession of Turkey to the Union”. Once more, this provision shows how the authors of the Plan understand Cyprus’ participation in the EU; they dictate Cyprus’ foreign policy as regards Turkey’s accession route. For the authors, Cyprus foreign policy on Turkey’s accession route is idealistically conditioned by the fact that Turkey is a patron and a guarantor of the state. At the same time, the Annan Plan constrains the participation of Cyprus in the operational part of the CFSP and the CESDP within “the provisions of the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance and the Additional Protocols thereto, and in no sense undermine[s] those provisions”.
Those who idealistically argue that in the shadow of the future the accession of Cyprus to the EU will remedy all the possible weaknesses of the settlement proposed by the Annan Plan, probably base their assumptions on false reasoning. The EU cannot help its member states to solve either internal or external problems because it lacks administrative and legal capacity. In the post-Annan Cyprus, the EU cannot offer any kind of remedy for problems that might arise in relation to either the internal stability between the two constituent states or the external stability between the guarantor powers.
In short, the authors of the Plan develop a state-model which can function only when its two constituent states and its guarantor powers operate under a utopian order based on harmony of interests. Should an “Annan state” enter the EU, the idealist approach explains nothing about its survival.
Second Option: Cyprus Joins the EU and Redefines its Strategy
Some idealists argue that in the shadow of the future, should Cyprus join the EU without the implementation of the Annan Plan, a solution to its political issue will be certainly based on the European Principles of Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. They assume that this will happen because once the Republic of Cyprus joins the EU, the European Principles, “which are common to the member states”, will certainly determine the solution of the Cyprus issue. This assumption is also based on false reasoning. The EU cannot dictate the constitution of Cyprus; it is only concerned about the administrative and juristic capacity of Cyprus necessary to implement and enforce the acquis all over its territory. The negotiating sides of the Cyprus issue are the forces who will agree and determine the constitution of Cyprus, and once it complies with the EU demands, the Union’s European Council will only endorse the solution sighted. The EU can have a minor role on the endorsement or pretermission of any European Principles by the new constitution of Cyprus. Idealists are wrong to overlook the effects of balance of power, geopolitics, and conflicts of interest, and to overestimate the role of international organisations in relation to the process toward the settlement of the Cyprus issue.
Idealists are also wrong to ignore the importance of national means of survival. In case of a settlement to the Cyprus issues is not reached, Cyprus as a member state of the EU has to provide for its defence and ensure its survival in a world of anarchy. The International organisation has very weak effects on the survival dilemma of Cyprus.
On balance, the idealist normative “school of thought” can explain neither how Cyprus could ensure its survival if it accepts the Annan Plan and joins the EU nor how to redefine its strategy if it joins the EU without a settlement to the Cyprus issue being reached. The Cypriot leaders cannot depend on an idealist approach to deal with Cyprus’ survival dilemma; wishful thinking is not a policy.
2.2 The Neoliberal Approach
Although neoliberal institutionalist theory contains the basic realist assumptions, it reduces the effect of anarchy. Neoliberals assume that states are the principal actors in the international system, power remains an important variable, and the structure of the international system is anarchic. Neoliberals add to their conclusions that states act with their conception of national interest. The major contrast to structural realists is their assumption regarding both international organisation and states’ concerns about balance of power and relative gains. They assume that once states systematically cooperate within international institutions, anarchy is eroded. Although states use international organisations to pursue their national interests, in the shadow of the future international organisations should help states to overcome the problem of anarchy. International organisations relax concerns about the distribution of gains across the units and the power of others. Cooperation within international organisations and regimes lessens the fear of states over the balance of power and the asymmetrical distribution of capabilities across the system’s units. Once states continually cooperate within stable and secure regimes, they are no longer concerned about relative gains and they prefer to run win-win games instead of win-loss games. Advanced versions of neoliberal institutionalist theory promise easier cooperation between states when they are interested in freezing the status quo. “Institutions can facilitate cooperation by helping to settle distributional conflicts and by assuring states that gains are evenly divided over time, for example by disclosing information about the military expenditures and capacities of alliances’ members”.
Robert Axelrod elaborated on repeated plays of the “Prisoners’ Dilemma game” to conclude that states, which accept the tit-for-tat strategy, could not only overcome the problem of mistrustfulness but they would also prefer to cooperate than to defect; mutual cooperation (CC) becomes preferable to mutual defection (DD). If states wish to play repeatedly a bilateral (Prisoners’ Dilemma, for instance) or a multilateral (Stag Hunt, for instance) game, they will no longer seek to cheat and mislead others to “CD” situations but they will signal their willingness to move toward a CC win-win situation. When the desire of states for status-quo preservation is combined with wise leadership and the will for defensive policies, the problem of anarchy could be eroded and the security dilemma could be relaxed. In a more aspirant version, students of neoliberal institutionalism assume that once states acknowledge that cooperation is preferable to defection, they form stable international institutions which promise them protected absolute gains rather than tentative relative gains; absolute gains become preferable to relative gains. A theoretical perspective about the social construction of international politics assumes that “anarchy is what states make of it”. Neoliberals and social constructivists -although they do not share all their assumptions- assume that when international organisation prevails over balance-of-power politics, the increase of national power is not conceived as a threat to others. Ideas matter “all the way down”.
Neoliberals cannot deny the fact that their assumptions about international politics fall in with few cases. The EU is conceived as the best model that fits with their theoretical assumptions about international organisation. Some neoliberals portray the EU as a regional organisation that the European states developed under a tit-for-tat strategy which evolves as a regional model of integration in world politics. It is assumed that the EU member states chose to cooperate not so much for relative but for absolute gains. Neoliberals also assume that European states have organised a sub-system order of peaceful cooperation that reduces the possibility of conflict between the great powers of Europe and increases the possibility of protected gains. War is unthinkable between the EU member states because it does not pay. Although harmony of interest is not achieved, common interest embeds national interdependence and boosts cooperation. On the other hand, neoliberals fail to explain why complex interdependence between the EU great powers does not condition their national interest in areas of “high-politics”. The conflicting national interests of European states reduce the possibility for an international role for the EU. The EU can neither play a leading role in international politics nor diminish or eliminate conflicts. Power and the decision-making process for war or peace, intervention or non-intervention, defensive or offensive actions remain in the hands of states and not in the hands of NATO or the EU. Although institutional organisation has improved, the EU member states are deeply concerned about the power of others to impose their rules in the game. As long as the shadow of the future remains unknown, political integration will be constrained by the concern of the EU member states about relative gains and the power position of others.
First Option: Cyprus Adopts the Annan Plan and Joins the EU
The Annan Plan is also alien to the neoliberal institutionalist approach. The authors of the Plan do not transform the Cypriot state into a sovereign and independent state able to participate in the EU and pursue its national interests. Conversely, they conceive of a weak semi-sovereign state, which is dependent on thin internal balances between its two constituent states and on the will of guarantor powers. Those who assume that in the aftermath of an Annan style settlement to the Cyprus issue, the so-called neoliberal spirit of the EU will guide the politics of the triangle of Greece-Turkey-Cyprus either misunderstand EU politics or are purposely misleading public opinion. The survival of the Cypriot “Annan state” will be conditioned by the will of the guarantor powers. So long as Greco-Turkish interests are common about the fate of Cyprus, the Cypriot state will be able to continue its life. But the time they stop sharing a common view about the survival of Cyprus, the new state of affairs will collapse. Since international politics are without governance there is nobody to guarantee the survival of Cyprus.
There is a misguided “neoliberal assumption” about a potential dynamism for the survival of Cyprus as a member state of the EU. It has been assumed that the EU will develop a common basis for cooperation, interdependence and peaceful coexistence between Greece, Turkey and the re-united Cyprus. Cyprus will become a member state of the EU and, according to the Annan Plan, as a member of the Union it has to support Turkey’s accession to the EU. When all three become members of the Union, conflicts between them will suspend.
Greece has since 1999 enthusiastically supported Turkey’s EU accession route. Its current government assumes that in order to join the EU, Turkey should respect the political and legal culture of the Union. As long as Turkey demands EU accession, it will have to become more democratic and desirous to cooperate with Greece. As a guarantor power, Turkey will continue to deploy every effort to reach a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issues under the good offices of the United Nations Secretary-General. Prime Minister Simitis’ administration deeply believes in the political and culture dynamism of the EU. The Greek government assumes that Turkey’s pre-accession route will have a determinative effect on its foreign policy. Thus, Greece sought to develop a tit-for-tat strategy with Turkey and proposed to engage in a win-win game. During the European Council of Helsinki in December 1999, Greece lifted its veto power and allowed the Council to nominate Turkey as a candidate country. By this (tit) move, Greece looked ahead to a (tat) move by Turkey for the settlement of their disputes in the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus. The shadow of the future showed that the Simitis government’s tit-for-tat appeasement strategy did not only fail but it also encouraged Turkey to become more demanding and hard lined about Cyprus and the Aegean.
Turkey does not link its accession strategy either with the improvement of its bilateral relations with Greece or with the solution of the Cyprus issue. Turkey seeks EU accession in order to pursue its national interest, preserve its power position and become part of the EU game. Turkey is very sensitive about the stability and the cohesion of its state, its power position and its relative gains, and checks very carefully every step it takes to satisfy the political criteria of Copenhagen. Turkey is mainly interested in opening pre-accession negotiations with the EU in order to gain the financial aid it really needs to stabilise its depressed economy and to improve the standard of living for its citizens. None can tell how many years Turkey needs to harmonise its economy with the acquis’ standards and develop the judicial and administrative capacity necessary to implement and enforce the acquis all over its territory.
The Annan Plan directly links the sovereignty and the independence of Cyprus with the European future of Turkey. The authors of the Plan claim that “[u]ntil Turkey’s accession to the European Union, a constituent state may limit the establishment of residence by persons hailing from the other constituent state”. Cyprus should demand exceptions for the EU’s acquis regarding “the right of Cypriot citizens to reside in a constituent state of which they do not hold internal constituent state citizenship status...until Turkey’s accession to the European Union the percentage of such residents of the total population of a constituent state has reached 21% [then no more Cypriot citizens concerned have the right to reside in that constituent state]”. The Plan also benefits Turkish nationals with special entry and residency rights:
“The European Union shall authorise Cyprus to accord equal treatment regarding entry and residency rights with respect to its territory to Greek and Turkish nationals without prejudice to policies and arrangements applying to entry and residency rights of Turkish nationals in other member states of the European Union”.
The Annan Plan also restrains the sovereignty of the United Cyprus Republic (proposed name by the authors) as member states of the EU in relation to its administrative capacity to participate in international military operations:
“Until the accession of Turkey to the European Union, the United Cyprus Republic shall not put its territory at the disposal of international military operations other than with the consent of Greece and Turkey, in addition to the consent of the governments of both constituent states”.
In short, the neoliberal approach cannot explain much about Cyprus’ survival in the aftermath of its accession to the EU under the Annan Plan’s conditions. Greece unsuccessfully sought to link on a bilateral tit-for-tat strategy Turkey’s accession route to the EU. The Greek government’s bet on a “neoliberal promise” for the solution of the Cyprus issue and the Aegean dispute before 2004 was proved false. Greece must learn that its good intentions are not always rewarded. The Annan Plan can add no hope with regard to the neoliberal promise for the improvement of Greco-Turkish relations.
Second Option: Cyprus Joins the EU and Redefines its Strategy
The neoliberal institutionalist theory cannot explain how the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU (without a prior solution to the Cyprus issue) could help it survive under more secure conditions, but it can explain how Cyprus could improve its national reputation, its wealth and prosperity. The EU is not an organisation of collective security and its security and defence mechanisms cannot offer military guarantees to its member states. As a member of the EU, “Cyprus, even if it unifies, will remain outside regional security structures”. Cyprus needs to continue basing its security on national defence and on its alliance with Greece.
When Cyprus joins the EU, it will be “socialised” within the institutional framework of the Union and will learn the “rules of the EU game”, that is, how to develop and promote its case within the EU, how to ally and vote during the EU summits, how to develop to apply the acquis without penalties by the Court of Justice of the European Communities, how to finance its national projects by using the financial aid of the Union, how to run an EU-style free market economy, how to use the institutional framework in order to pursue its national interests. Cyprus is about to join a tough organisation with many challenges and opportunities.
The EU member states have no interest in recognising a separate “Turkish-Cypriot state” in Cyprus. States like the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium, which deal with separatist movements, would like to avoid such a precedent in Cyprus. In the aftermath of Cyprus’ accession to the EU, Turkey will find it very difficult to gain recognition for its protectorate in Cyprus. Any Arab state thinking of recognising a “Turkish-Cypriot state” should also consider abnormal relations with the EU and maybe of economic and diplomatic sanctions on the part of the Union.
Cyprus has been accepted to join the EU as a member state under its current constitutional form. The application of the acquis will be “suspended in those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control”. Its accession to the EU “shall benefit all Cypriot citizens and promote civil peace and reconciliation”. Thus, the Republic of Cyprus should now seek to strengthen its relationship with its Turkish-Cypriot citizens. Until a solution is found, the government of Cyprus can develop a dialectic relationship with its Turkish-Cypriot citizens and bring them closer to the EU. Turkish Cypriots will then acknowledge that their future belongs in a democratic and pluralist state where the rule of law and the respect of human rights are embedded. The EU’s acquis could become the common reference point of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The post-accession Turkish-Cypriots’ political dilemma is between the continuation of the status quo and a European solution to the Cyprus issue. The EU repeatedly declared that it is ready to accommodate the terms of a settlement on the basis of the principles on which the EU is founded and on the Union’s acquis.
The government of the Republic of Cyprus has already taken reconciliation measures for the Turkish Cypriots. This will increase Turkish-Cypriots’ sense of security and prosperity within a united and wealthy EU member state.
The accession of Cyprus to the EU is favoured by the vast majority of the Turkish-Cypriot community, which constitutionally belongs to the Republic of Cyprus. Today, Turkish Cypriots have less trust in Turkey for their security and prosperity than they had in the past. Polls show that they prefer the soonest possible solution of the Cyprus issue and the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU. Turkish Cypriots realise that the Ankara-sponsored regime failed and they seek a new state of affairs. On the other hand, Turkish Cypriots paradoxically support the Annan Plan, which keeps them under Turkey’s sphere of influence. Turkish Cypriots actually deny the solution of the Cyprus issue in line with the EU founding principles, the acquis and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. As long as the Turkish Cypriots do not accept a solution based on non-discrimination and on equal rights for all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots will find it difficult to accept their demands.
Turkish Cypriots need to understand that they have to make up their mind whether they wish to survive within the Ankara-sponsored regime or within an independent and sovereign democratic state, which respects the rule of law and human rights. Turkish Cypriots know that the presence of the Turkish military in the occupied part of Cyprus dictates their future. While it is hard for them to clash with Ankara’s army, time will show what they are ready to sacrifice in order to obtain their liberty. It is well known that the Turkish Cypriots’ will is not expressed by Rauf Denktash, and they already demonstrated it in December 2002. It is also known that the Ankara-manipulated settlers, who number as many as one half of the population in the occupied part of Cyprus, are those who decide who is going to lead the de facto Turkish Cypriot “administration”.
In the aftermath of the accession of Cyprus to the EU a new neoliberal promise is born. Turkey knows that Cyprus is an EU member state and this fact cannot be altered. As a member state of the European Council, Cyprus can now check Turkey’s pre-accession route. Neoliberals assume that should Turkey continue to be interested in EU membership, it will have to become more democratic and it will have to behave in line with the EU principles. When Turkey is ready to join the EU, it will be ready to solve the Cyprus issue in line with the principles on which the EU is founded and the Union’s acquis. On the other hand, neoliberals can neither explain what will happen until Turkey is ready to join the EU nor how it will react if its national interest about EU membership changes. They also ignore that Turkey has the relative power to influence the process and impose its will any time a settlement comes. Last but not least, neoliberals cannot explain why Turkey will be forced to link its pre-accession route with the settlement of the Cyprus issue and the Aegean dispute. Turkey declared that it would like to settle all Greco-Turk disputes when it joins the EU.
Turkey has systematically opposed the accession of Cyprus to the EU. It would not like to see Cyprus flourishing in the European Union and its government undermining its presence on the island. Its generals conceive the occupied part of Cyprus as a military asset, which they want to keep under control. Turkey rejected the Annan Plan because of its maximalist theses on the Cyprus issue and because of the unstable transitional period that it currently goes through both internally and externally. The Annan solution does not ponder the proportional offset to accept a new state of affairs in Cyprus, namely to take its occupying forces out and become just a guarantor of the new state of affairs. Turkey would like to review its military occupation in Cyprus only after its accession to the EU and under its own conditions.
Turkey assumes that it can begin pre-accession negotiations without a settlement being found either in Cyprus or in the Aegean. Turkey is concerned about the economic and wealth superiority of Greeks on the island and it assumes that if Cyprus reunites and joins the EU it might lose influence over Turkish Cypriots. If Cyprus reunites and the Aegean dispute is settled, Turkey will lose the strong leverage it enjoys in relation to Cyprus, Greece and the EU.
The survival dilemma before the Cypriot leaders is clear: In case they assume that Turkey’s route to the EU has a positive dynamism in itself, they can accept, at any time, an agreement with Turkey, even on the basis of the Annan Plan; in case they assume that Turkey cannot at the moment respond to a neoliberal European political culture but still believe that one day Turkey will become a European state, then in order to trust a new state of affairs in Greco-Turkish relations they will have to wait until that moment comes.
On balance, although the neoliberal approach can explain how the accession of Cyprus to the EU will help the state improve its reputation and wealth, it can neither explain how the state will survive under more secure conditions nor how Greco-Turkish relations will be normalised under a so-called European political culture. Greece has learned from its NATO experience that international organisation has a minor effect on national security. It is hard to understand how Greco-Turkish relations will be improved within the EU, an institution that has no role with regard to the national security of its member states, if they did not improve within NATO, an institution of collective defence. International organisations did not save Cyprus from aggression in 1974 and could not prevent Turkey from challenging Greece’s territory.
2.3 The Neorealist Approach
International politics are better understood through the combination of the structural realism’s theoretical hypotheses and the traditional realism’s explanations. In the first part of this article, I outlined the main parameters of this approach, and throughout the previous sections I raised the main realist doubts on the explanations that idealists and neoliberals try to offer regarding Cyprus’ survival dilemma.
According to Imre Lakatos, theories are evaluated by the fruitfulness of their research programme. The view adopted in this paper is that neorealism can explain the survival dilemma of any state better than any other theory.
In order to understand the survival dilemma of the Cypriot state, we need to understand both the structural and the units-level causes that form it. Structural realism portrays the structural causes of international politics; traditional realism portrays units-level causes. Structural causes explain the systemic constraints each state faces about survival; units-level causes explain how interactions between states condition their perceptions about foreign policy. At the system-level, the international-political structure shapes the political process; at the units-level the interactions between states shape their perceptions and priorities.
The Cypriot state is a small unit within the international system. It seeks to survive in a self-help system which is constrained by the condition of anarchy and by the asymmetrical distribution of capabilities across the units. Units-level interactions force it to make tough decisions concerning the improvement of its national means for survival.
At the system-level, Cyprus’ decisions are conditioned by the absence of governance in international politics; it has to survive by its national means and by making defensive alliances with others. When danger gathers, there is nobody to guarantee its survival. At the units-level, Cyprus cannot ignore the fact that its sovereignty is limited by Britain and challenged by Turkey. Although the British military Sovereign Base Areas do not threaten its survival, the stationing of some 35,000 Turkish troops in the occupied part of Cyprus and Turkey’s offensive intentions cause Cyprus grave concern over its survival. In the first instance, the Cypriot state should develop a national strategy in order to prosper and survive. In the second instance, it should seek to settle its political problem; to end the de facto status quo the Turkish occupation created in 1974 and re-unite its territory and its citizens. Internally, Cyprus needs to reserve the monopoly on the use of legal force, safeguard the state from external threats, provide for its defence, and ensure its survival. National power is the ultimate guarantee of survival. Political stability, social cohesion, wealth and prosperity back the efforts of the Cypriot state to succeed in its mission. Externally, since Cyprus cannot balance Turkey by itself, it has to increase its means for survival and ally with stronger states.
First Option: Cyprus Adopts the Annan Plan and Joins the EU
The Annan Plan seeks to offer an alternative option to the survival dilemma of Cyprus. In case of a settlement to the Cyprus issue on the basis of the Plan’s provisions, the survival means of Cyprus will be “ensured” by two given allies: Greece and Turkey (a non-EU member state), and its constitutional order will be guaranteed by three given guarantors; Greece, Turkey and Britain. The Cypriot state will give up its right to defend itself and will entrust its survival and national security in the hands of three states, Greece, Turkey and Britain, which share no common interest in Cyprus. They also have a long history of conflicting relations.
The survival of such a “state” is based on four controversial assumptions: First, the Cypriot state will no longer deal with external threats and if it ever faces any, its guarantor powers will take care of them. Greece, Britain and Turkey reaffirm “their pledge to resist any attack or aggression against the independence or the territorial integrity of Cyprus”. Second, since Greece and Turkey will become institutional allies of Cyprus and will have equal defensive forces stationed in Cyprus, there will be no opportunity to deal with any security dilemmas. Third, in the aftermath of a “fair settlement”, a stable Cyprus will help Greece and Turkey to reconstruct their bilateral relationship and become “perpetual allies” for the sake of Cyprus. Greece and Turkey are bound “to contribute to a peaceful and harmonious future for Cyprus”. When it comes to Cyprus, the anarchical structure of the international system and the antagonistic nature of international relations will not affect Greco-Turkish relations. Fourth, the EU’s institutional framework and the European political culture will be additional elements to the reconstruction of Greco-Turkish relations. In short, the authors of the Annan Plan attempt to solve the survival dilemma of Cyprus by sui generis assumptions.
The authors of the Plan strongly believe that Cyprus will become “a bridge of friendship between Greece and Turkey within a peaceful environment in the Eastern Mediterranean”. Regardless of the absence of governance in international politics, the antagonistic nature of Greco-Turkish bilateral relations, the unequal distribution of capabilities across them, their different national interests and the ongoing developments in international politics, their experimental state model will succeed in Cyprus because the concerned parts of the issue will pledge to succeed.
The Reconciliation Commission will fend for the development of a new political and social culture in Cyprus. The history of Cyprus will be re-written. Economic inequalities between the two constituent states are to be relieved by the EU’s financial aid to the Turkish-Cypriot constituent state and by the development of a mechanism to redistribute the national wealth across the constituent states. Notable research papers and books by Aimilianides et al (2003), Theophanous (2003), Papasavas (2003), Drosos (2003), Chrisogonos (2003) and others showed that the Plan underestimates problems about functionality and viability. The main failure of the Plan is to explain how such a state could survive financially.
The Plan seeks to create a state without sovereignty, a state that cannot defend itself, a state guaranteed by three competitors. The Cypriot state will give up power over both its internal and external sovereignty. It will no longer have the monopoly on the use of legal force to implement order, safeguard the state from external threats, provide for its defence, and ensure its survival in a world of anarchy. I have already explained how the Supreme Court, which will consist of three judges hailing from each of the constituent states and three non-Cypriot judges who shall not be citizens of Greece, Turkey or the United Kingdom, will “rule” the state. In the absence of appropriate decisions that the state will need to function, the three non-Cypriot judges will rule out concerning on everything. The authors of the Plan introduce breakthrough mechanisms, which are based on deus ex machine.
After the foundation of the new state of affairs, the Cypriot state will be fully dependent on foreign intervention. The Plan provides, for instance, that during the transitional period, in case the two co-presidents fail to compromise with the nomination of the Supreme Court or Central Bank members, Mr. Kofi Annan will nominate them. There are at least twenty more cases where “the United Nations Secretary-General shall insert his suggestion for completing” the Plan’s provisions “if agreement is not reached”.
Cyprus will become a protectorate of three states, which do not share common interests with regard to the future of the island. Greece, Turkey and Britain, which maintain the right to intervene and restore order, will guarantee this constitutional alchemy. It is well known that the regime of guarantees, which was established in 1960, did not work and it is hard to understand how it can work in the future.
Important questions need answering. Since the politics of the region are fundamentally characterised by conflict and since the interests of the three guarantor powers are diverse, how will they cooperate in stabilising Cyprus and implementing the Foundation Agreement? Since there is no international agency to govern their relations, how will they overcome a disagreement over Cyprus? The authors of the Plan do not explain how Cyprus could pass such tough tests; they propose wishful thinking as a political choice.
A UN force, which will be stationed on the island, will only monitor the solution without any right of intervention. Greece, Turkey and Britain never, and I strongly doubt if they will ever work together in order to develop a stable status quo in Cyprus. It is not only because of the nature of international politics that such states, like the “Annan state”, do not survive, but because these kinds of states are actually never born in the international system. States that lack sovereignty cannot be named states. The absence of central or superordinate authority over states, the absence of international governance, makes states claim individually to be sovereign with the right to be independent and autonomous with respect to one another. Only such sovereign states manage to survive in our world out there. Since Cyprus has become an EU member state, it can only survive as a sovereign and independent state or otherwise it will not be capable to operate within the European regional system or within the international system.
In short, the authors of the Plan believe in a dogma concerning the “end of the history” of the Cyprus issue after a settlement is found on the basis of their Plan’s provisions. It is obvious that they are giving the wrong impression with reference to the conditions under which a state can survive.
Second Option: Cyprus Joins the EU and Redefines its Strategy
On 16 April, 2003, the Republic of Cyprus signed the Treaty of its Accession to the EU and ratified it on 14 July, 2003. Since the Annan Plan has not been approved, the Republic of Cyprus needs to think about the future.
Cyprus’ survival dilemma endures under the same conditions; it is constrained by the structure of the international system and affected by units-level interactions. The Cypriot state is primarily concerned about security while it also seeks a settlement to its political problem. Although Cyprus will join the EU, its sovereignty will continue to be limited by several provisions of the Treaty of Establishment on SBA and threatened by Turkey. Regional developments in the South-eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf will set further constraints. Needless to say that Turkey’s intentions about the future of the Cyprus issue are of great importance.
A significant question needs answering: What is the impact of the additional dynamism of Cyprus’ accession to the EU on its survival dilemma? A neorealist response to that question is obvious: Since the balance of power is in favour of Turkey, and since its intentions on the Cyprus issue do not change, Cyprus cannot rely on the EU accession to ensure survival. Concerns about security, prosperity and of the settlement of the political problem constitute the priorities in foreign policy. Cyprus has to remain deeply concerned about its national capabilities to ensure survival. The EU accession can be used as a means -not as an end- to pursue national interests, increase national power and international reputation and strengthen the state’s economy.
The accession route of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU was used as leverage on its leaders to compromise with unbalanced political demands on the solution of the Cyprus issue. In order to join the EU, Cyprus was unsuccessfully pressed to accept a solution to the Cyprus issue that would have offered several benefits to the Turkish side and several burdens to the Greek side. On the other hand, Greece suggested vetoing the EU enlargement in the case that Cyprus was forbidden to join the EU due to the island’s unresolved political problem, which is essentially caused by Turkey’s occupation and the lack of will by the Turkish-Cypriot side to compromise on a balanced and comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue in line with the EU founding principles and the Union’s acquis.
In the aftermath of Cyprus accession to the EU, Greece and Cyprus seek to draw out the appropriate combination of carrots and sticks to be brought to bear on Turkey, so as to press it to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue in line with the EU founding principles and the Union’s acquis, and to ease its provocations against Greek territory in the Aegean Sea. Greece was wrong to allow Turkey to be nominated as candidate state by the European Council of Helsinki and to accept Turkish conditions on the Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP); Greece offered two carrots but it did not bring out any credible sticks. Greece missed the chance to counterbalance the leverage of Turkey in the aftermath of Cyprus accession to the EU; to exchange (1) the admission of candidacy to Turkey with concrete progress on the Cyprus issue and (2) the reducing of Turkish demands on the EU-NATO compromise with a security package in the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus, based on the principle of sovereignty.
Cyprus’ EU accession is a cornerstone development which signals the beginning of a process that will counterbalance Turkey’s leverage on Cyprus’ sovereignty. The EU membership could be used as a means to incur cost to Turkey for illegally occupying northern Cyprus, and as a means to legitimise its policy to solve the Cyprus issue on the basis of the EU’s political and juristic standards.
The Republic of Cyprus may use its accession to the EU in order to carry on punishing Turkey for occupying 37% of its territory and being responsible for the suspension of the acquis and human rights in the occupied part of Cyprus. By occupying Cyprus, Turkey violates systematically the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and several other International Conventions. The European Court of Human Rights has already ordered Turkey to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for barring Greek Cypriots from having access and making use of their property. The Court ruled that properties in the occupied part of Cyprus that belonged to Greek Cypriots before the Turkish invasion still belong to them. The victims of the Turkish invasion may demand compensation not for losing their properties but for not being allowed to have access and make use of their property. The Court has also ruled that Turkey is responsible for all the violations of human rights in the occupied part of Cyprus. The EU is deeply concerned about Turkey’s refusal to comply with the European Court decisions and to pay the victims. The EU is also deeply concerned about Turkey’s systematic violations of the Convention, not only in Cyprus but also in Turkey. Cyprus can use the EU’s concerns as leverage on Turkey so as to make difficult Turkey’s progress toward EU accession. In order to work toward a settlement of the Cyprus issue, Turkey has to pay a high price for occupying the northern part of Cyprus. As long as it believes that it can continue this occupation at low cost, Turkey will not be interested in settling the Cyprus issue.
The Republic of Cyprus can try to demonstrate its sovereignty. As an EU member state, Cyprus can contribute to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and to the Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP), when the EU conducts Petersburg operations without making use of NATO assets. It is important to mention the fact that Cyprus, after Greece’s compromise in the face of Turkish demands, even when it joins the EU, will not be able to participate in the Union’s Petersberg operations “conducted using NATO assets”. That development was a serious drawback because it limits the sovereignty of Cyprus as a member state of the EU. On the other hand, if the EU or a core of EU member states develops independent of NATO capabilities, Cyprus could fully participate in the Union’s operations, whenever and wherever they might be taking place.
Cyprus, as an EU member state, could examine the possibility of application for joining NATO’s Partnership for Peace, and let Turkey veto its membership. If this happens, Cyprus will have a concrete reason to veto every move Turkey makes to join the EU. On the other hand, in order to carry out such a strategy and make a decision to counterbalance Turkey’s leverage, Cyprus needs to take into account all relative political issues including its own means and the cost.
Cyprus could also collaborate with other EU member states which are concerned about Turkey’s violation of human rights and lobby for its case.
On balance, neorealist theory explains how the Cypriot state deals with its survival dilemma under the ongoing status quo and how difficult it would be to deal with it in the aftermath of a settlement to its political issue on the basis of the Annan Plan. Although the Republic of Cyprus is now in a position to deal with its survival dilemma, a “United Cyprus Republic” (that would be established under the Annan Plan) will not have a say on how to deal with it. I have argued that, although Cyprus membership of the EU will not enhance the island’s security situation per se, Cyprus will nevertheless be able to ensure survival for itself. This is very important considering that our world lacks an agency to ensure the survival of states. On the other hand, not only realists but also every rational person would find it very difficult to understand how a state without any say in its own survival will be able to survive.
This article demonstrated the hypothesis that misjudgements in making national decisions are regularly based on misinterpretations of the nature and the functioning of international politics. In order to deal with its survival dilemma readily and settle its political issue comprehensively, Cyprus needs to avoid misperceptions and miscalculations; it has to evaluate its options carefully.
Our world is still constrained by the absence of governance in international politics and the asymmetrical distribution of capabilities across the system’s units. In order to understand how international politics operate we need to understand how structural constraints affect the interacting capacity of states and condition their worry about survival. Since states operate in self-help systems, they are deeply concerned about their power position, their means for survival and their relative gains. When danger gathers there is nobody to rescue them. Once Cyprus operates in such a world, it needs to be deeply concerned about security; it has to provide the necessary means to achieve survival. The survival of the Cypriot state becomes a prerequisite to achieve any other goals it may have.
The Annan Plan does not make for better survival and security conditions for the Cypriot state. The authors of the Annan Plan try to settle the Cyprus issue by assumption. They proclaim “the end of the history” of the Cyprus issue and the reconstruction of the Greco-Turkish relations without sparing any concrete explanation on how this might happen. Cyprus is used as a “test tube” for the resolution of the causes of conflict between Greece and Turkey. The authors of the Plan underestimate both the logic of international politics and the will of the people of Cyprus to operate under such a hegemonic regime.
The Plan constrains the sovereignty, the independence and the freedom of the Cypriot state and its people. Most of the Annan Plan’s provisions are alien to the nature of international politics, the rules of international law, the founding principles of the EU and the embedded political, juristic and human culture of Europe. The citizens and the communities of such a state will have to accept their coexistence within a dyadic and loose Cypriot state, which restricts fundamental human rights and freedoms. If such a settlement is enforced, it will have been based on a totally misleading assumption about lasting peace in Cyprus.
The authors of the Plan believe that although the “guarantor states” are longstanding competitors, they will automatically become lasting allies. When it comes to Cyprus, their national interests, their policy differentiations and dilemmas will be suspended. The authors of the Plan failed to explain how this is possible. Their innovative and experimental “state model” is based on an assumption about the renouncement forever of “the threat or the use of force, or any domination by or of either side”. This reminds us of the “Wilsonian” misleading assumptions about lasting cooperation and peace in the world.
Should Cyprus join the EU without a solution to its political problem on the basis of the Annan Plan, it will need to redefine its national strategy. The accession of Cyprus to the EU constitutes in itself a new framework of interaction between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and offers an alternative option for the settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the founding principles of the EU, the Union’s acquis and human rights. On the other hand, EU accession cannot function as a catalyst for either its survival under more secure conditions or for the solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the nature of international politics and the fundamental principles of the European political and legal culture. The settlement of the Cyprus issue will be conditioned by both the structure of the international system and the interactions between the sides concerned.
1. Research Fellow at the Research and Development Centre, Intercollege (BA in Political Science, University of Cyprus and MA in International Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury). The author would like to thank Van Coufoudakis, Savvas Papasavvas, Andreas Theophanous, Achilles Aimilianides, Lysandros Avraamides, Andreas Ioannou, Michalis Stephanides, George Psomas and Andia Mavrommati for their valuable comments.
2. The Annan Plan is originally titled Basis for a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem. The first version of the Plan was submitted on 11 November 2002. It was twice revised; on 10 December 2002 and on 26 February 2003. All the references made in this article concern the final version of the Plan (26 February 2003).
3. For general debates about the post-cold war international politics see, for instance, Brzezinski, 1997; Fukuyama, 1989; Geeraerts and Stouthuysen (ed.), 1999; Huntington, 1999; Keohane and Martin, 1995; Keohane and Nye, 2001; Layne, 1994; Mearsheimer, 1990, 1995, 2001; Nye, 2002; Owen, 1994; Waltz, 1993, 2000; Wohlforth, 1999. Note: The full titles of the references are included at the end of the article (see ‘Bibliography’).
4. Krasner (ed.), 1983; Keohane and Martin, 1995.
5. See, for instance, Florini, 2000; Gilpin, 1987, 2000, 2001; Hirst and Smith, 1996; Tsinisizelis and Ifantis (eds.), 2000.
6. See Link, 1966; Garr, 1939; Marks, 1976.
7. Couloumbis, Ntokos, and Kintis (eds.), 2003; Aimilianides, Kentas, Kontos, Mavrommatis and Phocaides, 2003; Theophanous, 2003; Alivizatos, 2003; Drosos, 2003; Chrisogonos, 2003; Papasavvas, 2003.
8. TEU, Article 6: “1. The Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States; 2. The Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law; 3. The Union shall respect the national identities of its Member States; 4. The Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies”.
9. See United Nations, Security Council, ‘Report by the Secretary-General on his Mission of Good offices in Cyprus’, S/2003/398, 1 April 2003. Previous Secretary-General’s Reports are also worth reading. Also, see United Nations, ‘Summary of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot Views on the Set of Ideas’, 11 November 1992 (S/24472).
10. Waltz, 1988, pp. 41-42.
11. Waltz, 1979, p. 88.
12. Ibid., p. 91.
13. Waltz, 1997, p. 913.
14. Conversely, Mearsheimer, in a resent definitive work on offensive-realism, assumes that great powers seek power as an end in itself. See Mearsheimer, 2001, pp. 1-54.
15. Waltz, 1979, Chapter 6.
16. Ibid., pp. 91-92.
17. Ibid., p. 93.
18. Herz, 1950.
19. Waltz, 1979, p. 80. Waltz has also assumed that (1) “structures may endure while personality, behaviour, and interactions vary widely; and (2) “because this is so, theories developed for one realm may with some modification be applicable to other realms as well”.
20. Waltz, 1979, p. 93.
22. Waltz, 1986, pp. 323-330.
23. Ibid., pp. 323-324.
24. Waltz, 1979, p. 97.
25. Ibid., p. 96 (Italics are mine).
26. Ibid., p. 93.
27. Ibid., p. 99.
28. Ibid., p. 97.
29. Wendt, 1999, argued (like many did before) that neorealists take states identities “as given”. This is a simplistic statement. Neorealists assume that at the system-level the identities of states are “characterised” by their functional undifferentiated character and by the distribution of capabilities across the system’s units. This might be a simple definition about the “structural identities” of the system’s units, but obviously, neorealists do not take the identities of the states as given.
30. Waltz, 1979, p. 118.
31. See, op. cit., Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War.
32. Grieco, 1988, p. 498.
33. Jervis, 1978, has a different opinion. Giorgos Kentas, Confronting Anarchy with Perceptions: A Study of the Security Dilemma. Unpublished thesis.
34. Gilpin, 1981, p. 211.
35. Cohen, 1964; Mackinder, 1942.
36. Coufoudakis (ed.), 1976.
37. See Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus. Cmnd. 1093, (Presented to the British Parliament by the Secretary of State for Colonies, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence by Command of Her Majesty, July 1960).
38. See Eric Schmitt with Dexter Filkins, ‘Erdogan to Form New Turkish Government as US Presses for Use of Military Bases’. The New York Times, 12 March 2003. Associated Press, ‘US Must Rethink Strategy Without Turkey’, 3 March 2003. Frank Bruni, ‘US Ties to Turkey May Face Enduring Strain, Officials Say’, New York Times, 4 March 2003. Glenn Kessler and Philip P. Pan, ‘Diplomatic Missteps With Turkey Prove Costly’, Washington Post, 28 March 2003.
39. See Murat Unlu, ‘Turkey’s Presence in Iraq Disturbs US Plans’, Turkish Daily News, 14 July 2003. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, ‘US Wants to Redesign Turkey’, Turkish Daily News, 14 July 2003.
40. Ifestos, 1999; Platias, 1999.
41. Geeraerts and Stouthuysen (eds.), 1999.
42. Kant, 1795.
43. Rousseau op. cit., 1917.
44. Jervis, 1978; Van Evera, 1998.
45. Clausewitz op. cit., 1968, Book I, p. 87.
46. Waltz, 1988.
47. See Andrew Gowers, Robert Cottrell and Andrew Jack, ‘Putin Interviewed on ABM Treaty’, Financial Times, 13 December 2001.
48. Strange, 1996, p. 192.
49. See Presidency Conclusions, European Council of Laeken (December 2001). Also, see Consolidated Version of The Treaty on European Union (Title V, Articles 11-28). For an historical analysis about the foreign policy of EC/EU from the European Political Cooperation to the Common Foreign and Security Policy, see Regelsberger (ed.), 1997; Ifestos, 1997.
50. Doubtless, the NATO airplanes, which were deployed over the US skies in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks (October 2001), had just a ceremonial role to play. See CNN, ‘NATO Aircraft Guard US Skies’. 12 October 2001 (Resource: www.cnn.com).
51. Waltz, 2000, p. 16.
52. Ibid., p. 14.
53. Keohane and Nye, 1975, 1977, 1987, 2001; Keohane, 1984, 1989.
54. Keohane, 1989, p. 9 (Italics are mine).
55. Keohane argued that the neorealism’s relative gain problem and the realism’s relative capabilities problem “do not accurately describe [the] US policy toward Europe or Japan for at least twenty years after World War II”. See Ibid., p. 10.
56. See Terence Neilan, ‘U.S. Pulls Out of the ABM Treaty’, International Herald Tribune, 14 December 2001.
57. Waltz, 1959, p. 203. Also, see Neumann and Morgenstern, 1953.
58. See Joseph S. Nye, ‘Before War’, Washington Post, 14 March 2003. Walt, 2001, is of the same opinion.
59. Axelrod and Keohane, 1985, do not agree with that. They assume that in the shadow of the future, states prefer to cooperate for absolute gains.
60. Population (2001): 762.300, GDP per capita (2001): 18.500 EUR (20.0747 USD), Fiscal Deficit on GDP (2001): 2.8%, Inflation rate (2001): 2%, Unemployment rate (2001): 4%, GDP real growth (2001): 4%. Sources: Eurostat. National Sources. OECD External Debt Statistics. For further information see, European Commission, ‘2002 Regular Report on Cyprus’ Progress Toward Accession’, Brussels, 9 October 2002.
61. Sovereignty is defined as the capability of the states (1) to freely make decisions on internal politics and (2) to have independent foreign policies. All states face limitations of sovereignty due to systemic causes and units-level interactions. Cyprus is an extraordinary case. It cannot function as a full sovereign state because (1) its constitution is given by three other states, (2) it cannot revise several articles of its constitution, (3) the guarantor powers intervene in the internal politics of the state, (4) it could not make decisions on several aspects of foreign policy -including defence- without the permission of its “guarantor powers” and (5) Britain established fully sovereign post-colonial military bases on the island, which excludes them from the acquis. In the aftermath of the Turkish-Cypriot community’s rebellion in 1963, when its members gave up their constitutional rights and abandoned their governmental positions, the Republic of Cyprus was forced to function without the constitutional provisions that concerned Turkish Cypriots. Although in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the illegal military occupation of 37% of the state’s territory, the sovereignty of Cyprus was further narrowed, the Republic of Cyprus managed to survive and join the EU. Hence, Cyprus can participate as a full member state of the EU and make decisions that concern the Union and its member states.
62. Papademetriou, 1992.
63. Coufoudakis (ed.), 1976.
64. See fn. 9.
65. Sarris, 1977, 1982, 1983.
66. See UNSC Resolution 186, 4 March 1964; UNSC Resolution 354, 20 July 1974; UNSC Resolution 541, 18 November 1983.
67. Denktash, 1982.
68. Sarris, 1977, 1982, 1983.
69. UNSC Resolution 541, 18 November 1983.
70. It is important to mention here that some mediators use the Republic of Cyprus’ concern about international recognition as leverage. They exert pressure on the Greek-Cypriot side to retreat from fundamental negotiating positions and accept a solution it would never like to accept.
71. Ifestos, Platias, 1992; Aristotelous, 1998. Although the Common Defence Space Agreement between Greece and Cyprus is vital for the security of Cyprus, it twice failed to demonstrate deterrence credibility (when Turkey invaded the Greek islet of Imia in 1996 and when Cyprus cancelled the deployment of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in 1998). See Michele Kambas, ‘Cyprus Alters Missile Plan After Threat’, Washington Post, 30 December 1998. Associated Press, ‘Cyprus Leader Cancels Plan to Deploy New Missiles’, The New York Times, 30 December 1998.
72. Chrisostomides, 1994.
73. European Court of Human Rights, Cyprus v. Turkey, 10 May 2001. European Court of Human Rights, Titina Loizidou v. Turkey, 18 December 1996.
74. Annan Plan, p. 7.
75. Ibid., pp. 159-168.
76. Ibid., p. 8.
77. See United Nations, Security Council, ‘Report by the Secretary-General on his Mission of Good offices in Cyprus’, S/2003/398, 1 April 2003. Especially paragraphs 4-7.
78. See Kentas in Couloumbis, Ntokos, Kintis (eds.), 2003, pp. 251-263. Turkey believes that for the time being its national interest is better served through the ongoing status quo in Cyprus than through a new state of affairs based on the Plan. Turkey had the power to say “no” without suffering any cost.
79. See Vassiliou, Stylianides and Savvides in Couloumbis, Ntokos, Kintis (eds.), 2003, pp. 210-220, 231-237, 239-250.
80. The Annan Plan is alien to the nature of international politics. Furthermore, the Plan satisfies neither EU standards and the Union’s acquis nor the human rights standards of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Plan promotes a base of discrimination between the two constituent states and their citizens in relation to social and political rights.
81. Florini, 2000.
82. Within the thirteen EU nominated candidate for accession states ten are former Eastern and Central European States. Eight of them will join the Union on 1 May 2004; Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland; and two of them are expected to become members in 2007; Rumania, Bulgaria. Cyprus and Malta will join the EU on 1 May 2004. Turkey seeks for a date to launch pre-entrance negotiation in December 2004.
83. Annan Plan, pp. 11, 36-37.
84. Ibid., p. 95.
85. Ibid., pp. 95-96; “Article 4 Decisions of the Supreme Court: 1. In accordance with the Constitution, the Supreme Court shall strive to reach decisions by consensus and issue joint judgments of the court; 2. In the absence of consensus, a majority of the Cypriot judges may take the decision of the court and issue a joint judgment; 3. In the absence of a majority among the Cypriot judges, the non-Cypriot judges, acting together and speaking with one voice, shall participate in the decision of the court”.
86. Ibid., p. 8.
87. CFSP stands for Common Foreign and Security Policy.
88. CESDP stands for Common European Security and Defence Policy.
89. Annan Plan, p. 179.
90. See Article 6, 1 of the TEU.
91. Treaty of Accession, Brussels, 3 April 2003. Protocol 10 on Cyprus, pp. 4803-4807.
92. Keohane and Martin, 1995, pp. 45-46.
93. Axelrod, 1984.
94. Axelrod and Keohane, 1985.
95. CD stands for “Cooperation-Defection”.
96. Jervis, 1978.
97. For the leading works on this course see: Stein, 1980; Young, 1980; Keohane and Nye, 1977; Keohane, 1984, 1989; Krasner (ed.), 1983.
98. Wendt, 1992.
99. Wendt, 1999. Also, see Keohane, 2000.
100. Telò et al., 2001.
101. George A. Papandreou, ‘A Unified Cyprus is Essential for European Unity’, International Herald Tribune, 21 May 2002.
102. See Kathimerini, ‘Erdogan becomes uncompromised’, 12 March 2003 (in Greek).
103. Giallourides, 1999; Giallourides and Tsakonas, 1999; ELIAMEP, 2002.
104. Annan Plan, p. 9.
105. Ibid., p. 178.
106. Ibid., 179.
107. Ibid., p. 44.
108. “Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said…that Turkey has agreed to drop its veto of EU cooperation with NATO in return for a commitment that the island of Cyprus, even if it unifies, will remain outside regional security structures…Agreement on the issue was reached…in Copenhagen on EU expansion. Solana, the key interlocutor, said he had worked over the past two years to clinch the deal and finally devised a set of conditions acceptable to Greece, Turkey and the United States. Over lunch with Washington Post editors and reporters, Solana explained that Turkey «did not want to have a divided Cyprus have anything to do with NATO»”. Quoted in Nora Boustany, ‘Clearing the Way for EU-NATO Cooperation’. Washington Post, 18 December 2002.
109. Treaty of Accession, Brussels, 3 April 2003, p. 4805.
111. Ibid., p. 4804. Also, see Presidency Conclusions on Cyprus from the European Council of Luxembourg 1997 to the European Council of Thessalonica 2003 and European Commission’s Regular Reports on Cyprus (1998-2002).
112. Republic of Cyprus, ‘Government Policy Vis-à-Vis The Turkish Cypriots (Set Of Measures)’. Nicosia, 30 April 2003.
113. European Commission concludes that “[t]he economic situation in the northern parts of Cyprus is still very weak and the population is undergoing severe hardships more than a year after the economic and banking crises in Turkey had damaged economic activity in the north. Real output growth contracted by 3.6% in 2001, following a 0.6% fall in 2000. Consequently, per capita income has continued to decline in 2001, with the economic crisis aggravating the income gap with the rest of the island. Estimates put income at some €4,000 per head in 2001”. See European Commission, ‘2002 Regular Report on Cyprus Progress toward Accession’, 9 October 2002, p. 28.
114. Reuters, 27 December 2002. “«Enough, nobody believes you...» Turkish Cypriot rally calls for Denktas[h] to quit. One of the biggest [rallies] in north Cyprus”.
115. This is one of the conclusions reached in the Council of Europe’s Reports on Turkey’s colonisation policy. See Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, ‘Report on the demographic structure of Cypriots communities’, 1995. Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, ‘Colonisation by Turkish Settlers of the Occupied Part of Cyprus’, 2002.
116. This is a statement made by Turkey’s Prime Minister, Mr. Abdullah Gul, in Copenhagen (December 2002) and repeated by his successor, Mr. T. Erdogan in Turkey’s National Assembly. See Yiannos Charalambides, ‘Breath of Hope’, Simerini, 14 December 2002 (in Greek). Yiannos Charalambides, ‘Erdogan speaks with the voice of Denktash’, Simerini, 19 July 2003 (in Greek).
117. See fn. 103.
118. Lakatos, 1970; Waltz, 1997.
119. Hereafter, when I refer to neorealism I refer to a combination of structural and traditional realism’s arguments.
120. Annan Plan, p. 170.
121. Ibid., ‘Additional Protocol To The Treaty Of Alliance’, pp. 170-174.
122. Ibid., p. 160.
123. See George A. Papandreou, ‘A Unified Cyprus is Essential for European Unity’, International Herald Tribune, 21 May 2002. United Nations, Security Council, ‘Report by the Secretary-General on his Mission of Good offices in Cyprus’, S/2003/398, 1 April 2003. Especially paragraphs 4-7.
124. Annan Plan, p. 160.
125. Ibid., ‘Reconciliation Commission’, pp. 155-57. S. Papasavvas, ‘Education and Public Law in Tomorrow’s Cyprus. The Annan Plan Provisions’, European Public Law Series (forthcoming).
126. See Mavrommatis, 2003, ‘The Financial Aspects of the Annan Plan’ in Aimilianides et al., 2003, pp. 116-143.
127. Annan Plan, pp. 2, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61, 65, 69, 70, 72, 90, 93, 94, 95, 101, 103, 106, 110, 138, 156, 157, 181.
128. Ibid.,pp. 12, 160, 182-3.
129. See Treaty of Accession, ‘Protocol 3 On the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Cyprus’, pp. 4745-4762.
130. European Court of Human Rights, Titina Loizidou v. Turkey, 18 December 1996.
131. European Court of Human Rights, Cyprus v Turkey, 10 May 2001 Application No. 25781/94.
132. See, for example, European Commission, ‘2000 Regular Report on Turkey’s Progress toward Accession’, p. 20.
134. See Douglas Hamilton, ‘Turkey Blocks Deal To Share NATO Force’. Washington Post, 16 December 2000. Michael R. Gordon, ‘Turkey Tentatively Agrees European Union Force May Use NATO Bases’, The New York Times, 5 June 2001. Nora Boustany, ‘Clearing the Way for EU-NATO Cooperation’, Washington Post, 18 December 2002. Giorgos Kentas, ‘Cyprus off CESDP’, Simerini, 19 December 2002 (in Greek). Presidency Conclusions, European Council of Brussels, 24-25 October 2002.
135. Presidency Conclusions, European Council of Copenhagen, 12-23 December, p. 14.
136. Annan Plan, p. 7.
137. Carr, 1939; Marks, 1976.
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