A North Cyprus State Will Result in EU Membership Renegotiation

A North Cyprus State Will Result in EU Membership RenegotiationWhile Turkish Cypriots are justified in demanding that a Cyprus settlement should give them a secure constituent state and political equality in key areas of a federal government, there is a danger that if the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus were to cease to exist then EU membership may have to be renegotiated.

When Scotland attempted to separate from the rest of the UK its continued membership of the EU became an issue with the European Commission expressing the opinion that under EU law Scotland would have to reapply for membership in her own right if the people voted for independence, even though Scotland was presently part of the EU under the UK umbrella. This caused a lot of concern at the time because Scotland’s re-entry into the EU could not be guaranteed. This brings some doubt to the north being part of the EU if a settlement resulted in them becoming separate from the south.

‘So far as Cyprus is concerned, the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU as one sovereign territory which included northern Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriots became EU citizens by virtue of their citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus. However by Protocol 10 of the 2004 Treaty of Accession of Cyprus the application of the EU legal order was suspended in northern Cyprus pending a settlement.’

Currently Turkish Cypriots are EU citizens and once there is a settlement the EU legal order will be lifted and northern Cyprus will merge fully into the EU, subject to the usual transitional adjustments to converge northern Cyprus’ political, economic, and social infrastructure to harmonise with EU standards. But would this still be true if a settlement led to a separate state in the north?

Few Turkish Cypriots would vote for any solution that puts their citizenship of the EU at risk. It has provided them with freedom of movement in the EU – to live work and study in the UK in particular. So any agreement would have to end with the south being in charge as it is the only internationally accepted entity with legal rights given by the EU.

Or to put it another way, there will not be a settlement.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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