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On 20 May 2020, Takis HADJIGEORGIOU participated in a webinar as lecturer at Izmir University of Economics in Turkey.

The topic of the forum online was “EU Cyprus relations”.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the EP to Campus programmes scheduled in March and April had to be postponed. We are encouraging the Jean Monnet professors to involve former MEPs in distance learning activities.

Newsletter from EURAC, Online Seminar on Cyprus

Takis Hadjigeorgiou, member of the European Parliament 2009-19 and Vice President of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee of the European Parliament 2014 – 19, held an EURAC online seminar on the Cyprus conflict on 20 May 2020. He argued that the among both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots widespread feeling of insecurity is the key obstacle for the reunification of the island. According to him, many Greek Cypriots fear that any political agreement will not exclude the possibility of another intervention of Turkey and many Turkish Cypriots fear that the Greek Cypriot side will dominate politics if the island is united one day. He is convinced that the establishment of a UN Headquarter on the island would contribute to ease such fears and encourage the political leaders of both sides to find a political compromise for the unification of the island. He thinks that a solution is possible if Turkey will abandon the right of intervention, and if the Turkish army will leave the island soon after the achievement of a political agreement.

“I had an online conversation with students of the university. We talked and exchanged views in various issues. Mainly the relationship between EU and Turkey, the Cyprus issue, the modernization of the customs union agreement, etc. Very productive conversation” By Takis Hadjigeorgiou


Please find below Mr. Takis HADJIGEORGIU‘s report about this event.

A propoal for peace in the Eastern Medeterranean

The Cyprus problem has become a long-standing issue. It clearly seems that efforts to resolve it spanning over decades have tired the EU and the world community. Nonetheless, achieving a solution is essential.
For this to be realised, forty-six years after the division of the island by turkish intervention, a number of factors need to occur.
Firstly, Turkey itself must decide that Greek and Turkish Cypriots
can manage their own state as they wish, within the framework of a federation.
In order for this to happen, Turkey must accept a termination of its rights as a guarantor power and simultaneously withdraw its army. As should Greece along with the United Kingdom.
Lastly, both Greek and Turkish Cypriots must decide to take on the risk a solution encompasses. Such a major undertaking demands of its leaders to take on the weight of this responsibility.

It was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to participate in an online discussion regarding the Cyprus issue with Turkish students of the University of Izmir.
The students raised many important questions and issues. A most productive, fruitful discussion ensued under the guidance of Alexander Buengin, their teacher and facilitator. I am under the impression that a solution to the Cyprus problem will prove to be a most hopeful and optimistic message to the region.
If Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, Christians and Muslims (though it must be stated that religion has never been an issue between the two communities) build a common state within the realms of a federation, this in itself will be a shining example, a beacon of hope for the eastern Mediterranean and wider region.
The biggest obstacle is the required sense of security which is a prerequisite for all Cypriots in the case of a solution. It is with this in mind that I have proposed the idea of establishing a new United Nations seat in Cyprus. To use the words of Jean Monnet, “Nothing is possible without men, nothing is lasting without institutions”.

Such an institution of the United Nations in Cyprus will support and assist the necessity of achieving a sense of security. This was the reason that the founders of the European Union established such global institutions with the aim of sustaining and giving longevity to the agreements.

To name but a few: the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, the United Nations in Geneva. If one were to look at the world map in search of such an organisation, from beyond northern Europe to the Balkans, Asia Minor, Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the whole of Southern Africa, they would not encounter anything that even slightly resembles it. It is clear to see just by observing the whole region; the situation in Syria, Libya, Palestine, Israel, and currently, the worrying conflict brewing between Greece and Turkey. As has been made clear such an institution of the United Nations will not only assist and safeguard the success of a possible solution in Cyprus, but the establishment of peace in the wider region.

This report was also published in our September 2020 FMA Bulletin.


May 20, 2020
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