The confusing pickle into which the European Union, United Nations and Cyprus have fallen was revealed by the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mehmet Ali Talat. While in Brussels, at a meeting of the European Policy Centre, he described the latest round of talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

No Community solution was possible at present, he said. Why, one could ask. The European Community is the most successful security and peace-enhancing system the world has found so far. It created peace in Western Europe after two thousands years of practically constant warfare every generation. Furthermore Cyprus is technically a Member State of the EU and the European Community system. That applies even though it lies geographically in Asia.

Mr Talat said that even before he was elected president he wanted to create a Community-type solution. However, later, when he tried to raise this option, he couldn’t. Why? He was told by everyone that the negotiations were confined to the concept of a federal, bi-zonal and bi-communal approach under the auspices of the United Nations.

Why should Cypriots be restricted to this UN straitjacket? Because the United Nations resolutions say so.

So whose peace is it anyway? Is the UN going to dictate a so-called solution that experience has proved does not work? It has had its way since 1950s. Isn’t half a century long enough to show its deficiency and failure?

Who put these ridiculous restrictions in place? The member states of the UN, fired by the passions of the moment. One thing is certain is that they are crude political compromises made by people who may be more interested in national opinion outside Cyprus! Each has his own prejudice. And even if they were then filled with the wisdom of all ages in the 1960s – which is demonstrably false – that would not mean that it would be applicable in 2010. Things have cooled off since Greece sent in army officers and Turkey sent troops to the island. Both sides now agree they do not need an army in a unified State.

The UN has created a LCD, a lowest common denominator straitjacket. What the Community gives is a solution bringing the highest possible combination of values and interests together. Sixty years of peace in Western Europe are proof. Half a billion people have experienced peace. True Europeans have changed bloodshed for step-by-step, pragmatic, common solutions.

It seems especially an especially curious prejudice for everyone to take this anti-Community stance for Cyprus. In the 1950s, Europe created a system that made ‘war not only unthinkable but materially impossible’. That was the European Coal and Steel Community based on a supranational Community governance system. Are the principles of supranational Community governance applicable to Cyprus? Of course!

Why wasn’t it applied in the 1950s and 1960s? Well, the world leaders such as France’s Charles de Gaulle did not like the supranational Community—because it restricted his immoral and undemocratic actions.

But that is no reason why present day European leaders are not advocating the Community system for Cyprus, as mentioned here. Why aren’t they? Yes, why? Might the anti-supranational and Gaullist Lisbon Treaty have something to do with it?

However, if the European leaders in Brussels are still being myopic and stubborn, at least the United Nations are beginning to see the light. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on his visit to Cyprus, implied that peace between Cypriots is the most important issue at hand.

This process belongs to Cyprus,” said Mr Ban. “Your destiny is in your hands. You have taken responsibility for finding a solution.

He gave his “personal support to the Cypriot-led and -owned process to reunify the island,” or whatever else the owners of the process might want to do with it.

He is right. A free decision among free people is more likely to be just. It will last longer than a mucky compromise. All the dossiers must have the best, most moral solution possible. Supranational governance aims at solutions based on eternal values.

So Cypriots, why not begin to act like Europeans?

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  1. thanks for an interesting article.

    Responding to your title question, why don’t Europeans act, i guess simply because they can not. Starting with the fact that EU made the mistake to accept ‘Cyprus’ as represented only by the Greek Cypriots I guess you can understand the reasons behind this inability to become a catalyst.

    As for why the Cypriots don’t start to become like Europeans, I guess that is another matter, subject to exhaustive discussion.

    I think this is yet another historic change of finding a solution, not -so much- imposed by a third actor such as UN but created by the Cypriots themselves. We ‘ve said it many times in the past but, this time, I do believe it is the very last change of a reunification.

  2. The Community solution works as the first Community proved. It requires something that is hard for the present breed of politicians — humility. This is needed to install a supranational authority that is impartial and has definite but limited powers. Politicians and parties need to keep their hands off it, as they should with judges in the Courts.

    Unfortunately it is the only way out of the logjam at the moment. It requires a measure of Statemanship — something in short supply. Let hope that there are some Statesmen left in the world, rather than speech-makers.

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