Greece on Cyprus-EU accession and negotiations  (2002)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset , Queen's University Belfast (available online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/Greek-TurkishNegotiationsandCrises1983-2003/#d.en.173636)

Case Summary:

Given the nature of the Cyprus problem, any failed attempt to settle the issue increases the chance for future confrontation between the two sides. Moreover, a lack of settlement in Cyprus might lead to Turkey’s exclusion from the EU, due to a Greek or Greek Cypriot veto.[i]  A year earlier, the Turkish PM used the threat of annexing Northern Cyprus if the island is admitted to the EU. [ii] In the Copenhagen summit of December 2002, the EU fails to start negotiations for Turkey’s candidacy, and in return, Turkey fails to convince the Turkish Cypriot leadership to support the Annan plan settlement.[iii] Lexis/Nexis provides 57 results for the terms “Greece,” “Turkey,” “crisis,” and “Cyprus” for the period 12/1/2002 to 1/1/2003 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

Does the Greek government have an incentive to follow confrontational policies and reject the Annan plan? The Simitis government looks favorably at the proposed Annan plan and is well aware that Greek Cypriot rejection might complicate the island’s accession to the EU.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

The EU candidacy talks with Turkey suffer from this indistinguishability. For one thing, Greece aims at a proper and fair settlement in Cyprus and the Aegean. Greek policies that promote these objectives might lead to a Greek veto of Turkey’s accession. For another, Turkey claims that it should not be excluded from the EU, because of the country’s large Muslim population.[iv] The absence of a secure path for Turkey in the European Union complicates the settlement of Cyprus and the Aegean dispute.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

There are enduring rivalries with Turkey, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Domestic Challenges: 0

There are no forthcoming elections.

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Greece accepts the Annan plan and supports the Greek Cypriot leadership on a similar decision.


[i] “Turkey's new team: Erdogan must act quickly on Cyprus to win EU backing”, Financial Times, November 21, 2002 p. 20; Clement Dodd, “Comment & Analysis: A shotgun deal for Cyprus that could backfire”, Financial Times, December 5, 2002, p.13

[ii] “Greek Cypriots say annexation threat is blackmail,” Agence France Presse, November 4, 2001.

[iii] Judy Dempsey, Robert Graham, George Parker and Stefan Wagstyl, “Setback for Turkey over EU entry Accession Talks EU Leaders’ Decision could Hamper Progress on UN Plan for Cyprus, Financial Times, December 13, 2002, p.2

[iv] Donald Macintyre, “Europe must not turn its back on Turkey at such a pivotal moment” The Independent, December 5, 2002, p20.