Flynn, M. K., King, T., Braddon, D. and Dadomo, C.
Reconciliation and Peace Economics in Cyprus. Summary of Findings (February 2012). Report to the European Commission (EuropeAid Cypriot Civil Society in Action II Programme).
University of the West of England.
Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/17538
- Published Version
II. Executive Summary
Funding and Aims of Project
This report presents summary findings from the project ‘Reconciliation andPeace Economics in Cyrus’ (April 2010 – February 2012).
The project was funded by the EuropeAid Cypriot Civil Society in Action IIprogramme aiming to promote ‘a conducive environment for the furtherdevelopment of trust, dialogue, cooperation and closer relationship between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities...’
Funding was as Stream C support for ‘NGOs and international organisations promoting reconciliation projects including research leading to a better understanding of issues affecting trust between the two communities.’
From the start of project, it was apparent that there was little hope for asettlement and the project concluded as the UN-sponsored talks again failed.
Activities involved research, dialogue and dissemination.
Research in Cyprus was based on: a general household survey; a crossing-point survey; focus groups; and interviews. All research took place on bothsides of the Green Line.
Dialogue took place in four symposia and one bi-communal event.
Dissemination has taken place through provision of findings at a bi-communal event and this report. There were also meetings with personnelfrom NGOs and overseas missions in Cyprus.
The EU Context
The Republic of Cyprus is highly unusual as an EU member which does nothave full control over its constitutionally claimed territory.
The Green Line Regulation severely restricts the scope of trade and movementbetween the Republic of Cyprus and northern Cyprus.
The two communities do not agree on what the Cyprus problem is and thereis little agreement about arrangements for a post-solution state.
There is marked reluctance to recognise the other side, as well as interact evenwith the checkpoints open.
Most Cypriots do not cross the Green Line or have only done so once or twice,so bi-communal contact is limited to a small percentage of the population.
There is notable societal mistrust both within as well as
There is suspicion about political leadership and the direction of the talks.
While the Turkish Cypriot community tends to view the cause of the Cyprusproblem as an issue between the communities, the Greek Cypriot communitytends to view the cause as external.
Given this fundamental disagreement, it is highly problematic from the outsetto effectively apply reconciliation initiatives.
The low level of interaction and interdependence between the communitiesalso means that a starting point of moves towards reconciliation is absent.
EU policy in Cyprus could more usefully at this time move to addressingsocietal trust issues within each community rather than between them.
Both Cypriot economies are developing separately and in different directions.
Increased economic interaction may not be required for future prosperity, butit is a crucial component to anchor an effective peace process.
While the economy of northern Cyprus is clearly weaker than that of theRepublic of Cyprus, this does not equate to actual household poverty.
Comparatively, Turkish Cypriots reported greater access to capital and agreater ability to save money than Greek Cypriots.
Each side engages in different activity when they cross; Greek Cypriots tend to visit places of interest, worship or their families’ former home areas, while Turkish Cypriots more often shop, consume and access public hospitals.
Greek Cypriots especially are resistant to spending money in the north toavoid supporting its economy, and spend less than Turkish Cypriots crossing.
Significant regulatory obstacles to economic interaction remain in place, whileeconomic relations cannot be divorced from considerations of social trust.
Substantive change in economic relations depends on political movement anda transformation of the rules of engagement across the Green Line.
Assumptions about the relative strengths and weaknesses of both communities’ economies need to be realistically re-examined.
Evaluation of the project confirms that the research and disseminationelements were appropriate. However, dialogue was less successful.
There is a lack of wide interest in attending participatory events, in partbecause the Cyprus talks have dragged on for so long without result.
The number of projects and events funded by the EU and others suggests thatproject fatigue detracts from significant interest in individual events.
With no apparent programme coordination among the Cypriot Civil Societyin Action projects, the EU is not making best use of its EuropeAid investment.
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