In this author's view, there is an international obligation incumbent on the EU, as well as on all parties to the dispute, to solve the problem of North Cyprus. The most promising way forward would appear to be the creation of a confederation together with the simultaneous accession to the European Union. This could provide the basis for the creation of specific legal and institutional guarantees for the maintenance of safety and security in the region.
A good starting point for negotiation would be the proposal made by President Denktas on 31 August 1998, according to which the establishment of a Cyprus confederation could be based on the following arrangements:42
The ultimate aim of Denktas's proposal is a "partnership settlement" in form of a confederated structure composed of two peoples and two states of the Island and supported by parallel agreements of the two sides with the two guarantor States, Greece and Turkey. However, this could also be replaced by suitable structures to be created within the framework of the EU.
Nevertheless, any solution requires the full support from Turkey. The synchronisation of the two issues, Cyprus accession and relations with Turkey, and the avoidance of deadlock, may well be the greatest challenge in this policy area for the EU in the immediate future. A failure is of immediate detriment to the population of both North and South.
Of course the conditions and institutional aspects of an arrangement need to be worked out in much more detail. A viable Cyprus settlement takes a great deal of time. Instead of pressing for a "quick fix", all parties would benefit from a preliminary agreement, including a solution to the question of borders, property, security and viability.
A comprehensive lobbying campaign is necessary to enlist the support of the EU Member States and the relevant political bodies in the European Union as well as Turkey in order to arrive at an adequate solution.
42 Proposals for a Lasting Solution in Cyprus. Reprinted in: Dodd, supra, note 9.
43 This proposal also envisages that, until Turkey has full membership of the EU, a special arrangement should provide it with the full rights and obligations of an EU Member with regard to the Cyprus confederation.