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THE COMMITTEE FOR A EUROPEAN SOLUTION IN CYPRUS, a private independent organization of civil society

A principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law
An International Expert Panel composed of eight university professors from seven countries presents herewith a proposal to promote a just Cyprus settlement, leaving behind all previous “plans” submitted to the Cyprus people by foreign entities, in particular the plan rejected in the April 2004 referendum.

Both the present state of affairs in Cyprus and the terms of the “Annan Plan” are thoroughly inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the European Union and international law, mainly self-determination, liberty, democracy; respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The panel is convinced that a Member State of the European Union who has two other Member States and one would-be Member State as Guarantor Powers is not sovereign. The Guarantor Powers have become part of the Cyprus problem and cannot therefore be part of the solution.

On April 2004, 76 % of the voters of the Republic of Cyprus rejected the Annan Plan. This decision has to be accepted as a valid exercise of the people’s right to self-determination. Clear-cut results of sovereignty referendums cannot be repeated without threatening legal security and democratic government. A rejected plan must not be recycled and resubmitted under renewed political pressures and threats aimed at overturning the will of the people.

The European Court’s decisions holding that fundamental rights have been continuously violated in northern Cyprus since 1974 have still not been implemented.

There can be no rule of law in a territory illegally occupied by a foreign power. If a member state of the European Union is prevented from exercising sovereignty over part of its internationally recognized territory, the European order itself is compromised.

The above principles of international and European law offer a unique key to initiate and successfully conclude a process that will help to arrive at a just settlement for Cyprus within the framework of a new and truly Cypriot Constitution.

A Constitutional Convention for Cyprus, democratically elected or designated so as to reflect appropriately the will of the voters and the aspirations of civil society of the different communities on the island shall have the sole responsibility for drafting and adopting a new Constitution, building on, and eventually replacing the existing 1960 Constitution. The members of the Constitutional Convention shall have the exclusive responsibility to choose whatever political system they may prefer, to define territorial arrangements and to shape procedures that will protect minority and human rights in the interest of the people of all communities. The only legal limits of the Convention’s power are strict compliance with European constitutional principles, international human rights standards and the acquis communautaire. The new Constitution as framed by the Convention shall be submitted to referendum. Only the people of Cyprus can bring about the legitimacy essential for a new beginning.

The European Union is therefore called upon to seize this historic opportunity and to assume its special responsibility for actively helping to put in motion a process of constitution-making that will finally allow the Republic of Cyprus, as a member state, to recover full sovereignty and independence.
Finally, the panel calls upon the European Parliament to adopt a resolution that reaffirms the Fundamental Principles that must guide those involved in the seeking of a Cyprus settlement, and endorsing the idea of a Constitutional Convention for Cyprus. The Parliament should also create a monitoring mechanism by which conformity to the Fundamental Principles is ensured.

Copyright ©2004 Alfred De Zayas. All contents are copyrighted and may not be used without the author's permission. This page was created by Nick Ionascu.