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EU: Republic of Cyprus

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 13 May (WA 251), whether they are aware of any threats by the Greek Government in 2004 to veto the accession to the European Union of the countries of central and eastern Europe unless the island of Cyprus was admitted as the "Republic of Cyprus"; and whether they consider that such a threat would have constituted a breach of European Union rules.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

The Government are not aware of any threat by the Greek Government to veto the accession to the European Union of the countries of central and eastern Europe after the Treaty of Accession was signed in 2003. Decisions to admit new member states to the EU are taken by unanimity.

Does this answer the above question?

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No3 people think not

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Donald Crawford
Posted on 7 Jun 2011 11:08 am (Report this annotation)

Lord Guildford is right in saying that there was no threat from the Greek Government after 2003 because by then the deal had already been done. It was at and after the Copenhagen negotiations in 1999 that the Greeks threatened to veto enlargement unless the Greek Cypriots could be guaranteed admission to the EU whether or not the island was reunited hitherto a condition of membership. The Greek argument was that the Greek Cypriots should not be denied membership because of the intransigence of the Turkish Cypriots in vetoing reunification. In the event it was the Greek Cypriots who voted against reunification in 2004. That is why they were accused by EU commissioners of ‘cheating’ their way into the EU. So while strictly Lord Guildford’s answer is correct, it hides the true answer.

Donald Crawford
Posted on 7 Jun 2011 11:11 am (Report this annotation)

Silly — I meant of course Lord Howell of Guildford!