Πέμπτη, 6 Αυγούστου 2015

Energy Security and the Cyprus Question: “Securitization” of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean

In February 2014, Nikos Anastasiades, the President of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and Dervis Eroglu, the Turkish-Cypriot leader, signed a Joint Declaration establishing certain “ground-rules” upon which the then stalled peace talks -aiming at the island’s reunificationcould be revived. This evolution was arguably prompted by the discovery of new energy sources in the Eastern Mediterranean, and especially offshore the RoC. Gas had initially been portrayed as a potential catalyst for a restart of the long-standing peace process, and possibly for its successful conclusion. Nevertheless, a couple of months later, it seemed that these discoveries had worked against these aspirations and added chill to the Cyprus conflict. In October 2014, a Turkish navigational warning notified mariners that Turkey would soon perform its seismic surveys in sea areas that encroach on Cyprus’s EEZ, raising concerns on the escalation of the existing protracted conflict. Anastasiades withdrew from the negotiations, attributing his decision to these activities.
If someone had to summarize the Cyprus conflict in a few words, he would quote the aphorism of the deceased former President of the RoC, Glafkos Clerides’: “What satisfies their fears is what increases our fears, and so we have this paradoxical situation that unless we can find a way in which the fears of both communities are put at rest, it would be extremely difficult to find a solution to the Cyprus problem” (Coughlan 1991: 92). This phrase seems to capture the very essence of the diachronic security dilemma on the island. Reading into thorough analyses, embedded in the rich literature of the Cyprus studies, we have figured out that the roots of the Cyprus conflict, and other intractable conflicts alike, are mapped more into intangible sociological, cultural, religious and psychological factors rather than scarce resources. These intangible factors have resulted in a sense of mutual suspicion that exerts a significant influence in the tensions unfolding in the present. 

The challenge of the current thesis is to comprehend how the legacies, based in the past, come into play in the course of the current developments. The central research objective of this project is to provide readers with an explanatory account on how the interplay between energy and power politics operates. We seek to sketch out a comprehensive framework for energy security in the Eastern Mediterranean, while bringing the intractable Cyprus conflict to the forefront.

acceess full article on:  http://www.iapss.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Politikon-Volume-27-July-2015.pdf           page No. 5

By Vasileios P. Karakasis

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