Jan 1997 – May 2011
This project started in 1997 as an initiative to facilitate the work of a group of business leaders looking into possibilities for cooperation between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot companies. Despite many practical ideas for cooperation, it was clear by early 1999 that business co-operation depended on first achieving a political settlement. At that time, the path to a settlement was blocked. Nonetheless, PRIO decided to continue its efforts in Cyprus and to build on its local knowledge and networks.
In 1999 the UN agreed to PRIO having office space and use of meeting rooms in its facility the Ledra Palace Hotel, which is in the Green Line between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot areas at the crossing point in Nicosia. Activities in 1999 focused on establishing an infrastructure, maintaining and enlarging the network of contacts, and preparing for a first dialogue meeting, which was held in Norway in January 2000.
In 2000 and 2001, the work of this new Dialogue Forum with Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot participants was expanded and it took on a lengthy project discussing options for constitutional arrangements, based on experience in different countries. In 2000, the Business Group also reconvened and met with the leaders of both the Republic of Cyprus and the "Turkish Republic of North Cyprus". Both leaders expressed interest and encouragement for the businessmen's efforts, but again practical results were lacking.
In November 2000, active Turkish Cypriot participation in UN sponsored negotiations was suspended, so that the political context was once more unfavourable for exploring co-operation.
However, in December 2001 the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders met each other for the first time in several years, and shortly thereafter launched a new intensive round of negotiation. In November 2002, the UN Secretary-General launched a plan for a comprehensive settlement. This effort came to an end in the Hague in March 2003 when the UN Secretary-General declared that an agreement was not possible at this time and suspended the UN's "good offices" mission that had been supporting the negotiations.
PRIO continues to facilitate contacts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in many sectors of society in an effort to support an eventual, mutually accepted settlement to the Cyprus problem. PRIO does not take a stance on the substance of an eventual agreement, but emphasises the importance of openly discussing potentially difficult choices.
An extensive part of this project has been the Information Project, which had the aim to provide neutral and understandable information about the Annan Plan. Two 50 pages long 'easy to understand' booklets were produced and circulated on the island. The project also launched a web site www.cyprusdecides.org , where the booklets can be downloaded. The booklets can also be ordered from the PRIO office in Nicosia (00 357 22 456 555), by fax (00 357 226 65783) or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was PRIO's aim, through the project, to contribute to an informed and objective debate about the Annan Plan ahead of the two referendums in April 2004.
Gregory Reichberg, Research Professor and former Leader of the Ethics, Norms and Identities Programme at PRIO, has been offered, and has accepted, to replace Arne Strand as Manager/Director of PRIOs Cyprus Centre, as Arne Strand is to repatriate himself after serving PRIO in Cyprus for two and a half years.
This new report (PRIO Report 4-2007) will be launched at the annual conference of the PRIO Cyprus Centre. The report Prospects of Reconciliation, Co-Existence and Forgiveness in Cyprus in the Post-Referendum Period is written by Ari Sitas, Dilek Latif and Natasa Loizou.
The demography of North Cyprus is one of the most contested issues related to the island's division. PRIO Report 2-2007 by Mete Hatay provides an overview of the ethno-demography of Cyprus in light of the preliminary results of the 2006 Turkish Cypriot census. The report is written at the PRIO Cyprus Centre.
This morning, we woke up to news that parts of the wall separating Nicosia has been torn down during the night. This happened close to the PRIO Cyprus Centre, in the Ledra Street.
Today, the PRIO Cyprus Centre is launching two publications: One PRIO Report about the Politics of Property in Cyprus, and one Conference Proceedings from the Annual conference of the Centre in November 06 on Economic Perspectives in Cyprus.
Arne Strand took up position as Centre Manager of the PRIO Cyprus Centre from January 2007. His main tasks include coordination of the Cyprus Centre's activities as well as general management. While working in Nicosia, Strand has leave from his position as Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, where he has been heading the Peacebuilding programme. Strand holds a PhD in Politics (University of York).
The PRIO Cyprus Centre in cooperation with MFC S. Platis is organising the 2nd Annual Conference at the Holiday Inn, Nicosia for Wednesday 22nd November 2006. The conference is free of charge and there are a limited amount of seats. The deadline for registration is Wednesday 16.11.06.
Costas M. Constantinou, Professor of International Relations at Keele University joins PRIO Cyprus Centre to conduct a research project on "Minorities and Hybridities".
A number of CSCW staff and associates have returned from Nicosia where they participated in a workshop on ‘Polarization and Conflict’, organized jointly by CSCW, the PAC network, the Standing Group on Political Geography of the ECPR, and the PRIO Cyprus Centre.
Journal Article in Cooperation and Conflict
Journal Article in Mediterranean Politics
Book Chapter in Divided Cyprus: Modernity, History and an Island In Conflict
Journal Article in Postcolonial Studies
Journal Article in Postcolonial Studies
Book Chapter in
Popular Article in Peripeties Ideon Journal
Popular Article in Thesis Journal
PRIO Cyprus Centre Report
Journal Article in The Turkish Yearbook of International Relations
Popular Article in Morgenbladet