By Serpil Kadirlar
Politics- a subject which can turn friends into foes, invoke passionate feelings, opinions and reactions, and can either lead an entire population into a future of hope or despair.
Politicians are those who the people elect- the people give politicians their power, and the people can take that power away. Politicians are not at liberty to assume superiority over their respective nations, but are elected or appointed to SERVE their respective nations.
Amendments, regulations, policies, laws, acts- a few subsections of the paper trail within politics, all of which represent different things and are enforced in different ways. Yes, it all becomes a little confusing. Generally, any citizen of every country simply wants an idea of how the future is being paved for their children or grandchildren, and whether the progression within ethnicity, culture and country they identify with will even exist for them.
The Turkish Cypriots of Cyprus have been in a state of uncertainty since the early 20th Century. Tens of thousands of refugees remain in diaspora, and most simply want to know: where do we stand?
With continued uncertainty surrounding the stalemate between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot negotiators, regarding what is among one of the most important and sensitive areas of the entire negotiation process- security- many Turkish Cypriots remain unclear on their standing as according to the European Union.
The European Commission has funded projects, charities and educational institutions, and continues to fund infrastructure restoration projects in North Cyprus, while the TRNC remains unrecognized and under heavy embargoes imposed by the R.O.C.
So- what is the purpose of the European Commission? Why are they funding the mentioned projects? What is the vision behind their work and does it represent the will of the people they are appointed to serve?
The most detailed explanation of this is within the Cyprus Council Regulation.
Completed in 2006, the regulation outlines the initiative and vision behind the European Commission and implied stipulations which are part of the package which involves funding coming into the TRNC.
The council Regulation is presented below, and is a clear representation of the ideology behind EU initiatives as well as how the TRNC and its residents are viewed according to the EU. Side notes and explanations of terminology which is not frequently used in day to day language have been added and highlighted in red, Where reference is made to separate agreements, the extract of reference of the noted regulations have been detailed and highlighted in blue.
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 389/2006
of 27 February 2006
Establishing an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000 on the European Agency for Reconstruction
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 308 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the Opinion of the European Parliament,
(1) The European Council has repeatedly underlined its strong preference for accession by a reunited Cyprus. As yet, a comprehensive settlement has not been reached.
(2) The Council of 26 April 2004, considering that the Turkish Cypriot community had expressed their clear desire for a future within the European Union, recommended that the funds earmarked for the northern part of Cyprus in the event of a settlement should be used to put an end to the isolation of that community and to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island and on improving contact between the two communities and with the EU.
*Projects and institutions funded by the European Commission are granted monies on the basis that said projects and institutions are working towards reunification*
(3) Following the accession of Cyprus, the application of the acquis is suspended pursuant to Article 1(1) of Protocol No 10 of the Act of Accession 2003 in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control (hereinafter referred to as ‘the areas’).
This section implies that OWNERSHIP OF LAND in the North, under any circumstances- whether Turkish land or not, which is not under the control of the R.O.C, is not considered legal.
Accession: the attainment or acquisition of a position of rank or power.
Acquis: “that which has been acquired or obtained”, and communautaire (communal) meaning “of the community”.
Article 1 of Protocol No 10 of the Act of Accession 2003:
- The application of the acquis shall be suspended in those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control.
- The Council, acting unanimously on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, shall decide on the withdrawal of the suspension referred to in paragraph 1.
(4) Pursuant to Article 3(1) of Protocol No 10, nothing in the Protocol precludes measures with a view to promoting the economic development of the areas.
(5) Measures to be financed under this Regulation are of an exceptional and transitional nature and are intended, in particular, to prepare and facilitate, as appropriate, the full application of the acquis communautaire in the areas following a solution to the Cyprus problem.
(6) With a view to allocating the financial support in the most efficient and rapid way, it is desirable to provide that assistance can be supplied directly to the beneficiaries.
(7) In order to supply assistance in accordance with the principles of sound financial management, the Commission should be in a position to delegate to the European Agency for Reconstruction implementation of assistance under this Regulation. Therefore, Council Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000 on the European Agency for Reconstruction (1) needs to be amended accordingly.
*COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) No 3906/89 was initially created on the 18th of December 1989 in order to establish terms, conditions and a framework of financial economic aid to the Republic of Hungary and the Polish People’s Republic. The same framework within this regulation has been proposed for the Cyprus problem, with amendments to be made in order for the regulation to become applicable to Cyprus.*
- Nothing in this Protocol shall preclude measures with a view to promoting the economic development of the areas referred to in Article 1.
- Such measures shall not affect the application of the acquis under the conditions set out in the Accession Treaty in any other part of the Republic of Cyprus.
(8) The development and restructuring of infrastructure, in particular in the areas of energy and transport, the environment, telecommunications and water supply should take account of island-wide planning, where appropriate.
(9) In the implementation of actions financed under this Regulation, the rights of natural and legal persons, including the rights to possessions and property, should be respected.
(10) Nothing in this Regulation is intended to imply recognition of any public authority in the areas other than the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
*Despite the said framework being proposed within the Cyprus Council Regulation, this section implies that the people of North Cyprus, which are to be the beneficiaries of the assistance provided within this section of the Cyprus Regulation, they are not considered as recognized, and the restoration of land and infrastructure is not considered to belong to a legitimate government nor people within the TRNC according to the European Commission
(11) In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (2), measures for the implementation of this Regulation should be adopted by use of the management procedure provided for in Article 4 of that Decision.
(12) Implementing this Regulation contributes, as set out above, to the achievement of Community objectives, but the Treaty provides for no powers, other than those referred to in Article 308 thereof, for the adoption of this Regulation,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: Article 1 (Article 1 is the section the beginning of the regulation at the top of the page)
Overall Objective and Beneficiaries
- The Community shall provide assistance to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the acquis communautaire.
- Assistance shall benefit inter alia local bodies, cooperatives and representatives of civil society, in particular organisations of the social partners, business support organisations, bodies carrying out functions in the general interest in the areas, local or traditional communities, associations, foundations, non-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations, and natural and legal persons.
*Inter Alia: “among other things”
- The granting of such assistance shall not imply recognition of any public authority in the areas other than the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
Article 2: Objectives
Assistance shall be used to support inter alia:
- the promotion of social and economic development including restructuring, in particular concerning rural development, human resources development and regional development,
- the development and restructuring of infrastructure, in particular in the areas of energy and transport, the environment, telecommunications and water supply,
- reconciliation, confidence building measures, and support to civil society,
- bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the Union, through inter alia information on the European Union’s political and legal order, promotion of people to people contacts and Community scholarships,
- preparation of legal texts aligned with the acquis communautaire for the purpose of these being immediately applicable upon the entry into force of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem,
preparation for implementation of the acquis communautaire (communal) in view of the withdrawal of its suspension in accordance with Article 1 of Protocol No 10 to the Act of Accession.
Article 3: Management of Assistance
- The Commission shall be responsible for administering the assistance.
- The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee provided for in Article 9(1) of Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89 (3), composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.
Article 9(1) ) of Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89:
- A committee on aid for economic restructuring is hereby set up at the Commission, consisting of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the Commission representative. An observer from the European Investment Bank shall take part in the Committee’s proceedings with regard to questions concerning the Bank.
- The Committee shall give its opinion on draft financing decisions, where they are in excess of EUR 5 million. The Commission may approve, without seeking the opinion of the Committee, financing decisions on supporting activities falling under Article 4(3) of this Regulation, and amendments to financing decisions complying with the objective of the programme and not exceeding 15 % of the financial envelope of such a financing decision.
Article 4 of Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89: The aid shall be granted by the Community, either independently or in the form of cofinancing with the Member States, the European Investment Bank, third countries or multilateral bodies or the recipient countries themselves.
- Where, in accordance with paragraph 3, the Committee is not consulted on financing decisions, the Commission shall inform it no later than one week after the decision is taken.
- For the purposes of this Regulation, the management procedure laid down in Article 4 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, in compliance with Article 7(3) thereof.
Article 4 of Decision 1999/468/EC: Management procedure
- The Commission shall be assisted by a management committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.
- The representative of the Commission shall submit to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft within a time-limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter. The opinion shall be delivered by the majority laid down in Article 205(2) of the Treaty, in the case of decisions which the Council is required to adopt on a proposal from the Commission. The votes of the representatives of the Member States within the committee shall be weighted in the manner set out in that Article. The chairman shall not vote.
- The Commission shall, without prejudice to Article 8, adopt measures which shall apply immediately. However, if these measures are not in accordance with the opinion of the committee, they shall be communicated by the Commission to the Council forthwith. In that event, the Commission may defer application of the measures which it has decided on for a period to be laid down in each basic instrument but which shall in no case exceed three months from the date of such communication.
- The Council, acting by qualified majority, may take a different decision within the period provided for by paragraph 3.
Article 4: Types of Assistance
*The circumstances and instances in which European Commission financial aid is given*
- Assistance under this Regulation may, inter alia, finance procurement contracts, grants, including interest rate subsidies, special loans, loan guarantees and financial assistance.
- Assistance may be financed in full by the budget where it is justified and necessary to achieve the objectives of this Regulation.
- Assistance may also be used to cover in particular the costs for supporting activities such as preliminary and comparative studies, training, activities linked to preparing, appraising, managing, implementing, monitoring, controlling and evaluation of assistance, activities linked to information and visibility purposes as well as costs for supporting staff, renting of premises and supply of equipment.
Article 5: Implementation of Assistance
*The circumstances and instances in which European Commission financial aid is enforced*
- Actions under this Regulation shall be implemented according to the rules set down in Title IV of part 2 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (4). All individual legal commitments relating to assistance under this Regulation shall be concluded no later than three years following the date of the budgetary commitment.
Title IV of part 2 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002:
(a) appropriations for pilot schemes of an experimental nature designed to test the feasibility of an action and its usefulness. The relevant commitment appropriations may be entered in the budget for only two successive financial years;
(b) appropriations for preparatory actions, designed to prepare proposals with a view to the adoption of future actions. The preparatory actions are to follow a coherent approach and may take various forms. The relevant commitment appropriations may be entered in the budget for only three successive financial years at most. The legislative procedure must be concluded before the end of the third financial year. In the course of the legislative procedure, the commitment of appropriations must correspond to the particular features of the preparatory action as regards the activities envisaged, the aims pursued and the persons benefited. Consequently, the means implemented cannot correspond in volume to those envisaged for financing the definitive action itself.
When the preliminary draft budget is presented, the Commission shall submit a report to the budgetary authority on the actions referred to in points (a) and (b) which shall also cover an assessment of results and the follow-up envisaged;
(c) appropriations for one-off actions, or even actions for an indefinite duration, carried out by the Commission by virtue of tasks resulting from its prerogatives at institutional level pursuant to the EC Treaty and the Euratom Treaty other than its right of legislative initiative referred to in point (b) and under specific powers directly conferred on it by these Treaties, a list of which is given in the implementing rules;
(d) appropriations for the operation of each institution under its administrative autonomy.
- Without prejudice to any decision taken in accordance with Article 2(5) of Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000, the Commission may, within the limits established in Article 54 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, decide to entrust tasks of public authority, and in particular implementation tasks, to the European Agency for Reconstruction or other bodies listed in Article 54(2) of that Regulation. The selection criteria for the bodies listed in Article 54(2)(c) are the following:
- internationally recognised standing,
- compliance with internationally recognised systems of management and control, and
- supervision by a public authority of a Member State or by an international organisation/institution.
Article 2(5) of Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000: Article 2
- To achieve the objective laid down in the second subparagraph of Article 1, the Agency shall carry out the following tasks, within the limits of its powers and in accordance with the decisions taken by the Commission:
(a) gathering, analysing and communicating information to the Commission on:
(i) damage, the requirements for reconstruction and the return of refugees and displaced persons, and related initiatives taken by governments, local or regional authorities and the international community;
(ii) the urgent requirements of the communities concerned, taking account of the various population displacements and the possibilities for the return of those displaced;
(iii) the priority sectors and geographical areas requiring urgent assistance from the international community;
(b) preparing draft programmes for the reconstruction of the Federal Republic and the return of refugees and displaced persons in accordance with guidelines provided by the Commission;
(c) implementing the Community assistance referred to in Article 1, wherever possible in cooperation with the local population and where necessary by drawing on the services of operators selected by tender. The Commission may accordingly make the Agency responsible for all operations required to implement the programmes referred to in (b)
- Actions under this Regulation may be implemented by shared management according to the rules set down in Title I and II of part 2 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002.
In Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000 the follow paragraph shall be added: *5. The Commission may entrust the Agency with the implementation of assistance for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community within the framework of Council Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 of 27 February 2006 establishing an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community and amending Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000 on the European Agency for Reconstruction (5).
Article 7: Protection of Rights of Natural and Legal Persons
- The Commission shall ensure that in the implementation of actions financed under this Regulation the rights of natural or legal persons including the rights to possessions and property shall be respected. In this context, the Commission shall act in accordance with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
- In order to allow the Member States to convey to the Commission any information on possible violations of property rights, the Commission shall submit any draft financing decision which might affect property rights to the Committee referred to in Article 3(2) two months before the financing decision is to be taken.
*The TRNC has an effective IPC: Immovable Property Commission, in which millions of Euros in compensation has been paid to Greek Cypriots who have formerly owned land and property in the TRNC*
Article 8: Protection of Community’s financial interests
- The Commission shall ensure that, when actions financed under this Regulation are implemented, the financial interests of the Community are protected against fraud, corruption and any other irregularities in accordance with Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests (6) and Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities’ financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (7), and with Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) (8)
- For the Community actions financed under this Regulation, the notion of irregularity referred to in Article 1(2) of Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95 shall mean any infringement of a provision of Community law or any breach of a contractual obligation resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator, which has, or would have, by an unjustified item of expenditure, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the Communities or budgets managed by them.
Regulation No 2988/95 was created on the 18th of December 1995, and is designed to protect the Financial interest of the European Union. Article 1 states that:
- For the purposes of protecting the European Communities’ financial interests, general rules are hereby adopted relating to homogenous checks and to administrative measures and penalties concerning irregularities with regard to Community law.
- ‘Irregularity’ shall mean any infringement of a provision of Community law resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator, which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the Communities or budgets managed by them, either by reducing or losing revenue accruing from own resources collected directly on behalf of the Communities, or by an unjustified item of expenditure.
- Any agreements with the beneficiaries shall expressly provide for the Commission and the Court of Auditors to have the power of audit, on the basis of documents and on the spot, over all contractors and subcontractors who have received Community funds. Those agreements shall also expressly authorise the Commission to carry out on-the-spot checks and inspections in accordance with the procedural provisions of Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96.
- All contracts resulting from the implementation of assistance shall ensure the rights of the Commission and the Court of Auditors as provided for in paragraph 3, during and after the implementation of contracts.
Article 9: Participation in tenders and contracts
- Participation in the award of procurement or grant contracts financed under this Regulation shall be open to:
- all natural or legal persons of Member States of the European Union,
- all natural or legal persons who are nationals of, or legally established on the territory of another Member State of the European Economic Area,
- all natural or legal persons who are nationals of, or legally established on the territory of Candidate Countries for Accession to the European Union.
- Participation in the award of procurement or grant contracts financed under this Regulation shall be open to all natural or legal persons who are nationals of, or legally established on the territory of, any other country than those referred to in paragraph 1 in cases where reciprocal access to their external assistance has been established.
- Participation in the award of procurement or grant contracts financed under this Regulation shall be open to international organisations.
- All supplies and materials purchased under a contract financed under this Regulation must originate from the Community customs territory, the areas, or a country eligible under paragraphs (1) and (2).
- The Commission may, in duly substantiated cases and on a case-by-case basis, authorise the participation of natural and legal persons from other countries or the use of supplies and materials of different origin.
Article 10: Reporting
Each year the Commission shall send to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the implementation of Community assistance under this instrument. The report shall contain information on the actions financed during the year and on the findings of monitoring work, and shall give an assessment of the results achieved in the implementation of the assistance.
Article 11: Event of a settlement
In the event of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, the Council shall, on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, decide unanimously on the necessary adaptations to this Regulation.
Article 12: Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 27 February 2006.