Click here for this in full @ Cyprus Mail: http://www.cyprus-mail.com/features/academics-question-point-eu-funding-peace/20121028
The findings of a project titled ‘Reconciliation and Peace Economics in Cyprus’, funded by EuropeAid, would suggest not.
The project’s aim was to promote “a conducive environment for the further development of trust, dialogue, cooperation and closer relationship between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities...”
But “From the start of the project, it was apparent that there was little hope for a settlement and the project concluded as the UN-sponsored talks again failed,” concluded British-based academics, Dr Kate Flynn and Dr Tony King.
They had been contracted by the EU’s EuropeAid organisation to run a two-year project exploring “reconciliation and peace economics” on Cyprus.
After extensive study, the researchers found that given fundamental disagreements between the two communities on the root cause of the Cyprus problem, it is “highly problematic from the outset to effectively apply reconciliation initiatives”.
Their findings were out-and-out depressing. Some highlights: “The two communities do not agree on what the Cyprus problem is and there is little agreement about arrangements for a post-solution state. There is marked reluctance to recognise the other side, as well as interact even with the checkpoints open. Most Cypriots do not cross the Green Line or have only done so once or twice, so bi-communal contact is limited to a small percentage of the population. There is notable societal mistrust both within as well as between communities. There is suspicion about political leadership and the direction of the talks.”
No doubt the report stands out for it no-nonsense take on efforts to bring the two communities closer in a bid to help reunification efforts.