Central Europe Activ

I find it very alarming that some people think that the Kosovo criss could be frozen like the division of Cyprus and postponed for later decades or generations. Just look at the per head gross income in Greece, Turkey, and the divided Cyprus:

Greece: $30,500
Turkey: $9,400
Cyprus: $27,100
Northern-Cyprus: $7,135

Although the division of the island may serve well the nationalistic purposes of Greece and Turkey, it is the minority on the island who suffers from international isolation, lack of proper trade relations and political stability.

Now take a look at Serbia and Kosovo:

Serbia: $7,700
Kosovo: $1,800

If the current stalemate goes on, Kosovo will be poorer than Serbia, because the unresolved relationship with Serbia will hurt its economy and trade, and it will also put off investors. However, if Northern Kosovo will not participate in the political and economic life of Kosovo, it will be even more isolated. It may well be that Serbia can postpone the full recognition of Kosovo, but the Serbian minority in Kosovo will suffer most.

It is very hard to imagine that Kosovo will return to Serbia, and Kosovars will participate in the political life of Serbia. (Should they choose so, they would hold the balance of power in the current Serbian election system as they would receive about 25% of the seats in the Serbian Parliament). However, if Kosovo will not return to Serbia any time soon, the Serbian minority within Kosovo has to chose between accepting the minority rights granted by the Ahtisaari-plan (which is now granted by the Kosovar constitution) or wait for a better deal. I think the Turkish minority in Northern Cyprus is a very bad example for that. It will be the minority of the major nation that will pay the price for nationalism.

I think the right conclusion is that Europe should help finding a workable solution on Cyprus, the EU and NATO should put pressure on Greece and Turkey to accept it, and apply the precedent within Kosovo.

Data: Gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year divided by the average population for the same year, using the CIA Factbook estimate, which is also available for Nothern-Cyprus.

A late clarification for those who are not that up-to-date in the Kosovo crisis: what I mean here is that a de facto divison of Kosovo to a Northern (Serb-speaking) and the Sourthern (Albanian-speaking) divided polity will have as bad effects as the division of Cyprus had. And I think the burden will fall disproportionately on the minority, which is the Serb ethnic group within Kosovo and the Turkish speaking group in Cyprus.

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  1. …the people of Cyprus can identify themselves as Cypriots, I hope, because it is an island afterall. Like ‘Kosovo’, the history of the place is far more complex than the Interlocutors would have us imagine. I can only hope that the “easy” solution of tearing this island in two is not the agreement they come to, and as in Kosovo, my hope is that the people who share the land and its Patrimony respect the efforts of those who left this Heritance, in an effort toward betterment, embraced the change within themselves to be as Individuals united in an inclusive State, while as Persons sustaining themselves.

    Bi-communal in the greater Serbian context requires the efforts of Bosnia (Herzegovina), along with Serbia, as well as Kosovo, historically, if we are to compare apples with apples. As in Cyprus, or in the Middle East (Jerusalem), the land and its identity has evolved to have many facets. Two levels of Government will successfully realise the goal of People as Nations in these context. Unlike the Nationalism which is at present demonstrating our intolerance, the Nationalism of Ataturk and the founder Napoleon III, will provide for us an identity where our distinctions add to our sense of unity, because we choose to stand together, for our attachment toward our own governance as equals and to the land’s relics.

  2. Repulsewarrior, I get your point, but I am an idealist and I hope that people and relations can change. You are right the Cyprus as an island already forms a strong sense of community and identity and thus it is luckier than Kosovo or Bosnia (not to mention Herzegovina). But look at Hungary. The identity of the Hungarian Kingdom was very much based on territory and a more or less geographical concept, the Carpathian/Pannonian Basin. After 80 years this thinking is gone.

  3. I’m sorry guys, but I think you’re both of base and off topic. I’m not Cypriot, but I have been there and experienced both sides (North & South) from an academic perspective. During that trip I was lucky enough to meet President Talit (TRNC) and have a 90 min Q & A with our Poli Sci class. He wants a resolution. The EU made a mistake of admitting a divided island, and of course the UN wants thing to be concluded since they’ve been on the island in a peace keeping role for decades.

    There are so many facets to the Cyprus issue that it cannot be compared monetarily or any in any other aspect to Kosovo and Serbia. With the newly elected leader in the Greek side of Cyprus, there is renewed hope of a settlement and unification. Kosovo chose their fate, but I believe that the breakaway from Serbia by Kosovo is ruining both countries’ attempt to enter the lucrative and economic safety of the European Union. All that can be done now is to wait and see what time has in store for those nations.

  4. I think we mean the same thing. The EU did not commit the same problem and did not let Kosovo be divided so far. The peace-keepers are there. The situation is reverted in the way that in Kosovo the majority leader wants a resolution and the minority does not, but the the paralels are there: the minority is backed by the minority’s ethnic mothercountry’s army. Were there a resolution in Cyprus I think that would make a cause for Kosovo, too.

  5. The issue in Cyprus does not, nor will it have, any effect on the Kosovo independence. The TRNC will never gqin enough power to split, nor would it be advantages to them. Their only solution is for a united Cyprus, which is what the EU tried to do before admitted the divided island.

    There are some parallels, but not enough to equate or use Cyprus as a measuring stick for Kosovo, if a solution is gained. Kosovo split, simple as that. If they want entry into the EU, they will need to go it alone. Since Serbia is not currently a member, they would not have veto power. A Cyprus solution is near….Kosovo will have to wait its turn…

  6. rdsoxfntic: I think you misunderstand me. Kosovo have split, like Cyprus has. What I am talking about is the division of Kosovo into Northern Kosovo and Kosovo proper, which is the current Serbian policy. This has many parallels to the situation that lead to the divided Cyprus. I think Cyprus should be united and that precedent should be used to re-unite Kosovo. I do not believe that Kosovo could be Serbia again, as I do not believe that Cyprus could belong to Greece or Turkey.

  7. Bourn – Serbia has troops in Kosovo as well as Turkey in Cyprus. Albania has an influence on Kosovo as well as Greece on CyprusThe situation is very similar in many respects.

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