With its accession in 2004 to the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus, as a small state, attempted to balance the unfavourable balance of forces formed by the Turkish power on the island and to form favourable conditions for a solution to the Cyprus issue. Right from the start, this was the strategic pursuit of both the Cypriot and Greek governments through the adoption of the policy of Cyprus' integration into the European Union, which led, without a doubt, to the top political and diplomatic success of the country since its foundation in 1960.

This year marks 20 years since then. Cyprus undoubtedly enjoys greater security as a member of the European Union today, against any new Turkish scheming, but the Cyprus issue still remains open, representing a permanent hotbed of dangers and threats. At the same time, a number of new security challenges have emerged in recent years, the management of which requires cooperation at the supranational level.

New-type crises and threats, such as Islamic State and lone-wolf terrorism, uncontrolled migration flows, the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and new-type hybrids that threaten democracies, can no longer be effectively dealt with at the national level, and this is evidently true in multiples for small states.

In the age of multiple crises, the European Union can offer much more convincing answers to face all these new challenges, given, of course, that it can flexibly adapt to new conditions. In this context, the role that the small states themselves can play within the Union is crucial.

What does the above mean for Cyprus at a time when the possibility of abolishing, in certain cases, the right of the member states to veto decisions is being discussed? What are the risks, and what opportunities might be created for Cyprus? How can Cyprus make the most efficient use of its participation in the European Union to deal with the new security challenges as well as the permanent existential threat that remains as long as the Cyprus issue remains unresolved?