The Russo-Ukrainian war is a firm reminder to democratic states, and the EU specifically, of how revisionist powers can still create regional and even global instability. Similarly, in the Eastern Mediterranean Turkey has been demonstrating its revisionist tendencies for over a decade with little to no real repercussions, while the EU seemed to have been neither willing nor able to demonstrate that it can act as a regional security provider. Article 42.7 of the TEU, as well as the quest for European strategic autonomy is a major step towards the right direction, but its impact is not yet visible or even certain. The “return of NATO” in Europe is, for the time, unquestionable, but it is not yet clear on how it will affect the goal for European strategic autonomy strategy. Does the heavier NATO footprint set the strategic autonomy back, or does it highlight the urgency for a more European autonomous path?
Evidently some European states consider NATO as the only real option for their security, as the NATO accession request of two traditionally neutral states, Finland and Sweden, illustrates. Considering the above, does Cyprus need to reassess its security options and whether it can afford not to belong in a collective security system? Can the EU currently provide adequate security assurances for Cyprus, especially considering Turkey’s increasingly coercive diplomacy tactics? Should Cyprus reconsider NATO membership?
This closed policy meeting with key stakeholders invites experts on EU security affairs and NATO to explore the aforementioned issues as well as the Cyprus options. Ultimately, following the event, the Institute will produce relevant policy paper recommendations.