Procedure : 2014/2921(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0221/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 13/11/2014 - 8.7
PV 13/11/2014 - 8.8
CRE 13/11/2014 - 8.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0211/2014

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus (2014/2921(RSP))

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus (2014/2921(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions of 23-24 October 2014,

–       having regard to the statement of 7 October 2014 by the spokesperson for the President of the European Council,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey, including those on Turkey’s progress reports,

–       having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,

–       having regard to the joint declaration of 11 February 2014 by the leaders of the Greek‑Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas on 3 October 2014 Turkey issued a Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) directive, in which it unlawfully designated a large area within the southern part of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus as being reserved for seismic surveys to be conducted by the Turkish ship Barbaros from 20 October to 30 December 2014 on the basis of exploration licences granted by the Turkish-Cypriot authorities to TPAO, a Turkish petroleum corporation, to conduct explorations on behalf of the Turkish‑Cypriot people;

B.     whereas some of the zones reserved under this NAVTEX directive stretch from areas off the coast of Famagusta and off the coast of Larnaca to waters south of Limassol, and are by no means within the areas which Turkey illegally claims to be within its own EEZ;

C.     whereas on 7 October 2014, following Turkey’s announcement that it was reserving areas for seismic surveys south of Cyprus, President Anastasiades decided to suspend his participation in the UN-backed negotiations;

D.     whereas negotiations and a political solution remain the only way to reach a fair, sustainable and negotiated settlement on the Cyprus issue; whereas this will be possible only if both parties ensure a positive and constructive climate;

E.     whereas the General Staff of the Turkish armed forces announced that the warship TCG Gelibolu, which is participating in an ongoing Turkish navy operation dubbed ‘Mediterranean Shield’, had been tasked with the mission of ‘conducting maritime security operations to provide for the safe and secure movement of vessels at sea and to deter terrorism’, and that it would continue to monitor the activities of the Saipem 10 000 drilling platform in exploratory drilling block 9, from a distance of 5 nautical miles (9 kilometres);

F.     whereas estimates suggest that the Aphrodite gas field may hold around 5 trillion cubic metres of gas; whereas this and other gas deposits are located south of Cyprus and inside the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus;

G.     whereas Turkey’s threat to the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus coincides with the recent appointment of Espen Barth Eide as the new Special Adviser to the UN Secretary‑General on Cyprus, and are negatively affecting the possibility of reaching a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem;

H.     whereas a written statement issued following the Turkish National Security Council (MGK) meeting of 30 October 2014 vowed that Turkey would continue to protect its rights and interests in the continental shelf in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean and in the economic zone licensed by Turkish Cypriots;

I.      whereas the Government of Cyprus has already signed an agreement assigning rights for the exploration and exploitation of possible hydrocarbon reserves in the seabed subsoil to foreign companies, which have already commenced drilling operations;

J.      whereas Turkey is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which the Republic of Cyprus has signed and ratified; whereas Turkey does not recognise the EEZ agreements which the Republic of Cyprus has concluded with Egypt, Lebanon and Israel;

K.     whereas the sovereign rights of EU Member States include the right to enter into bilateral agreements and the right to explore and exploit their natural resources in accordance with the UNCLOS;

L.     whereas Turkey is engaged in accession talks with the EU with a view to becoming a Member State;

1.      Deplores Turkey’s provocative attitude and interference with Cyprus’s sovereign rights within its EEZ; recalls that such interference is illegal under international law, including the UNCLOS, and has the potential to destroy the efforts towards a negotiation process;

2.      Calls on the Turkish Government to stop the seismic survey that it is carrying out in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, to show restraint and to respect Cyprus’s sovereignty over its territorial waters and its EEZ;

3.      Calls on Turkey to demonstrate goodwill by withdrawing its ships from Cyprus’s waters, to reduce tensions and immediately to stop its illegal and provocative actions within Cyprus’s EEZ to facilitate the resumption of the negotiation process;

4.      Recognises the right of Cyprus to develop the resources within its EEZ; notes, however, that the island’s resources should be shared equitably among all Cypriots in the context of an overall settlement that would benefit all sides, and that the issue of natural gas should not prevent, but rather serve as a useful tool for, the efforts to find a solution;

5.      Reiterates once again its strong support for the reunification of Cyprus on the basis of a fair settlement for both communities, consisting of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, and UN and EU membership for a united Cyprus possessing a single international legal personality and a single sovereignty and offering a single united‑Cyprus citizenship;

6.      Welcomes the continuous efforts of the new UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, in trying to establish the necessary conditions and framework for the resumption of talks between the two communities of Cyprus; notes that Turkey’s actions have jeopardised these efforts at a time when progress was possible;

7.      Calls on Turkey to demonstrate genuine political will with a view to finding a comprehensive, sustainable settlement to the long-standing division of the island which will truly benefit all Cypriots; considers it regrettable, in this connection, that the proposed Greek‑Cypriot package of confidence-building measures was rejected by the Turkish‑Cypriot side;

8.      Calls on the Turkish Government to sign and ratify the UNCLOS, membership of which is part of the acquis communautaire and as such is a prerequisite for Turkey’s accession to the EU; reminds Turkey that as a candidate country for EU accession it should act in line with EU values, avoiding actions hostile to any Member State;

9.      Requests that the Commission closely follow Turkey’s activities in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus and report back to Parliament;

10.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European External Action Service, the Council, the Commission, the President and Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus, the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community and the President, Government and Parliament of Turkey.

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