Cyprus Report


Policies Developed

It is clear that Cyprus takes conflict management incredibly seriously. Indeed, crisis management had emerged as one of the prime goals of the country’s foreign policy. To this extent, a whole range of initiatives have been undertaken to strengthen its crisis management using a WGA. Although led by certain key ministries – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of the Interior – it is certainly the case that the ambition extends across the whole government. Given the importance of energy as another pillar of Cypriot foreign policy (following the recent discovery of significant energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean), it is likely that the Minister for Energy, Commerce and Industry will be involved in related issues.
In 2013, a basic national plan named ‘Zenon’ was unveiled that set out the scope of Cyprus’ crisis-management strategy and the way that the government would coordinate its activities. Under the plan, 22 types of major crises were identified. Since then, the institutions and procedures have improved considerably. The emergence of a number of other crises has also helped to refine and enhance the mechanisms for cooperation across the government. Another important development was the establishment of a Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Larnaca. This was explicitly set up to organise the search and-rescue system of the Republic of Cyprus “in order to be able to find and rescue in the least possible time people whose [lives] are threatened as a result of an air or naval accident” (JRCC 2019) in its maritime area of responsibility and jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean. As such, it serves as a coordination centre for humanitarian operations in response to natural or other disasters.
Since then, the development of crisis-management policies and procedures has continued at a fast pace. Indeed, it is often noted that it is difficult to keep up with the pace of change, and that the situation changes enormously from one response to the next as the Cypriot government further develops and enhances its capabilities.
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