Examining Economic Integration and Free Trade within Cyprus using Structured Dialogic Design
Keywords:Cyprus, Structured Democratic Dialogue, peace building, economic integration, bi-communal, Co-Laboratory, Interpretive Structural Modeling
This paper reports the results of three Co-Laboratories organized by the Civil Society Dialogue Project that aimed at bringing together Turkish-speaking and Greek-speaking Cypriot citizens to share experiences and work together towards creating a citizens’ platform, as well as devising an action plan for a reunited Cyprus. Twenty-one business and economist stakeholder representatives with diverse perspectives and experience participated in successive bi-communal Co-Laboratories focused on the issue of economic integration in Cyprus, which was identified by Cypriot peace pioneers as one of the main causes of the perceived widening of the gap between the two divided communities in Cyprus. They invested 325 hours person-hours. The purpose was to support the dialogue of a motivated group of economists and business experts representing both communities. The Co-Laboratories provided space for exchanging ideas as well as exploring future options and goals, besides diagnosing current problems in economic integration and the free movement of goods and services in Cyprus. More specifically, the economic integration Co-Laboratories aimed at envisioning the ideal, desired situation, defining the current problematic economic situation on the island, and exploring influences between alternative actions that could improve the current situation. The Co-Laboratories were organized using the Structured Dialogic Design process within the context of a rich web-based communication environment.
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