Although Papadopoulos had long been regarded as a conservative and antagonistic to Turkish interests, with the somewhat improved climate in inter-communal relations on the island in 2003 (including a relaxation of border restrictions on behalf of Turkish Cypriots), he was seen as responding to the times and moderating his views. Pledging in his 2003 campaign to reach a settlement with Turkish Cypriots, and backed by the communist party Akel, which supports reconciliation, he may turn out to be a leader who can guide the island to reunification.
Papadopoulos will also have to guide the country into the EU. "I want to take a united Cyprus into Europe," he was quoted as saying following his election. With only just over a year between his election and the country's planned accession to the EU in May 2004, Papadopoulos's work was cut out for him.