2012 On 1st July Cyprus assumes the Presidency Trio of the Council of the EU (European Union) with Poland and Denmark
2008 On 1st January Cyprus joins the Eurozone
2004 On 1st May Cyprus becomes a member-state of the EU
2003 Cyprus signs the Treaty of Accession to the EU in Athens
1998 Accession negotiations between Cyprus and the EU commence
1994 The EU Corfu Summit decides that the next phase of enlargement will include Cyprus and Malta
1993 The European Commission issues its positive opinion on the membership application of Cyprus
1990 The Republic of Cyprus applies for membership to the to the then European Economic Community
On 1 May 2004 the Republic of Cyprus became a full member-state of the EU completing a long accession journey that lasted more than three decades. The President of the Republic of Cyprus signed the Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003 in Athens, Greece and on 14 July the House of Representatives ratified the Treaty of Accession unanimously.
One of the protocols on Cyprus that was annexed to the Treaty provides for the suspension of the application of the acquis in the northern, occupied by Turkey part of the island, to be lifted in the event of a solution. It also states that the EU is ready “to accommodate the terms of a settlement in line with the principles on which the EU is founded”, and expresses the desire that the accession of Cyprus should benefit all Cypriots.
Furthermore, on 13 December 2007 the President of the Republic of Cyprus, together with the EU leaders, signed the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community. The Cyprus House of Representatives ratified the Treaty on 3 July 2008.
Adoption of the Euro
On 1 January 2008, Cyprus and Malta became the 14th and 15th member-states of the EU to join the Eurozone after fulfilling all the necessary criteria, following the decision of the European Council in June 2007.
EU Measures for the Turkish Cypriot community
The “Green Line Regulation” (Council Regulation (EC) No 866/2004 on a regime under Article 2 of Protocol 10 to the Act of Accession) was adopted on 29 April 2004 and came into force during the period of the accession of Cyprus in the EU. This Regulation establishes specialrules concerning the crossing of goods, services and persons via the line between the areas under the effective control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus and those areas in which the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, while stipulating that the line does not constitute an external border of the EU. The Regulation is intended to further facilitate the movement of goods and persons across the line, thus contributing to the integration of the island.
Furthermore, on 27 February 2006 the Council adopted the “Financial Aid Regulation” (EC)No 389/2006, initiated by the European Commission on the basis of a proposal submitted originally by the government of the Republic of Cyprus, providing a sum of 259 million euro as financial aid to the Turkish Cypriot community, with the overall objective of providing assistance to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the application of the acquis communautaire.
The Regulation stipulates that the Commission will consult with the government of the Republic of Cyprus on the major aspects of the implementation of the Regulation. It further states that: “In the implementation of actions financed under the Regulation the rights of natural or legal persons including the rights to possessions and property shall be respected”, and that “nothing in this Regulation is intended to imply recognition of any public authority in the areas other than the government of the Republic of Cyprus”.
This Regulation has been based on a more extensive proposal made by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, which included the re-opening of the Famagusta Port and the return of Varosha to its lawful inhabitants and agreement on a moratorium for the illegal exploitation of the properties of displaced persons.
EU Accession Benefits
Cyprus has always been a part of the European family of nations. Accession to the EU was a natural choice for Cyprus, one that was dictated by its culture and civilisation, its history, its European outlook and its traditions of democracy and freedom. Cyprus has a lot to benefit from EU membership. It also has a lot to offer as a member-state.
The geographic position of the country, the healthy state of its economy, the devotion of the people to the ideals of the EU are the main elements which enable Cyprus to contribute to the stability and welfare of the European family, regardless of its small size. Situated at the intersection of important transport and communications routes linking Europe to the Middle East and Asia, Cyprus aspires to become the region’s economic and financial operations centre, a major communications and transport hub, and a meeting place for people and cultures. With its advanced technical infrastructure and skilled human resources it can become a bridge from where European enterprises launch their activities.
The EU has taken a clear and firm position regarding the Cyprus problem that respects the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the country, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the high-level agreements between the two communities and in line with the principles upon which the Union is founded. The support by the EU for the ongoing efforts for a solution of the Cyprus problem is highly significant since the Union is in the position, to exert the necessary pressure on Turkey to contribute in concrete terms to a settlement and abandon its intransigent stance.
While the UN Secretary-General’s mission of good offices has provided the framework for a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus problem, the EU is now expected to assume a central role in assuring that any proposed settlement conforms to its principles and legal norms from the beginning. To this effect, the President of the European Commission has decided on the formation of a Steering Group with the participation of Commissioners that observe the progress in the bicommunal negotiations and discuss ways in which the European Commission can assist in making sure that a future settlement will be in accordance with the acquis communutaire and will allow Cyprus to function fully as a member-state of the Union.
For further information and updates on new developments please refer to:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs