Relations between Cyprus and the EU date back to the 1970’s when the government of the Republic of Cyprus signed an Association Agreement with the European Economic Community (EEC) (1972).
These relations were steadily developed over the years despite the difficult circumstances created in the island by the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of a large part of its territory. The invasion and occupation of Cyprus led to the delay of the Customs Union Agreement with the EEC, which was finally signed in 1987.
By the end of the 1980’s, Cyprus’ relations with the EEC were mainly of a trading partner. Following the submission of the application of Cyprus to join the EU in July 1990, Cyprus’ European relations were upgraded and they were set in a new framework making Cyprus’ accession course the government’s main political choice. The aim of Cyprus’ accession to the EU is to safeguard a peaceful future for all Cypriots on the island in conditions of safety and prosperity. Cyprus’ accession course has been pursued steadily by the Government of the Republic within the general framework of the EU’s own enlargement policy. It is also part of the Mediterranean dimension of the EU’s enlargement and its policy of creating conditions of stability, security and cooperation in the region.
On 1 May 2004 Cyprus formally accedes to the European Union and on 1 January 2008 adopts EURO as official currency.
1973: Association Agreement.
1987: Customs Union.
1990: Government of Cyprus submits Application For Membership.
1993: Opinion of the Commission positive. It concludes that the Application is made in the name of the whole island.
1995: The General Affairs Council reaffirmed the suitability of Cyprus for accession and confirmed the Union’s will to incorporate Cyprus in the next enlargement and that accession negotiations should start six months after the conclusion of Intergovernmental Conference.
1997: European Council in Luxembourg stated that accession of Cyprus should benefit all communities and help to bring civil peace and reconciliation. The Council requested that the willingness of the government of Cyprus to include representatives of the TC community in the accession negotiating delegation be acted upon. The TC leadership rejected the proposal.
1998: Accession negotiations with Cyprus begin.
1999: The Helsinki European Council underlines that a political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the EU. If no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council’s decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition.
2002: (October) The Brussels European Council decides that with a view to the implementation of a political settlement in Cyprus a programme will be established by the Council, especially to enable the northern part of the island to catch up. The total commitment appropriations foreseen would be 259 million Euros for the period 2004-2006.
2002: The Copenhagen European Council confirms that as the accession negotiations have been concluded with Cyprus, Cyprus will be admitted as a new member to the EU. It confirms its strong preference for accession by a united Cyprus. The Council decided that, in the absence of a settlement, the application of the Acquis to the northern part of the island shall be suspended, until the Council decides unanimously otherwise, on the basis of a proposal by the Commission. The Council invites the Commission, in consultation with the Government of Cyprus, to consider ways of promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus and bringing it closer to the Union.
16 April 2003: The Republic of Cyprus signs the Accession Treaty.
Protocol No. 10 of The Accession Treaty provides that the application of the Acquis shall be suspended in those areas of the Republic Of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control. The Council, acting unanimously on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, shall decide on the withdrawal of the suspension. The Council, acting unanimously on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, shall define the terms under which the provisions of EU law shall apply to the Line between those areas in which the Government of Cyprus does not exercise effective control and those areas in which the Government of Cyprus exercises effective control.
1 May 2004: Cyprus formally accedes to the European Union
1 January 2008: Cyprus adopts EURO as official currency.
For more information: