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) in 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 signing 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 character. 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.
The main historical landmarks of the evolution of Cyprus’ relations with the EU are the following:
1. Association Agreement, 1973
2. Customs Union, 1987
3. Submission of the application for Cyprus’ Accession to the EU, 1990
4. European Commission’s Opinion (Avis), 1993
5. Corfu European Council Decision, 1994
6. Decision of 6 March 1995
7. Beginning of Accession Negotiations, 1998
8. Helsinki European Council Decision, December 1999
9. Copenhagen European Council Decision, December 2002
10. The European Parliament gives its assent to Cyprus' EU accession, with 507 votes in favour, 29 against and 26 abstentions, 9 April 2003
11. The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, signs on 16 April 2003 in Athens the Treaty of Accession of Cyprus to the European Union. The Treaty is also signed by the leaders of the other nine acceding countries, namely, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. It is the fifth and largest enlargement round in the history of the Union. The previous round of enlargement took place in 1995, with Austria, Sweden and Finland acceding to the EU.
12. On May 1st, 2004, the Republic of Cyprus became officially member of the European Union.
13. On Jan 1st, 2008 Cyprus jointed the Eurozone and adopted Euro as its official currency.
14. On July 1st, 2012, Cyprus assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for a period of 6 months.
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