Cyprus and the European Union

Historical overview

The Republic of Cyprus, a small island country situated in the Eastern Mediterranean sea, joined the European Union on 1st May 2004. Relationships between Cyprus and the European Union began in 1973 with the Associate Agreement between Cyprus and the European Economic Community (EEC). The purpose of this agreement was to consolidate and expand trade, and the economic relations between Cyprus and the European Community. On 3rd July 1990 Cyprus submitted an application to become a member of the EEC. The application was critically assessed and Cyprus was found to satisfy the criteria of membership and suitable in 1993. This was reaffirmed in 1995. The accession of Cyprus, also, required harmonisation between Cypriot and European law, known as Acquis screening. This process was designed to determine the areas where necessary changes in Cypriot law needed to be made in order to harmonise it with EU legislation. This screening process was concluded in 2000 and implementation of these changes began and were assessed on a regular basis. The first Regular Report to the European Commission was submitted November 1998. Regular Reports and preparation for membership:

  • Regular report from the Commission on Cyprus' progress towards accession 1998
    COM (98) 0710 final, 17 December 1998.

  • Regular report from the Commission on Cyprus' progress towards accession 1999.
    COM (99) 0502 final, 13 October 1999.

  • Regular report from the Commission on Cyprus' progress towards accession 2000.
    COM (2000) 0702 final, 8 November 2000.

  • Regular report from the Commission on Cyprus' progress towards accession 2001.
    SEC (2001) 1745 final, 13 November 2001.

  • Regular report from the Commission on Cyprus' progress towards accession 2002
    SEC (2002) 1401 final, 9 October 2002.

  • Comprehensive monitoring report on Cyprus' preparation for membership 2003
    SEC (2003) 1202 final (COM(2003) 675), 5 November 2003.

For an in-depth overview and details of further negotiations, go to: Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus - A Historical Overview


EU supporting Cypriot economic recovery

Cyprus adopted the Euro on 1st January 2008. Since then the Cypriot economy has been erratic. In 2009 the Cypriot economy went into recession, which was mainly due to the large drop in the shipping and tourism sectors. Economic growth between 2010 and 2012 was weak and insufficient to counteract the 2009 recession. Property values had declined and there was an increase in non-performing loans. This combination of economic downfalls lead to the Cypriot financial crisis in 2012. In an attempt to address this problem the EU provided a number of investments to help boost the economy:

  • Cohesion policy and Cyprus (gives summarised details of projects)

    • European Social Fund (ESF) - The purpose of the ESF is to modernise the skills and qualifications of workers. Also, to help disadvantaged groups get the support and training they need for work. This link also provides information on budget, funding and who participates in ESF.

    • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - the overall objective of the ERDF is to improve the competitiveness of the country's economy within conditions of sustainable development.

  • EU wide stress testing in Cyprus - Stress testing is a risk management tool. It is a tool used by the European Banking Authority (EBA) to monitor and assess market developments as well as to identify trends, potential risks and vulnerabilities. Thereby, helping the EBA to ensure the orderly functioning and integrity of financial markets and the stability of the financial system in the EU.

Relevant Publications

Further information:




EU Official Journal

EU Legislation Summaries

European Acquis

EU Official Documents by Institution

European Central Bank (ECB)

European Investment Bank (EIB)

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

European Committee of the Regions (COR)



EU Specialised Databases

EU Open Data Portal

EUROSTAT Statistics

European Central Bank Statistics

Opinion Polls

European Environment Agency (EEA) - data, maps, etc



EU Bookshop

Publications Office

EU Archives

RAPID - EC Press Releases

EU Media Centre

European Central Library

European Parliament Factsheets