Cyprus acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004 as a de facto divided island. There is an urgent need for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the end of a conflict on European soil that is now more than 40 years old. The EU is committed to a speedy resumption of negotiations on a comprehensive settlement under UN auspices and the re-unification of the island. The Commission stands ready to support this process in view of the EU-dimension of a future settlement.
The whole of the island is part of the EU. However, in the northern part of the island, in the areas in which the Government of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, EU legislation is suspended in line with Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty 2003. This means, for example, that these areas are outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU. However, the suspension does not affect the personal rights of Turkish Cypriots as EU citizens. They are citizens of a Member State, the Republic of Cyprus, even though they may live in the areas not under government control.
The policy of the EU with regard to the Turkish Cypriot Community was set out by the General Affairs Council on 26 April 2004, just before Cyprus joined the EU:
“The Turkish Cypriot community have expressed their clear desire for a future within the European Union. The Council is determined to put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. The Council invited the Commission to bring forward comprehensive proposals to this end with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island and on improving contact between the two communities and with the EU.”
DG Enlargement has set up a "Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community” to deal with the consequences of the unique and complex situation in Cyprus.
In order to manage the "Green Line" that separates the government-controlled areas from the rest of the island, the Council approved the Green Line Regulation (Council Regulation No 866/2004) on 29 April 2004. The Regulation deals with the movement of persons and goods across the line. The Regulation is managed by the DG Enlargement Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community, which prepares a report each year that is adopted by the Commission and sent to the Council (see Annual Report on the Implementation of the Green Line Regulation (2010) ). Two years later, the Council approved the "Aid" Regulation (Council Regulation No 389/2006) on 27 February 2006, establishing a legal instrument for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. The financial resources allocated amount to €259 million. This Regulation is also managed by the DG Enlargement Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community and is being implemented on the ground by a programme team, which uses a programme support office in the northern part of Cyprus to facilitate contacts with the beneficiary community.
In addition to the Green Line and Aid regulations, the Commission has proposed a regulation on special conditions for trade with those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control (the direct trade regulation ). This proposal remains with the Council for consideration.
For information on calls for tenders and calls for proposals funded under the "Aid Regulation", please visit the EuropeAid website at
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