Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 as a de-facto divided island. On 26 April 2004 the Council of the European Union stated its determination 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".
Against this background, the Commission implements an aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community based on the Aid Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 389/2006). The programme is managed by the Commission's Structural Reform Support Service.
EU Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community
The programme aims 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
- improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU
- the preparation for the EU body of laws (also referred to as the EU acquis) following a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue.
In the period 2006-2018, the EU allocated nearly EUR 520 million to projects in support of the Turkish Cypriot community.
Specific programme objectives
- promote social and economic development in the Turkish Cypriot community
- develop and refurbish infrastructure
- foster reconciliation, build confidence and support civil society
- bring the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU, through information and contacts between Turkish Cypriots and other EU citizens
- help the Turkish Cypriot community prepare for the implementation of EU law once a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue is agreed
The Structural Reform Support Service runs a Programme Support Office (EUPSO), in the northern part of Nicosia, to act as a contact with the beneficiary community and to help deliver the assistance.