Northern Cyprus and the European Union

EU - Northern Cypriot relations
Map indicating locations of the EU and TRNC

European Union

Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus and the European Union have somewhat strained relations based on the fact the European Union (EU) does not recognise Northern Cyprus (formally, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) and sees it as a military occupation of one of its member states.


Legal situation

Due to the Cyprus dispute, Northern Cyprus is only recognised by the EU candidate state Turkey. All other countries recognise the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state, as the only legitimate government for the whole island. However the Republic of Cyprus de facto only controls the south of the island while the Northern government, seen as a Turkish military occupation, controls the north.

Due to this dispute, northern Cyprus is de jure part of the EU by virtue of de jure being part of the Republic of Cyprus. Aside from complicating the accession of Turkey to the European Union, it has placed the north in international isolation. It was hoped that the accession of the south in 2004 would provide the catalyst for unification so the two halves could join the EU as one country on 1 May 2004. However, the unification plan was voted down by the population of the Republic of Cyprus.

Status in the EU

Currently, the EU recognises the north as being under Turkish military occupation and hence is temporarily exempt from EU legislation. The euro also does not officially circulate in the north (although it does have widespread usage) and the Schengen agreement is not in effect in Cyprus due to complications in security at the external border to the north. The free movement of goods, capital, services and people is also not in effect.

However, seats in the European Parliament are allocated based on the population of both north and south Cyprus together. Due to the problems in getting northern Cypriots to vote, this has been criticised and there have been proposals to have observer members direct from the north to sit in Parliament in order to represent those citizens.

In wake of the April 2004 referendum on unification, and the support of the Turkish Cypriot community for the plan, the European Union made pledges towards ending the isolation of northern Cyprus. These included measures for trade and 259 million euro in aid. However the southern government have used their EU membership to veto[1] promised aid packages from the EU to the TRNC, and are using their membership to add pressure on Turkey to end their support for the TRNC.

Naturalised citizens of Northern Cyprus or foreigners carrying a passport stamped by Northern Cyprus authorities may be refused entry by the Republic of Cyprus or Greece,[2] although after the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU such restrictions have been eased following confidence-building measures between Athens and Ankara and the partial opening of the UN controlled line by Northern Cyprus authorities. The Republic of Cyprus also allows passage across the Green Line from the part of Nicosia that it controls, as well as a few other selected crossing points, since Northern Cyprus does not leave entry stamps in the passport for such visits. Since May 2004 some tourists have taken to flying to the Republic of Cyprus directly then crossing the green line to holiday in Northern Cyprus.[3]

Opening of trade

While the opening of trade between the EU and Northern Cyprus was initially promised, the Republic of Cyprus vetoed the opening of talks. However the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in December 2009, removed individual vetoes by transferring the respective policy area to the ordinary legislative procedure (now giving the European Parliament a say). With Cyprus' veto gone, the European Parliament will begin debating the an dossier for opening trade in June. If it passes, it is also expected to remove a major block to Turkey's EU membership bid as it has refused to open direct Turkish-(South) Cyprus trade unless the EU opened up EU-North Cyprus trade.[1]

Position of the south

Negotiations between both Cypriot communities have been complicated by the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004. The TRNC views the EU accession as illegal as they had not been consulted (as the 1960 constitution stipulates), and that the Cyprus Government does not represent the Turkish Cypriot populace. Legally, the EU regulations cover the whole island, but in practice, only the southern portion of the island enjoys the benefits of EU membership.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Microstates and the European Union — The five European microstates  Andorra …   Wikipedia

  • Special member state territories and the European Union — Map of European Union in the world (with overseas countries and territories (OCT) and outermost regions (OMR)) Several European Union member states have special territories which, for historical, geographical, or political reasons, enjoy special… …   Wikipedia

  • Special Member State territories and the European Union — Map of European Union in the worldlegend|#078002|Overseas countries and territoriesAs of 2007 the European Union has 27 member states, most of which participate in all EU policy areas and programs or have signed up to do so. However EU law does… …   Wikipedia

  • Visa policy in the European Union — A specimen Schengen visa. A Schengen visa entitles the holders to travel throughout the 25 member Schengen Area All European Union member states, with the exception of Ireland and the United Kingdom, have a unified visa system as part of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Member state of the European Union — Member states of the European Union …   Wikipedia

  • National parliaments of the European Union — European Union This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the European Union …   Wikipedia

  • Cultural policies of the European Union — European Union This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the European Union …   Wikipedia

  • Copyright law of the European Union — The copyright law of the European Union has arisen in an attempt to harmonise the differing copyright laws of European Union member states. It consists of a number of directives, which the member states are obliged to enact into their national… …   Wikipedia

  • Regional policy of the European Union — European Union This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the European Union …   Wikipedia

  • Extreme points of the European Union — This is a list of the extreme points of the European Union the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location. = As of latest the 5th enlargement (part II) of the European Union on 1st January 2007 = Entire European… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.