EU Commission reinforces commitment to Cyprus reunification with key reports

Giuseppe de vita
credit: crisisgroup

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – The European Commission supports Cyprus’ reunification through two reports: the 2023 Green Line Report and the Aid Programme Report. Trade increased by 9.6% and €31.7 million funded Turkish Cypriot development.

How is the EU Supporting Cyprus’ Reunification Efforts?

The European Commission issued two reports illustrating the European Union’s continued backing for Cyprus’ reunification: the annual report on the enactment of the Green Line Regulation in Cyprus in 2023 (the ‘Green Line Report’) and the annual notice on the undertaking of the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot Community in 2023 (the ‘Aid Programme Report’).

What Impact Did the Green Line Regulation Have in 2023?

The Green Line Report indicates that trade across the Green Line in 2023 expanded by 9.6% to a record value of €16 million. 7.1 million authorised intersections were recorded in 2023, steadily rising from 6.1 million in 2022.

What Are the Key Achievements of the Green Line Trade?

The European Commission welcomes the additional measures announced by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus in January 2024, to accept another six processed foods of non-animal origin to Green Line trade (revealed in April 2024) and to expand staffing and reduce congestion at crossing points. These efforts will positively contribute to the Green Line trade going forward. 2024 also observed 20 years since the adoption of the EU’s Green Line Regulation for Cyprus.

How Does the EU Aid Programme Support Turkish Cypriots?

The second report adopted links to the Aid Programme. Since 2006, a total of €688 million in EU grants has been allocated to the Aid Programme, which sustains Cyprus’ reunification by financing confidence-building efforts and supporting the socio-economic growth of the Turkish Cypriot community. In 2023, €31.7 million was given for this purpose.

The first three Turkish Cypriot Halloumi/Hellim producers and 15 milk farms were authorised under the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) project in 2023. The Commission helped the Turkish Cypriot community in conceding with EU food safety and animal welfare standards, a requirement for the placement of products on the EU market.

What Infrastructure Projects Did the EU Fund in 2023?

Three EU-funded infrastructure schemes were also conducted in the Turkish Cypriot community in 2023, including the building of the Kormakitis Centre for Cooperation, a multi-cultural event venue unrestricted to all Cypriot communities, and the lengthening of the Morphou wastewater treatment plant, which has doubled the plant’s capability, safeguarding the environment and public health.

Cyprus became a full member of the EU in 2004. Despite being a split country, the whole island is EU territory. Turkish Cypriots are qualified for EU citizenship, however, EU law is discontinued in certain areas. Cyprus has two official languages: Greek and Turkish, but only Greek is an official EU language. 59% of Cyprus’ imports and 34% of its exports come from the EU. 

In the autumn of 2004, Eurobarometer noted that 73 per cent of Cypriots assumed that by being a member of the EU, they were deemed more secure. Similarly, the designation of the European Union as a space of democratic values and an upholder of human rights greatly contributed to a positive image of Cyprus’ accession. The European Union showed itself as a project worth dedicating Cypriot commitment to, hence providing a sense of security and pride where neighbouring countries could not endanger their interests. The Treaty of Accession 2003 inscribed on 16 April 2003 in Athens was the lawful basis for Cyprus. On 1 May 2004, Cyprus became a full member of the EU, along with 9 other European nations.

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Giuseppe De Vita is a journalist at Brussels Morning News, He is covering European politics, Law and Technology news. Lawyer at De Vita & Partners Law Firm specializing in Criminal Law, Military and Space Law, and Cyber Security. In April 2023, he authored the monograph "Governance in Extraterrestrial Space", showcasing his extensive legal expertise. He has acquired vast experience in handling criminal and civil matters, managing litigation before various levels of jurisdiction across the national territory. In 2010, he obtained a Master's degree in Information Technology Law. Additionally, in the same year, he served as a teacher in criminal-IT subjects at the Penitentiary Police School of Portici, providing courses aimed at officials and managers of the Penitentiary Police and the Penitentiary Administration, focusing on IT security. He also serves as a Workplace Safety teacher, conducting training courses at various organizations and educational institutions. Moreover, he is a lecturer on Anti-Corruption and Transparency. The law firm, under his guidance, assists both private and corporate clients in court, accumulating significant experience in criminal and civil disputes over the years. Furthermore, it conducts Risk Management and Compliance, Cyber Resilience, and Cyber Security activities, with a specific focus on privacy protection (EU Regulation 2016/679 - GDPR). Giuseppe frequently publishes articles in legal journals, analyzing various regulatory issues. He has contributed articles to the legal journal Altalex, of which he is also a member of the Scientific Committee.