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Cyprus

Situated in the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea and to the south of Turkey, Cyprus is the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean as well as being the third smallest country in the EU, after Malta and Luxembourg. Cyprus joined the EU as a de facto divided island but the whole of Cyprus is EU territory. Turkish Cypriots are EU citizens as they are citizens of an EU country - the Republic of Cyprus - even if they live in a part of Cyprus not under government control.

The most important sectors of Cyprus’s economy in 2012 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (23.5 %) public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (21.8 %) and real estate (11.5 %).

Cyprus’s main export partners are Greece, the UK and the US, while its main import partners are Greece, Israel and the UK.

Capital: Nicosia

Geographical size: 9251.0 km²

Population: 862 011 (2012)

Population as % of total EU population: 0.2 % (2012)

GDP: € 17.72 billion (2012)

Official EU language(s): Greek

Political system: presidential republic

EU member country since: 1 May 2004

Seats in the European Parliament: 6

CurrencyEurozone member since 1 January 2008

Passport-free travel? No, Cyprus is not a member a member of the Schengen Area.  

Presidency of the Council: Cyprus has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU once, in 2012.

Cyprus in the EU

European Parliament

There are 6 members of the European Parliament from Cyprus. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Cyprus ελληνικά

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Cypriot government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Cypriot presidencies:

Jul-Dec 2012

More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Cyprus to the European Commission is Christos Stylianides, who is responsible for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Commission representation in Cyprus

European Economic & Social Committee

Cyprus has 6 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

Committee of the Regions

Cyprus has 6 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Cyprus also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Cyprus' "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and funding

How much does Cyprus contribute and receive?

Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole. 

Breakdown of Cyprus's finances with the EU in 2012: 

  • Total EU spending in Cyprus:  € 155 million
  • Total EU spending as % of Cypriot GNI: 0.90 %
  • Total Cypriot contribution to the EU budget: € 165 million
  • Cypriot contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.96 % 

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Cyprus 

The money paid into the EU budget by Cyprus helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Cyprus benefits from EU funding.

Practical information