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Cyprus

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Report [COM(98) 710 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 502 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 702 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1745 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1401 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1202 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

The 1998 Report stated that Cypriot legislation was in line with Community provisions. Since 1997, Cyprus has also been taking part in Community programmes in the areas of education, training and youth.

The October 1999 Report emphasised that the free movement of persons and the principle of non-discrimination, particularly on grounds of nationality, had to be applied in the areas of education, training and youth. Cyprus planned to continue participating in Community programmes in these areas.

The November 2000 Report emphasised that Cyprus had made progress in aligning its legislation with the acquis and in capacity-building measures in this area. Further efforts were needed in drafting the strategy and implementing the legislation.

The November 2001 Report stated that Cyprus had made significant progress. With regard to legislation, the adoption of a new law on qualifications fully transposed the Directive on the education of children of migrant workers, while amendments to the education and vocational training act tackled reform of the sector. Cyprus was also participating in the second generation of Community programmes (Socrates, Leonardo and Youth).

The October 2002 Report noted that Cyprus had made further progress in this field. However, it needed to focus further on the development and implementation of the reforms, including the development of a lifelong learning system and of secondary technical and vocational education.

The November 2003 Report considers that Cyprus is largely in line with the acquis but that it needs to implement it properly in relation to the education of the children of migrant workers.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The EC Treaty provides for:

  • the contribution of the Community to the development of quality education including a European dimension, supporting and supplementing the action of the Member States while fully respecting their cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 149, ex Article 126) with regard to the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems;
  • the implementation of a vocational training policy which supports and supplements the action of the Member States (Article 150, ex Article 127), with the aim of facilitating adaptation to industrial changes and integration into the labour market.

These provisions have been implemented mainly through three major action programmes (Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe) recently updated by a new generation of programmes (Socrates, Leonardo and Youth).

EVALUATION

Cyprus has made good progress in education, training and youth. Significant progress was made in the mutual recognition of qualifications when a new law was adopted in November 1999 which provided inter alia for standards in vocational qualifications to be drawn up. A council for the recognition and academic equivalence of higher education qualifications has also been set up.

Cyprus has been taking part in the Socrates, Leonardo and Youth programmes since 1 November 1997.

The reform of education and vocational training at secondary level has made a great deal of progress because of changes introduced to the law in November 2000. These changes made it possible to decentralise powers to the regions and to set up the University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the Centre for Distance and Lifelong Learning. Information technology has been introduced in all primary schools. Despite the progress achieved, the administrative capacity of the Ministry of Education and Science needs to be increased, and it is necessary to develop a system of lifelong learning as well as secondary technical and vocational education.

With regard to non-discrimination of EU nationals in the field of education, the European baccalaureat is recognised as being equivalent to the corresponding qualifications in Cyprus. Further alignment with the acquis is needed in relation to the equal treatment of students in higher education, for example in tuition fees, to prevent discrimination between Cypriots and EU nationals. In this connection a pilot project for the development of standards for vocational qualifications was completed in 2002.

The principles of the legislation in force concerning the education of the children of migrant workers are in line with the acquis. Furthermore, there are already provisions on this issue in state schools. A number of teachers have been specially trained to teach the local language and to help to integrate these children into the school system, and a special training programme for teachers in this field is currently being drawn up. In November 2000 the Cypriot Parliament adopted a new law on qualifications, which fully transposes the Directive on the education of children of migrant workers, and opened a new credit line for this.
However, Cyprus must continue to properly implement the acquis in relation to the education of the children of migrant workers.
The EU's main languages are already taught in state schools.

Since the Commission's 1998 Report, Cyprus has made steady progress. Negotiations on this chapter have been provisionally closed (see 2002 Report). Cyprus has not requested any transitional arrangements in this area.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Last updated: 08.03.2004
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