Partnership for the accession of Cyprus
The aim of the Accession Partnership is to assist the authorities in the candidate country in their efforts to comply with the accession criteria. It covers in detail the priorities for accession preparations, in particular implementing the acquis, and forms the basis for programming pre-accession assistance from Community funds such as the Phare programme.
Following the signing of the Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003 and the official integration of the country into the European Union on 1 May 2004, the accession partnership has come to an end.
The Luxembourg European Council of December 1997 drew up a specific pre-accession strategy for Cyprus and considered that its accession should contribute to civil peace in the island and the reconciliation of the two communities. The Council adopted a Regulation in March 2000 on the implementation of operations in the framework of a pre-accession strategy for the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Malta [Regulation (EC) No 555/2000 - Official Journal L 78 of 16.03.2000]. This strategy is based on:
- The establishment of the accession partnership;
- Support for priority operations to prepare for accession, as defined within the partnerships;
- Participation in certain Community programmes and agencies.
The objective of the partnership for accession (adopted in 2000 and revised in 2002) is to provide a single legal framework for the working priorities identified in the Commission's regular report of 1999 on Cyprus's progress towards accession, the financial resources available to help Cyprus implement these priorities and the conditions which apply to this aid. The partnership underpins a range of instruments to support applicant countries in their accession processes.
These include a national programme for adopting the Community acquis (NPAA), joint evaluation of medium-term economic priorities, the pact against organised crime, national development plans and other sectoral programmes required for participation in the Structural Funds after accession. In 2002, the partnership for accession served as the starting point for preparing an action plan to reinforce the administrative and judicial capacity of Cyprus.
Although these instruments will not form an integral part of the partnership, their priorities will be compatible.
The implementation of the partnership will be monitored under the Association Agreement.
These are divided into two groups: short term and medium term. Cyprus is capable of resolving or making progress on the priority issues of the first group before the end of 2000. The priority issues of the second group must be dealt with fully by the end of 2003.
Cyprus has achieved the political and economic criteria priorities. It has also achieved the priorities in the areas of the free provision of services, the free movement of capital, taxation, statistics, customs union and financial control. In the other areas, it has partly achieved the priorities.
In 2002, the priorities of the partnership for accession were revised (Decision 2002/84/EC). This revision forms the basis of the Commission's assessment in its 2002 report.
The priorities are:
(for up-to-date information on this subject, please refer to the Adoption of the Community acquis section)
- reinforcement of institutional and administrative capacity
- internal market
- justice and home affairs
- political criteria
- economic policy
- agriculture and fisheries
- employment and social affairs
- regional policy and cohesion
3) FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK
The fourth financial protocol (1995-98) was extended by one year, until 31 December 1999. In 1998, a sum of EUR 4.65 million was allocated. In 1999, the resources available increased to EUR 5 million. Council Regulation (EC) No 555/2000 lays down a financial reference amount of EUR 95 million for the implementation of operations in the framework of the pre-accession strategy for Cyprus and Malta (EUR 57 million of which is for Cyprus). This amount will be available for the period up to 31 December 2004.
Cyprus is eligible for loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and is participating in the MEDA regional programmes.
Regulation (EC) No 555/2000
Official Journal L 68 of 16.03.2000
Official Journal L 78 of 29.03.2000
Commission report COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1745
Not published in the Official Journal
Official Journal L 44 of 14.02.2002
Commission report COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1401
Not published in the Official Journal
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]
This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.