On the 16th of April 2003 the Accession Treaty of Cyprus —as well as nine other countries from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe— to the European Union was signed in Athens. Cyprus’ accession process was completed with the ratification of the Accession Treaty by the House of Representatives on 14 July 2003. As of the 1st of May 2004 the Republic of Cyprus is a full member state of the EU, which has 28 member states as of present.
The integration of Cyprus to the European Union is basically the natural outcome of its European traits, history, people and cultural heritage.
The longstanding relations connecting Cyprus to Europe, as well as the recognition of its European character and identity were clearly reflected in the opinion issued on 30 June 1993 by the European Commission on the application of Cyprus for EU membership, which, inter alia, states the following:
“Cyprus’ geographical position, the deep-lying bonds which, for two thousand years, have located the island at the very fount of European culture and civilization, the intensity of the European influence apparent in the values shared by the people of Cyprus and in the conduct of the cultural, political, economic and social life of its citizens, the wealth of its contacts of every kind with the Community, all these confer on Cyprus, beyond all doubt, its European identity and character and confirm its vocation to belonging to the Community”.
Cyprus, regardless of its small size, as an integral part of the European family, is called upon to equally and actively participate in the formation and stipulation of the principles and policies that will govern the future of an enlarged Europe. It is called upon to contribute to the creation of a new Europe that will function in conditions of safety, peace, equality, prospects and growth.