Cyprus is a presidential republic. The president is both head of state and government. Despite joining the EU as a de facto divided island, the whole of Cyprus is EU territory. Turkish Cypriots who have, or are eligible for, EU travel documents are EU citizens. EU law is suspended in areas where the Cypriot government (Government of the Republic) does not exercise effective control. Cyprus has two official languages: Greek and Turkish; only Greek is an official EU language.
Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Cyprus’s economy in 2018 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (25.3%), public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (19.3%) and professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support service activities (10.4%).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 28% of Cyprus’ exports (Greece 6% and Italy 2%), while outside the EU 15% go to Cayman Islands and 9% to Libya.
In terms of imports, 57% come from EU Member States (Greece 18% and Italy 8%), while outside the EU 7% come from South Korea and 6% from Israel.
Cyprus in the EU
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:
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
European Economic & Social Committee
Cyprus has 5 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.
European Committee of the Regions
Cyprus has 5 representatives on the European 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 pay and receive?
How much each EU country pays into the EU budget is calculated 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 focuses on the needs of Europeans as a whole.
2018 figures for Cyprus:
- Total EU spend in Cyprus – € 0.264 billion
(equivalent to 1.31% of the Cypriot economy)
- Total contribution to EU budget – € 0.180 billion
(equivalent to 0.89 % of the Cypriot economy)
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.