Formal trade between the two sides of the divided island of Cyprus was resumed on Monday after 30 years when new EU rules came into force.
The EU rules, which were adopted by the European Commission in July, were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on Friday. They dictate that goods coming from Turkish Cypriots into the Greek Cypriot market have to comply with EU standards on food safety and plant health. Further, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce will have to ensure that products must actually originate from northern Cyprus and not Turkey. The trade scheme is the first step in a three-pronged approach by the EU designed to end the economic isolation of northern Cyprus and to bring Turkish Cypriots closer to the EU. The package comes after Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of reuniting the island in a referendum in April, but the rejection of reunification by Greek Cypriots meant that the bloc’s enlargement on 1 May, EU law only applied to the southern part of the island. EU citizens, including Cypriots, may already move freely between the north and the south of the island. (EUobserver.com)