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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM(1993) 313 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(1998) 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]


In its July 1993 Opinion the European Commission anticipated no major difficulties for Cyprus with transposition of the acquis, provided that efforts continued on the same basis.

By contrast, the November 1998 Report stressed the delays which had been building up with the application of Community legislation and the inadequacies of the environmental management structures in this country.

The 1999 Report noted that there had been little visible progress, but that considerable preparatory efforts were under way to complete approximation by the date of accession.

The November 2000 Report stated that progress had been achieved on the transposition of the acquis. A transposition and implementation programme aimed at aligning Cypriot legislation, institutions, programmes and policies with the acquis had been finalised. A strategy and a programme for implementing each directive were required, as well as a plan for funding investments. The administrative structures needed further strengthening.

The November 2001 Report indicated that Cyprus had made good progress in aligning the acquis, in particular with regard to horizontal legislation, water quality and substances which deplete the ozone layer. Alignment was therefore at a very advanced stage.

In the October 2002 Report, the Commission noted that work to align legislation had progressed well. Important laws had been adopted and the administrative capacity to apply the acquis had been stepped up.

The November 2003 Report states that Cyprus is meeting the commitments arising from the accession negotiations (concluded in December 2002) and is expected to be in a position to implement the majority of the acquis by accession on 1 May 2004.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.


The Union's environmental policy, as set out in the Treaty on European Union, aims to achieve sustainability by including environmental protection in EU sectoral policies, preventive measures, the "polluter pays" principle, combating environmental pollution at source, and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises some 200 legal instruments covering a wide range of fields, including water and air pollution, the management of waste and chemicals, biotechnology, radiation protection and nature conservation. Member States must ensure that an environmental impact assessment is carried out before approving certain public and private-sector development projects.


On 16 July 1999 Cyprus signed the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

The country has started to integrate sustainable development into the definition of other policies, in particular agriculture, energy, tourism and transport. The Environmental Impact Assessment Law has enabled account to be taken of environmental concerns when formulating other policies.

With regard to horizontal legislation, a law on the United Nations Convention on environmental impact assessment in a transfrontier context entered into force in April 2001. It began to be applied in February 2002. An action plan to improve energy efficiency and an energy strategy have been finalised. The Directive on access to information has been transposed. The transposition of horizontal legislation is now complete and in line with the acquis, except for the recent acquis on strategic environmental impact assessment. This legislation needs to be transposed and implemented by July 2004.

Water is scarce in Cyprus, and water protection features prominently in the country's environment policy. Legislation is in place and in line with the acquis, except for some amendments to the sewage and drainage law and the recent framework acquis on water, which need to be adopted by accession. Zones vulnerable to nitrate pollution need to be designated, and the inventory of discharges of dangerous substances needs to be updated. Programmes for nitrates and dangerous substances need to be finalised and adopted by accession. The provisions in the Directive on drinking water were transposed in May 2001. The areas which are used or intended to be used for drinking water abstraction have been identified and mapped. A law on water pollution control has been adopted, as have regulations on the limitation of water pollution by asbestos and the management of sewage sludge. A monitoring programme has started up. There is full compliance with the bathing water Directive. A transitional arrangement has been agreed until 31 December 2012 as regards urban waste water in Cyprus.

With regard to waste management, legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis. The national waste management plan still has not been adopted, however, and the development of a hazardous waste management programme is still pending. The supervision system for waste shipments and the permit and deregistration system for end-of-life vehicles will need to be fully implemented by accession. A law ratifying the amendment to the Basle Convention on hazardous waste has been adopted. The establishment of collection systems and recovery and disposal facilities needs to continue. The law on packaging waste and its implementing regulations were adopted in April 2002. Regulations have been adopted regarding PCBs/PCTs, waste oils, batteries and accumulators. A transitional arrangement until 31 December 2005 has been agreed for the implementation of rules on packaging waste. Particular attention needs to be paid to administrative capacities in the field of waste management.

Air quality plans and action programmes need to be completed and monitoring enhanced by accession. All the acquis in this sector has been transposed, although there are still some problems regarding the quality of petrol and diesel and the sulphur content of liquid fuels. A transitional arrangement until 1 May 2005 has been agreed as regards sulphur content. Air quality started to be assessed in December 2001 in accordance with the air quality and ozone Directives.

With regard to industrial pollution and risk management, all the legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis, except for the recent acquis on large combustion plants and national emission ceilings. These measures need to be transposed by accession. Special arrangements have been agreed with Cyprus regarding large combustion plants. The administrative structures necessary for effective control in this sector are already in place. Nevertheless, particular attention needs to be paid to the Seveso II Directive (on the control of major accident hazards) for which sinternal emergency plans need to be revised and external emergency plans established by accession. A study on the desulphurisation installation for flue gas at the Vasilikos centre was concluded in February 2001. The transposition of the Directive on integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) has been completed. Permits still need to be issued to the installations concerned by the deadline (October 2007) specified in the Directive.

With regard to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemicals, the legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis, except for contained use of GMOs. The law on biocides still has to be adopted. Notification procedures for the contained use of GMOs need to be in place by accession.

In the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection, legislative alignment has been completed and the legislation is in line with the acquis. Safety equipment has been improved. A law on ionising radiation and a regulation on public information in the event of a radiological emergency were approved in 2002.

With regard to nature protection, legislation is in place. The Report indicates that fragmentation of responsibilities may lead to problems with implementation. The list of proposed sites of Community interest needs to be finalised and special protection areas designated by accession. Cyprus is an active party to the Washington Convention on trade in endangered species (CITES). The legislation introducing the criteria laid down in that convention was adopted in July 2000. The Convention on Desertification and the Convention on the Protection of Migratory Species of Wild Animals have been ratified. In March 2001, the UN Convention on Wetlands of International Importance was ratified. In October 2001, Cyprus ratified the Barcelona Convention Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean, and the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources. The acquis on wild animals in zoos has been transposed.

As regards noise, transposition is proceeding according to schedule and the legislation is in line with the acquis, except for the recent acquis on ambient noise, which needs to be transposed by July 2004. Testing bodies need to be approved. A framework law for all the New Approach Directives was enacted in April 2002. A draft law on noise from household appliances has been approved.

Cyprus participates in the European Environment Agency.

Administrative capacites are satisfactory and function adequately. Recourse to the private sector and temporary staff has resolved the problem of under-manning. Information and training events have been organised. The Environment Service needs to be designated as the competent authority for strategic environmental impact assessment.

Last updated: 06.02.2004