The Republic of Cyprus has announced that it has formally started the process of joining the Schengen area. This revelation marks the country's first step towards Schengen membership and could in time make it a destination that many European's may travel to passport-free.
Cyprus had applied for Schengen membership in September 2020 as per Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulides’s speech before the Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs of the House of Representatives. “The government has submitted the application for security reasons and we are now expecting the European Union to come and start its evaluation process which is divided in five parts,” said Christodoulides.
Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, since 2008 Cypriots have used Euro as the official currency so specialists have expressed the opinion that that Cyprus will inevitably make part of the Schengen zone. Additionally, Cyprus has met Schengen requirements in regards to data protection, taking the island country one step closer to Schengen ascension.
Cyprus is one of few EU States that have not yet joined the Schengen Area, along with Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria. The three last ones have already completed their five-part assessment and are only waiting for admission.
Now that Cyprus has declared its intent to join Schengen it enters a period of evaluation from the EU. The country will be required to pass through a 5 step approval process, which will access, amongst other things, the country’s ability to maintain the Schengen area’s border integrity and security.