As of the 1st May 2004, Cyprus became a full member state of the European Union, hence it keeps close political, cultural and economic relations with the rest of the member states.
Formal relations with the EU date back to 1972 when Cyprus and the EEC signed an Association Agreement, which was basically a trade agreement. In 1987, a Customs Union Agreement was signed between Cyprus and the EU. The relations of Cyprus and the EU entered into a new era with the application of Cyprus for full membership to the Union in July 1990. Accession negotiations began in 1998 and were successfully concluded at the end of 2002. On 16 April 2003, Cyprus signed, along with the other nine acceeding countries, the Treaty of Accession to the European Union, paving the way towards full EU membership on 1 May 2004.