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Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus is one of the original signatories of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act establishing the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1995.

From its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 until 1974, Cyprus was governed by a slowly unraveling power-sharing arrangement between its Greek and Turkish Cypriot populations. A Greek Cypriot coup that year caused the arrangement to collapse and prompted a Turkish military invasion. Turkey justified its invasion by invoking the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee under which Turkey, Greece, and the UK have the prerogative to intervene militarily to preserve the original power-sharing status quo in the country.  To this day, United Nations peacekeepers patrol a buffer zone between the southern two-thirds of the island controlled by the Republic of Cyprus and the northern third controlled by the self-proclaimed Turkish Cypriot administration, backed by tens of thousands of occupying Turkish soldiers.

Alongside nine additional countries, the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union (EU) in 2004. Despite the island’s de facto division, the whole of Cyprus is EU territory. Cyprus has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1961.

Staff Contact: Bakhti Nishanov, senior policy advisor

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Hearings

European Energy Security Post-Russia

Jun 07, 2022

Russia is weaponizing energy to prolong its unlawful invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the sanctions that Europe and the United States have put in place have not been enough to curb Russian aggression thus far and the European Union pays Russia almost a billion euros a day for energy resources—mostly gas— that fund the Russian war […]

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Press Releases

European Energy Security Focus of Upcoming Helsinki ...

Jun 02, 2022

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing: EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY POST-RUSSIA Tuesday, June 7, 2022 2:30 p.m. Watch live: www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission The United States and European allies have largely cut Russia out of the global economy following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, given […]

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Hearings

Sweden’s Leadership of the OSCE

Jun 11, 2021

In 2021, Sweden chairs the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—which comprises 57 participating States stretching from North America, across Europe, and to Central Asia and Mongolia. Even as the OSCE begins to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is tackling other critical challenges, including Russia’s ongoing […]

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Press Releases

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde to Appear at Hels...

Jun 03, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following online hearing: SWEDEN’S LEADERSHIP OF THE OSCE Priorities for 2021 Friday, June 11, 2021 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Watch Live: https://www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission In 2021, Sweden chairs the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation […]

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Press Releases

Helsinki Commission Commemorates 45 Years of Advanci...

Jun 03, 2021

WASHINGTON—To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, on June 3, Chairman Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) and commission leaders Sen. Roger Wicker (MS) and Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statements: “The Helsinki Commission has played a vital role in elevating […]

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Publications

Helsinki Commission Digital Digest: October 2020

Oct 29, 2020

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Press Releases

Chairman Hastings Commends Cyprus for Ending Golden ...

Oct 13, 2020

WASHINGTON—Following the decision of Cyprus to cancel its so-called golden passport program, Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20) issued the following statement: “Golden passports are routinely abused by kleptocrats and crooks looking to hide their identity by using dirty money to purchase a second citizenship. I commend Cyprus for its decision to terminate […]

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Press Releases

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to Appear at Helsin...

Sep 09, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following online hearing: ALBANIA’S CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE OSCE Responding to the Multiple Challenges of 2020 Thursday, September 17, 2020 1:00 p.m. Watch Live: www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission In 2020, Albania holds the chairmanship of the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization […]

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Articles

2019 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Sep 13, 2019

From September 16 to September 27, OSCE participating States will meet in Warsaw, Poland, for the 2019 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).  As Europe’s largest annual human rights conference, the HDIM brings together hundreds of government and nongovernmental representatives, international experts, and human […]

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Press Releases

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem D...

Jul 17, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing: STATE OF MEDIA FREEDOM IN THE OSCE REGION Thursday, July 25, 2019 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Capitol Visitor Center Room HVC-210 Live Webcast: www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission Journalists working in the 57 participating States of the Organization for […]

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Publications

The Helsinki Process: A Four Decade Overview

Jun 28, 2019

In August 1975, the heads of state or government of 35 countries – the Soviet Union and all of Europe except Albania, plus the United States and Canada – held a historic summit in Helsinki, Finland, where they signed the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This document is known […]

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Briefings

Partially Protected?

Jun 14, 2019

The U.S. Helsinki Commission convened an expert briefing on the background, implementation, and legal and political implications of temporary protection for people in the United States and Europe who come from countries of conflict or natural disaster but not qualify for asylum. The discussion explored whether some European Union countries are choosing temporary protection even […]

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