Germany and Cyprus: Bilateral relations
The Republic of Cyprus and Germany cooperate closely in a spirit of mutual trust.
Germany maintains close cultural ties with both ethnic communities on the island, as well as with the local Maronite community. The most important institution supporting bilateral cultural relations is the Goethe-Institut in Nicosia. The German-Cypriot Cultural Association and the German-Turkish Cypriot Cultural Association should also be mentioned. Other German-Cypriot organisations (such as alumni associations) contribute to German cultural events on the island as well. Since 2017 the Federal Foreign Office has financed the project Imagine, which supports confidence-building and reconciliation work between the two ethnic groups in Cyprus. The project has brought together over 700 teachers and around 6000 school pupils from both communities to date. In May 2021, Imagine was presented with the GENE Global Education Award 2020/2021.
The country’s state universities – University of Cyprus (UCY) in Nicosia and Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) in Limassol – as well as private higher education institutions participate in exchange programmes with German and European universities. Bilateral academic cooperation is intensifying. For example, there is scientific cooperation between the Max Planck Society and the Cyprus Institute, and Germans are among the researchers working at the prestigious Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics in Nicosia. Other focal areas of bilateral education cooperation include support for German as a foreign language and the promotion of Germany as an attractive place to study.
In tourism, an important sector for Cyprus, Germany only plays a minor role, accounting for some 5% of all tourists (less than the United Kingdom, Russia, Israel and other countries). Cyprus has the tenth largest merchant marine fleet in the world and is an international hub for ship management. The share of German shipping companies in this economic sector is particularly high, at about 50%. Trade between Germany and Cyprus was worth approximately 641 million euro in 2021. German exports to Cyprus totalled 539 million euro, while imports from Cyprus were worth 102 million euro.
The Federal Republic of Germany does not maintain official relations with the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” – which is recognised only by Turkey – but does have wide-ranging contact with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community.