The relationship between the European Union (EU) and its member states is governed by the principle of the supremacy of EU law, a legal doctrine, established by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). That means that where a conflict arises between an aspect of EU law and an aspect of law in an EU Member State (national law), EU law will prevail over the national law of the member states, including both domestic laws and the Constitution. Therefore, EU member states cannot apply a national law that is contrary to EU law.

The principle of the supremacy of EU law is a cornerstone of the EU integration process, ensuring a harmonized legal framework across member states. In the case of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004, the supremacy of EU law is a fundamental aspect of its legal landscape. Following the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU, Cyprus in order to harmonised its national laws with EU law and to safeguard the supremacy of EU law over the Cyprus Laws and the Constitution, amended the Constitution on 2006, by enacting the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution Law (127(Ι)/2006).

The newly inserted Article 1A of the Constitution provides that no constitutional provision is considered to invalidate any laws, acts or measures which are deemed necessary due to the obligations of the Republic of Cyprus as a Member State of the EU, or impede the legal effect and application of regulations, directives or other EU, or European Communities' legal instruments of a binding nature in the Republic of Cyprus. This constitutional provision establishes a clear acknowledgment of the hierarchical relationship between EU law and national law, indicating that in case of conflicts, EU law holds primacy. The constitution thus serves as the overarching legal framework within which EU law operates in Cyprus.

Additionally, Article 179 section 2 provides that no law or decision of the House of Representatives or of any of the Communal Chambers and no act or decisions of any organ, authority or person in the Republic exercising executive power or any administrative function shall in any way be repugnant to, or inconsistent with, any obligation imposed upon the Republic as a result of its participation as a Member State of the EU.

Last but not least, the newly added paragraph 4 of Article 169 provides that the Republic of Cyprus may exercise any option and discretion provided for in the Treaty establishing the European Community or the Treaty on EU and to any Treaties substituting or modifying them.

As it appears from the combined study of the Articles 1A, 169 and 179 of the Constitution the supremacy of EU law over the Constitution is prima facie established and EU law has an intra-constitutional effect in Cyprus, in the sense that it is considered to be an integral part of the Constitution and no constitutional provision may invalidate any provision of a binding nature of EU law. EU Law is therefore accorded a constitutional status by the Constitution itself and as a result no other provision of the Constitution may be invoked so as to declare the Article 1A of the Constitution as unconstitutional.

In conclusion, the Cypriot Constitution acknowledges to EU Law absolute primacy over the domestic laws of the Republic of Cyprus and over the Cypriot Constitution itself which is the ultimate law of the Republic. The supremacy of EU law in Cyprus, as embedded in the constitutional framework, reflects a commitment to a common legal framework that transcends national borders and ensures a unified application of laws across member states. While challenges exist in balancing national sovereignty with EU integration, the benefits and opportunities derived from the supremacy of EU law in Cyprus are substantial. Legal harmonization, enhanced cooperation, and the promotion of common values contribute to the overarching goal of European integration. As long as Cyprus continues to be part of the EU Community, the symbiotic relationship between its constitution and EU law supremacy remains integral to the country's role in the broader European legal landscape.

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