Association agreement

A European Union Association Agreement (for short, Association Agreement or AA) is a treaty between the European Union (EU) and a non-EU country that creates a framework for co-operation between them. Areas frequently covered by such agreements include the development of political, trade, social, cultural and security links. The legal base for the conclusion of the association agreements is provided by art. 217 TFEU (former art. 310 and art. 238 TEC).

Overview

Association Agreements are broad framework agreements between the EU (or it's predecessors), and its member states, and an external state which governs their bilateral relations. The provision for an association agreement was included in the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community, as a means to enable co-operation of the Community with the United Kingdom, which had retreated from the treaty negotiations at the Messina Conference of 1955. According to the European External Action Service, for an agreement to be classified as an AA, it must must several criteria:[1]

1. The legal basis for their conclusion is Article 217 TFEU (former art. 310 and art. 238 TEC)

2. Intention to establish close economic and political cooperation (more than simple cooperation);
3. Creation of paritary bodies for the management of the cooperation, competent to take decisions that bind the contracting parties;
4. Offering Most Favoured Nation treatment;
5. Providing for a privileged relationship between the EC and its partner;
6. Since 1995 the clause on the respect of human rights and democratic principles is systematically included and constitutes an essential element of the agreement;
7. In a large number of cases, the association agreement replaces a cooperation agreement thereby intensifying the relations between the partners.

— European External Action Service

AAs go by a variety of names (Euro-Mediterranean Agreement Establishing an Association, Europe Agreement Establishing an Association, etc.) and need not necessarily even have the word "Association" in the title. Some AAs contain a promise of future EU membership for the contracting state.

The first states to sign such an agreements were Greece (1961)[2] and Turkey in (1963).[3]

The EU today typically concludes Association Agreements in exchange for commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in a country. In exchange, the country may be offered tariff-free access to some or all EU markets (industrial goods, agricultural products, etc.), and financial or technical assistance. Most recently signed AAs also include a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and the third country.

Association Agreements have to be ratified by all the EU member states.

In recent history, such agreements are signed as part of two EU policies: Stabilisation and Association Process (SAp) and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The countries of the western Balkans (official candidates Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, applicant Albania, and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo[a]) are covered by SAp and the EU signs "Stabilisation and Association Agreements" (SAA) with them. The countries of the Mediterranean (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia) and Eastern Europe neighbours (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, but excluding Russia that insists on creating four EU-Russia Common Spaces) are covered by ENP. Seven of the Mediterranean states have a "Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association" (EMAA) in force, while another has an interim EMAA in force.[4] Several of the Eastern Partnership states are negotiating AAs.

Both the SAA and ENP AP are based mostly on the EU's acquis communautaire and its promulgation in the co-operating states legislation. Of course the depth of the harmonisation is less than for full EU members and some policy areas may not be covered (depending on the particular state).

In addition to these two policies, AAs with Free Trade Agreement provisions have been signed with other states and trade blocs including Chile, and South Africa.

EU Agreements with third states

Association Agreements

Currently undergoing ratification

Currently in negotiations

Free Trade Agreements

Currently undergoing ratification

Currently in negotiations

Other Agreements

Currently undergoing ratification

Currently in negotiations

Defunct Agreements


Legend

See also

Notes

a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been Template:Numrec out of Template:UNnum United Nations member states.

References

External links

  • Free trade agreements
  • EU free trade agreements
  • Council of the European Union Agreements database
  • European External Action Service Treaties Office Database
  • EU-ACP countries Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) Negotiations: Where do we stand?
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