Stabilisation and Association Process

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Map of the states engaged in the European Union's Stabilisation and Association Process, with the date of the latest step in the process.
  EU member states
  SAA in force
  SAA signed
  SAA initialled

In talks with countries that have expressed a wish to join the European Union, the EU typically concludes Association Agreements in exchange for commitments to political, economic, trade, or human rights reform in that 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.

Overview[edit]

Stabilisation and Association agreements are part of the EU Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). At present, the countries of the Western Balkans are the focus of the SAP. Specific Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAA) have been implemented with various Balkan countries which explicitly include provisions for future EU membership of the country involved. SAAs are similar in principle to the Europe Agreements signed with the Central and Eastern European countries in the 1990s and to the Association Agreement with Turkey.

SAAs are based mostly on the EU's acquis communautaire and predicated on its promulgation in the cooperating states legislation. The depth of the policy harmonization expected by SAA is less than for EU member states; some policy areas in the Acquis may not be covered by a given SAA.

The EU's relations with the Western Balkans states were moved from the "External Relations" to the "Enlargement" policy segment in 2005. As of 2014, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are officially recognized as candidates for membership. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are not recognised as candidate countries, but as "potential candidate countries".[1]

As of July 2014, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have SAA's in force. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an interim agreement in force, with their SAA undergoing ratification, while Kosovo has initialled a SAA with the EU.[2] Croatia formerly had a SAA, but it lapsed when they acceded to the EU in 2013.

Kosovo's SAA would be the first signed after the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty, which conferred a legal personality to the EU.[3][4] As a result, the EU representative in Kosovo has said that "unlike SAA with other countries of the region, this one will be exclusively the EU agreement. The EU will co-sign it as a legal entity."[5] The agreement will not need to be individually ratified by each member state.[6] The representative went on to say that "since Kosovo is not recognized by the five member states, we had to issue a directive saying that the signing of the agreement will not signify that the EU or any of the countries recognize Kosovo as a state."[5]

Stabilisation and Association Process[edit]

Event Macedonia [7] Croatia [8] Albania [9] Montenegro [10][Note 1] Bosnia and
Herzegovina
[12]
Serbia [13][Note 2] Kosovo* [Note 3]
SAA negotiations start 2000-04-05 2000-11-24 2003-01-31 2005-10-10 2005-11-25 2005-10-10 2013-10-28[15]
SAA initialled 2000-11-24 2001-05-14 2006-02-28 2007-03-15 2007-12-04 2007-11-07 2014-07-25[16]
SAA/IA signature 2001-04-09 2001-10-29 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2008-04-29 (?) [Note 4]
Interim Agreement:
EC ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2009-12-08 N/A [Note 4]
SAP state ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-10-09 2007-11-14 2008-06-20 2008-09-22 N/A [Note 4]
entry into force 2001-06-01 2002-03-01 2006-12-01 2008-01-01 2008-07-01 2010-02-01 N/A [Note 4]
Notification of the EC of SAA ratification by:
SAP state 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-11-09 2007-11-13 2009-02-26 2008-09-22 (?)
Austria 2002-09-06 2002-03-15 2008-05-21 2008-07-04 2009-09-04 2011-01-13 N/A
Belgium 2003-12-29 2003-12-17 2008-10-22 2010-03-29 2010-03-29 2012-03-20 N/A
Bulgaria entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2009-03-13 2010-08-12 N/A
Croatia entered the EU later N/A
Cyprus entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2008-11-20 2009-07-02 2010-11-26 N/A
Czech Republic entered the EU later 2008-05-07 2009-02-19 2009-07-23 2011-01-28 N/A
Denmark 2002-04-10 2002-05-08 2008-04-24 2008-06-25 2009-05-26 2011-03-04 N/A
Estonia entered the EU later 2007-10-17 2007-11-22 2008-09-11 2010-08-19 N/A
Finland 2004-01-06 2004-01-06 2007-11-29 2009-03-18 2009-04-07 2011-10-21 N/A
France 2003-06-04 2003-06-04 2009-02-12 2009-07-30 2011-02-10 2012-01-16 N/A
Germany 2002-06-20 2002-10-18 2009-02-19 2009-11-16 2009-08-14 2012-02-24 N/A
Greece 2003-08-27 2003-08-27 2009-02-26 2010-03-04 2010-09-20 2011-03-10 N/A
Hungary entered the EU later 2007-04-23 2008-05-14 2008-10-22 2010-11-16 N/A
Ireland 2002-05-06 2002-05-06 2007-06-11 2009-06-04 2009-06-04 2011-09-29 N/A
Italy 2003-10-30 2004-10-06 2008-01-07 2009-10-13 2010-09-08 2011-01-06 N/A
Latvia entered the EU later 2006-12-19 2008-10-17 2009-11-12 2011-05-30 N/A
Lithuania entered the EU later 2007-05-17 2009-03-04 2009-05-04 2013-06-26 N/A
Luxembourg 2003-07-28 2003-08-01 2007-07-04 2009-06-11 2010-12-22 2011-01-21 N/A
Malta entered the EU later 2008-04-21 2008-12-11 2010-01-07 2010-07-06 N/A
Netherlands 2002-09-09 2004-04-30 2007-12-10 2009-01-29 2009-09-30 2012-02-27 N/A
Poland entered the EU later 2007-04-14 2009-02-06 2010-04-07 2012-01-13 N/A
Portugal 2003-07-14 2003-07-14 2008-07-11 2008-09-23 2009-06-29 2011-03-04 N/A
Romania entered the EU later 2009-01-15 2010-01-08 2012-05-22 N/A
Slovakia entered the EU later 2007-07-20 2008-07-29 2009-03-17 2010-11-11 N/A
Slovenia entered the EU later 2007-01-18 2008-02-07 2009-03-10 2010-12-07 N/A
Spain 2002-10-04 2002-10-04 2007-05-03 2009-03-12 2010-06-15 2010-06-21 N/A
Sweden 2002-06-25 2003-03-27 2007-03-21 2009-03-11 2009-09-14 2011-04-15 N/A
United Kingdom 2002-12-17 2004-09-03 2007-10-16 2010-01-12 2010-04-20 2011-08-11 N/A
European Communities/European Union 2004-02-25 2004-12-21 2009-02-26 2010-03-29 (?)[Note 5] 2013-07-22 (?) [Note 6]
SAA entry into force 2004-04-01 2005-02-01 2009-04-01 2010-05-01 (?)[Note 5] 2013-09-01 (?)
EU membership (SAA lapsed) (?) 2013-07-01 (?) (?) (?) (?) (?)

Notes[edit]

(brackets): earliest possible date
N/A: Not applicable.

  1. ^ Montenegro started negotiations in November 2005 while a part of Serbia and Montenegro (SiM). Separate technical negotiations were conducted regarding issues of sub-state organizational competency. A mandate for direct negotiations with Montenegro was established in July 2006. Direct negotiations were initiated on 26 September 2006 and concluded on 1 December 2006.[11]
  2. ^ Serbia started negotiations in November 2005 while part of SiM, with a modified mandate from July 2006.
  3. ^ 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 recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states. The European Union remains divided on its policy towards Kosovo, with five EU member states not recognizing its independence. The EU launched a Stabilisation Tracking Mechanism for Kosovo on 6 November 2002 with the aim of aligning its policy with EU standards. On 10 October 2012 the European Commission found that there were no legal obstacles to Kosovo signing a SAA with the EU, as independence is not required for such an agreement.[14]
  4. ^ a b c d There will be no Interim Agreement associated with Kosovo's SAA.[17]
  5. ^ a b Although ratified by all EU member states, the entry into force of Bosnia's SAA has been delayed by the EU since Bosnia has yet to meet the preconditions set by the EU.[20]
  6. ^ Kosovo's SAA would be the first signed after the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty, which conferred a legal personality to the EU. As a result, the agreement will be directly between Kosovo and the EU and will not need to be ratified by each member state individually.[15][18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Enlargement: Pre Acceding Countries & Candidate countries: Potential Candidate Countries". European Union. Archived from the original on February 23, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Stabilization and Association Agreement is initialled". Ministry of European Integration of the Republic of Kosovo. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  3. ^ "Stabilisation and Association Agreement negotiations successfully completed". European External Action Service. 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  4. ^ "EU starts the Stabilisation and Association Agreement negotiations with Kosovo". European Commission. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Kosovo to negotiate on Stabilisation and Association Agreement". 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Kosovo Launches Crucial SAA Talks With EU". Balkan Insight. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  7. ^ "SAA Agreement with Macedonia". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  8. ^ "SAA Agreement with Croatia". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  9. ^ "SAA Agreement with Albania". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  10. ^ "SAA Agreement with Montenegro". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  11. ^ "EU, Montenegro complete negotiations on pre-membership deal to bring country closer to bloc". International Herald Tribune. The Associated Press. 2006-12-01. Archived from the original on 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  12. ^ "SAA Agreement with Bosnia". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  13. ^ "SAA Agreement with Serbia". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  14. ^ "Feasibility Study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and Kosovo" (PDF). European Commission. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "EU starts the Stabilisation and Association Agreement negotiations with Kosovo". European Commission. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  16. ^ "Stabilization and Association Agreement is initialled". Ministry of European Integration of the Republic of Kosovo. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  17. ^ "Kosovo to negotiate on Stabilisation and Association Agreement". 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  18. ^ "Stabilisation and Association Agreement negotiations successfully completed". European External Action Service. 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  19. ^ "Kosovo Launches Crucial SAA Talks With EU". Balkan Insight. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  20. ^ "Press: Bosnia-EU relations put on hold". daily.tportal.hr. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 

External links[edit]