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The Community acquis or acquis communautaire (/ /; French: [aˌki kɔmynoˈtɛːʁ]), sometimes called the EU acquis and often shortened to acquis, is the accumulated legislation, legal acts, and court decisions which constitute the body of European Union law. The term is French: acquis meaning "that which has been acquired or obtained", and communautaire meaning "of the community".
During the process of the enlargement of the European Union, the acquis was divided into 31 chapters for the purpose of negotiation between the EU and the candidate member states for the fifth enlargement (the ten that joined in 2004 plus Romania and Bulgaria which joined in 2007). These chapters were:
For the negotiations with Croatia (which joined in 2013), Iceland, Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia and in the future, with Macedonia, Albania (candidate countries), the acquis is split up into 35 chapters instead, with the purpose of better balancing between the chapters: dividing the most difficult ones into separate chapters for easier negotiation, uniting some easier chapters, moving some policies between chapters, as well as renaming a few of them in the process:
Correspondence between chapters of the 5th and the 6th Enlargement:
|5th Enlargement||6th Enlargement|
|1. Free movement of goods||1. Free movement of goods|
|7. Intellectual property law|
|2. Free movement of persons||2. Freedom of movement for workers|
|3. Right of establishment and freedom to provide services|
|3. Freedom to provide services|
|9. Financial services|
|4. Free movement of capital||4. Free movement of capital|
|5. Company law||6. Company law|
|6. Competition policy||8. Competition policy|
|5. Public procurement|
|7. Agriculture||11. Agriculture and rural development|
|12. Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy|
|8. Fisheries||13. Fisheries|
|9. Transport policy||14. Transport policy|
|21. Trans-European networks (one half of it)|
|10. Taxation||16. Taxation|
|11. Economic and Monetary Union||17. Economic and monetary policy|
|12. Statistics||18. Statistics|
|13. Social policy and employment||19. Social policy and employment
(including anti-discrimination and equal opportunities for women and men)
|14. Energy||15. Energy|
|21. Trans-European networks (one half of it)|
|15. Industrial policy||20. Enterprise and industrial policy|
|16. Small and medium-sized enterprises|
|17. Science and research||25. Science and research|
|18. Education and training||26. Education and culture
10. Information society and media
|19. Telecommunication and information technologies|
|20. Culture and audio-visual policy|
|21. Regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments||22. Regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments|
|22. Environment||27. Environment|
|23. Consumer and health protection||28. Consumer and health protection|
|24. Cooperation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs||23. Judiciary and fundamental rights|
|24. Justice, freedom and security|
|25. Customs union||29. Customs union|
|26. External relations||30. External relations|
|27. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)||31. Foreign, security and defence policy|
|28. Financial control||32. Financial control|
|29. Financial and budgetary provisions||33. Financial and budgetary provisions|
|30. Institutions||34. Institutions|
|31. Others||35. Other issues|
Such negotiations usually involved agreeing transitional periods before new member states needed to implement the laws of the European Union fully and before they and their citizens acquired full rights under the acquis.
The term acquis is also used to describe laws adopted under the Schengen Agreement, prior to its integration into the European Union legal order by the Treaty of Amsterdam, in which case one speaks of the Schengen acquis.
The term acquis has been borrowed by the World Trade Organization Appellate Body, in the case Japan – Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages, to refer to the accumulation of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and WTO law ("acquis gattien"), though this usage is not well established.
- The Council of Europe's acquis in standard setting activities in the fields of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights and freedoms should be considered as milestones towards the European political project, and the European Court of Human Rights should be recognised as the pre-eminent judicial pillar of any future architecture.
It has also been applied to the body of "principles, norms and commitments" of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE):
- Another question under debate has been how the Partners and others could implement the OSCE acquis, in other words its principles, norms, and commitments on a voluntary basis.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) introduced the concept of the OECD Acquis in its "Strategy for enlargement and outreach", May 2004.
- EuroVoc: Community acquis
- Collins English Dictionary. "acquis communautaire". collinsdictionary.com. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Section 12, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution 1290
- Intervention by Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the OSCE, Annual Security Review Conference.
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