European Union Association Agreement

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A European Union Association Agreement (for short, Association Agreement or AA) is a treaty between the European Union (EU), its Member States 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).

Association Agreements are broad framework agreements between the EU (or its 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 meet 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

The EU 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 accepted by the European Union and need to be ratified by all the EU member states and the state concerned.

Names and types[edit]

AAs go by a variety of names (e.g. Euro-Mediterranean Agreement Establishing an Association, Europe Agreement Establishing an Association) 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 agreement were Greece (1961)[2] and Turkey in (1963).[3]

In recent history, such agreements have been 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 Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo[a]) are covered by SAp. All six have "Stabilisation and Association Agreements" (SAA) with the EU in force.

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) with the EU in force, while Palestine has an interim EMAA in force.[4] Syria initialled an EMAA in 2008, however signing has been deferred indefinitely. Negotiations for a Framework Agreement with the remaining state, Libya, have been suspended. Moldova and Ukraine, of the Eastern Partnership, have Association Agreements in force. Armenia completed negotiations for a AA in 2013 but decided not to sign the agreement,[5] while Azerbaijan has been negotiating an AA.

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[edit]

EU Association Agreements with neighbouring countries
 EU member states

 Agreement on the European Economic Area

 Stabilisation and Association Agreement

 Agreement Establishing an Association
 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement; Association Agreement under negotiations
 Association Agreement under negotiations

 Euro-Mediterranean Agreement Establishing an Association
 Interim Euro-Mediterranean Agreement Establishing an Association
 Cooperation Agreement; Euro-Mediterranean Agreement Establishing an Association initialled

 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed

 Negotiations on a Framework Agreement suspended

Association Agreements[edit]

In force[edit]

Currently undergoing ratification[edit]

Currently in negotiations[edit]

Defunct agreements[edit]

Free-trade agreements[edit]

In force[edit]

EU Free trade agreements

Currently undergoing ratification[edit]

Currently in negotiations[edit]

Other agreements[edit]

Currently undergoing ratification[edit]

Currently in negotiations[edit]

Defunct agreements[edit]

Legend

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations member states.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]