Stabilisation and association agreement


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

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 harmonisation expected by SAA is less than for EU member states; some policy areas in the Acquis may not be covered by a given SAA.

Association agreements must be ratified by the associating state and all EU member states.

The EU's relations with the Western Balkans states (Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina) were moved from the "External Relations" to the "Enlargement" policy segment in 2005. These states currently are not recognised as candidate countries, but only as "potential candidate countries".[1] This is a consequence of the advancement of the Stabilisation and Association process.

As of October 2013, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have SAA's in force. Bosnia has an interim agreements in force, with their SAAs undergoing ratification, while Kosovo has begun negotiations on 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.[2] 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."[3] The agreement will not need to be individually ratified by each member state.[4] The representative went on to say that "since Kosovo is not recognised 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 recognise Kosovo as a state."[3]

Stabilisation and Association Process

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

Notes

(brackets): earliest possible date

See also

References

External links

  • European Commission Website
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