Tag Archives: Cooperation

Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decisions 94/578/EC, 95/129/EC, 96/354/EC, 2001/332/EC and 2004/870/EC concerning the conclusion of the cooperation agreements between the European Community, of the one part, and of the other part, the Republic of India, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Kingdom of Nepal, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, respectively.

Summary

Between 1994 and 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded five similar cooperation agreements with five countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC): Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

These agreements aim to develop the cooperation ties between the partners, while ensuring a respect for human rights and promoting democratic principles.

The main cooperation objectives concern:

  • trade, with the aim of increasing, diversifying and liberalising trade. Therefore, the parties must improve the opening up of their respective markets, and enhance their cooperation in customs matters in accordance with the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO);
  • economy, in order to improve the business environment, dialogue between economic operators, information exchange, and entrepreneur training;
  • sustainable development, specifically for social progress and combating poverty. The EU must support the progress of partners in the fields of health, education, improving the standard of living, and promoting the role of women in society;
  • the development of human resources, vocational qualifications and the promotion of international standards on decent work;
  • rural development, increasing trade in agricultural, fisheries and farmed products, including the improvement of sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

The Agreements also provide specific objectives depending on the different needs of the country for:

  • scientific and technological cooperation, which should lead to improvements in the technical assistance with Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh’s quality and control standards, and the launching of joint research projects, the mobility of researchers, and exchanges of scientific information (particularly in the fields of bio-technology, new materials and geosciences) with India;
  • environmental protection, particularly to support Pakistan and Nepal in natural resource management, erosion and deforestation; Bangladesh for reducing the risks of natural disasters; Sri Lanka for preventing industrial pollution, and India for drafting and implementing environmental legislation, research and training;
  • improving the environment for private investment with India, Nepal and Sri Lanka;
  • developing industry and services with India and Pakistan;
  • protecting intellectual property rights with India and Sri Lanka;
  • cooperation in the fields of information, culture and communications with Pakistan and Bangladesh;
  • promoting the energy sector with India, Pakistan and Nepal, recognising the importance of the energy sector for their economic and social development;
  • combating drug trafficking and money laundering, particularly with Pakistan and Bangladesh using special measures against the production and trafficking of drugs, and also the prevention of drug abuse;
  • tourism with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, particularly through studies and information exchange.

Context

SAARC is a regional cooperation organisation, established in 1985 in order to accelerate the economic and social development of its Member States. These Member States are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The EU has observer member status in the organisation, as does Burma/Myanmar, China, South Korea, the United States, Iran, Japan and Mauritius.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 94/578/EC Republic of India

1.8.1994

OJ L 223 of 27.8.1994

Decision 95/129/EC the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

1.4.1995

OJ L 85 of 19.4.1995

Decision 2004/870/EC, Islamic Republic of Pakistan

1.9.2004

OJ L 378 of 23.12.2004

Decision 2001/332/EC People’s Republic of Bangladesh

1.3.2001

OJ L 118 of 27.4.2001

Decision 96/354/EC Kingdom of Nepal

1.6.1996

OJ L 137 of 8.6.1996

Related Acts

Communication concerning the entry into force, in trade between the European Community and the countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of the provisions laid down in Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1602/2000, concerning the definition of the concept of ‘originating products’ for the purpose of applying tariff preferences granted by the Community to certain products from developing countries (regional cumulation of origin)) [OJ C 265 of 15.9.2000].

Consolidating stability and achieving prosperity in the Western Balkans

Consolidating stability and achieving prosperity in the Western Balkans

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Consolidating stability and achieving prosperity in the Western Balkans

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > The stabilisation and association process: the western balkans

Consolidating stability and achieving prosperity in the Western Balkans

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 27 January 2006: The Western Balkans on the road to the EU: consolidating stability and raising prosperity [COM(2006) 27 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Commission presents an appraisal of the implementation of the Thessaloniki Agenda, adopted in 2003, by the European Union (EU) and the countries of the Western Balkans.

It also makes recommendations concerning the consolidation and continuation of progress, to be achieved on the basis of the stabilisation and association process and the Thessaloniki Agenda.

Such developments are likely to foster closer ties between the EU and these countries, particularly in relation to the European perspective.

Report on the implementation of the Thessaloniki Agenda

Most of the commitments made in relation to the Thessaloniki Agenda have been fulfilled, by both the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans.

Political dialogue and cooperation on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) have been consolidated, in particular with regard to the alignment of the countries in the region on the common positions, approaches and declarations under the CFSP. An EU-Western Balkans political forum has been established and bilateral political dialogues have been extended to all countries in the Western Balkans.

The EU supports the strengthening of the institutions and the development of the economic and commercial structures in the countries of the region, in particular by encouraging their participation in Community programmes and agencies, and in the European Charter for Small Enterprises and the development of preferential trade measures. A dialogue between the Commission and each of the countries in the Western Balkans on economic issues is pursued on a regular basis.

Progress has also been achieved in the fields of justice, freedom and security, mainly thanks to Community support.

The EU pursues its peacekeeping and conflict-prevention missions in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the CFSP and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). It also actively supports the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (MINUK) and cooperates closely with the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government.

However, further efforts are still needed on matters concerning the return of refugees, reconciliation through education and, more generally, social and cultural development. Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is also still of fundamental importance.

Considerable progress still to be made

The Commission underlines the need to support trade and investment and also economic and social development. In this context, the reform process already under way to ensure the proper functioning of the markets and of competitiveness provides the basis for, and a necessary complement to, economic and political stability. Economic and commercial integration depends in particular on:

  • the negotiation of stabilisation and association agreements (SAA) and the autonomous trade measures applied by the EU to imports from the region;
  • the creation of a zone of diagonal cumulation of origin between the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans which have concluded an SAA;
  • the development of regional commercial integration;
  • the accession of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia to the World Trade Organisation (WTO);
  • the participation of the countries of the Western Balkans in calls for tender organised within the framework of the pre-accession instruments;
  • support for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • the promotion of social integration and employment, and also of social dialogue and the fight against exclusion.

The citizens of the Western Balkan countries, with the exception of Croatia, must have a visa to enter EU territory. The Commission plans to present draft mandates to the Council in 2006 for the negotiation of facilitation agreements with the countries of the Western Balkans. The agreements will be linked to the conclusion of readmission agreements with the same countries.

Furthermore, specific measures encourage exchanges for students and researchers from third countries, including two Directives dating from December 2004 and October 2005.

The Commission wishes to familiarise the people and institutions of the Western Balkans with the European agenda.

For instance, participation in Community programmes and agencies should foster the further integration of this region into the EU and the exchange of know-how and good practices.

It is essential for the administrative authorities to be prepared for European integration in terms of administrative and legal capacity in order for them to conform rapidly with Community legislation. Provision for this is made by twinning (the secondment of experts and advisers from the Member States to the administrative authorities of the countries concerned for a long period), through the support provided by the Technical Assistance Information Exchange Office (TAIEX) or under the customs and fiscal assistance programmes (CAFAO).

Various international players show wide-ranging commitment to regional cooperation through, for example, structures such as the Stability Pact. Although there has been some progress, regional cooperation challenges still need to be met in European policy fields in which the Western Balkan countries are becoming progressively involved, namely:

  • justice, freedom and security. The fight against organised crime and border management are dealt with as priorities, particularly through the consolidation of the cross-border cooperation capacity of police and customs, and through the enhancement of regional prosecutor cooperation in organised crime cases and corruption-related crimes;
  • parliamentary cooperation;
  • energy. The Treaty between the EU and the partner countries of the region establishing the Energy Community was signed in October 2005. It provides a single framework for regulating energy with the aim of fostering energy networks involving the countries of the region and other international partners;
  • cooperation on land and air transport;
  • the environment. The countries in the region are part of the Regional Environmental Reconstruction Programme, currently being developed, and of the Balkan Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (BERCEN);
  • the protection and defence of cultural heritage.

The Commission proposes widening the civil society dialogue to include all the countries of the Western Balkans, thus going beyond the civil society dialogue proposed for the candidate countries (European Council of December 2004 and Communication (2005) 290 final of 29 June 2005). The EU therefore proposes in-depth political and cultural dialogue with the countries of the region, involving the active participation of civil society.

Background

Issues of fundamental importance for the future of the region are still to be settled, such as the status of Kosovo and the constitutional reforms in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.

Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership

Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 10 November 2010 on the consolidation of EU Africa relations 1.5 billion people, 80 countries, two continents, one future [COM(2010) 634 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The priorities of the Africa-EU partnership must be adapted to the new challenges of the next ten years. Enhanced relations between Africa and the European Union (EU) should in particular be beneficial for the sustainable and inclusive growth of the African continent.

Addressing common challenges together

The partners share common interests and objectives as regards:

  • achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – to do this they must build on the initiatives taken by African countries and pay particular attention to the more fragile countries and the most vulnerable population groups;
  • the peace and security process, monitoring of which must take place within the framework of the African Union and the UN, supported by regional mechanisms for conflict prevention;
  • promoting governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights, involving, in particular, civil society and the private sector;
  • defending common interests at international level and strengthening Africa’s position within international organisations;
  • combating climate change and environmental degradation, the sustainable management of natural resources, and disaster risk reduction.

A forward-looking vision

During the next ten years, cooperation and investment should contribute to instituting inclusive growth, promoting cooperation in terms of:

  • social cohesion, by extending social protection systems and good governance of the labour market;
  • developing accessible and reliable basic services and infrastructures, particularly in the energy, information and communication technologies, water and transport sectors;
  • skills, innovation and entrepreneurship, including education and training;
  • migration and mobility, to ensure legal migration related to the labour market, whilst monitoring the situation of vulnerable groups (such as refugees, asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors).

Cooperation should also enable the conditions for sustainable growth to be created, through:

  • regional integration, driving stability, growth and development, but also through increased trade and improved economic governance;
  • sustainable development and supply of raw materials, by supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and respecting the environment;
  • increased agricultural production, particularly in favour of small-scale farmers, sustainable and ecologically efficient production;
  • energy efficiency and sustainable energies, identifying joint action timetables, investments and tax reforms.

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 12 April 2005 – Tenth Anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: A work programme to meet the challenges of the next five years [COM(2005) 139 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission has identified the critical areas for the future of the Mediterranean region and for intensified relations between the EU and the MNCs.

It focuses on three key objectives:

  • promoting human rights and democracy;
  • supporting job creation and sustainable economic development by liberalising trade and promoting regional integration;
  • contributing to better education for all.

With these proposals the Commission wishes to realise the full potential offered by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. A detailed analysis of achievements and shortcomings has shown that cooperation methods can be improved further.

A new model of cooperation may be drawn up via the institutional framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This would mean that new cooperation projects form part of a five-year work programme and benefit from the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements and the Neighbourhood Action Plans.

Human rights and democracy

The political dialogue set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership serves to develop common perceptions in the areas of democracy and respect for human rights. Greater emphasis will be placed on certain issues, such as gender equality, the promotion of fundamental and social rights and the role of civil society.

The Commission considers that new impetus must be given to the political dialogue to ensure stability and security in the Mediterranean region. It proposes to hold a conference on human rights and democratisation at sub-regional level. It also encourages the creation of a Democracy Facility under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.

Job creation and economic growth

The Commission considers that these two objectives will be met through trade liberalisation and sub-regional integration. Increased trade between the partners will be facilitated in particular by:

  • enhanced liberalisation of trade in services and establishment, and of trade in agricultural and fishery products;
  • increased convergence of technical legislation and regulations, upgrading of infrastructure to European standards;
  • the development of South-South trade relations by the signing of Free Trade Agreements between the MNCs. This type of agreement must also enable the preferential rules of the Pan-Euro-Med cumulation of origin to be implemented;
  • the establishment of appropriate budgetary and monetary policies, and the continuation of structural reforms aimed at lifting obstacles to growth, investment and job creation;
  • the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Bank, taking into account the success of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) implemented by the European Investment Bank (EIB);
  • the development of a regional transport network and the reform of the sector, and the adoption of recommendations for the creation of Euro-Mediterranean interconnections;
  • the gradual establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean energy market and the development of energy infrastructures in the partner third countries;
  • the adoption of environmental measures designed to depollute the Mediterranean Sea by 2020.

Education

The contribution of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership to improving education and vocational training involves intensifying bilateral cooperation. The Commission intends to increase by at least 50% the proportion of financial aid devoted to education from 2007. In line with the Millennium Development Goals, this cooperation focuses on eradicating illiteracy, ensuring primary education for all and eliminating gender disparity at all levels of education.

Mobility in higher education will also be encouraged by extending existing programmes and by launching a new scheme of scholarships for university students co-financed by the MNCs.

Justice, freedom and security

The Commission recommends a series of actions aimed at enhancing cooperation, in particular in the area of migration and social integration of migrants. It recalls that local authorities and civil society play a key role in these areas.

Terrorism

The aim here is to pursue more practical and sustained cooperation in the fight against terrorism through a political dialogue at regional level. Bilateral state-to-state cooperation has proved insufficient and a new stage in the deepening of relations could be the adoption of a common Code of Conduct.

Weapons of mass destruction and ESDP

Attaining the objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership should lead to a Mediterranean region free of weapons of mass destruction and compliance by all the MNCs with their international obligations in this area. The Secretary General/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has taken the initiative of organising a workshop on this subject, aimed at developing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

The Middle East Peace Process and the resolution of other conflicts

The appearance of conflicts is an obstacle to progress in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This is why the EU supports cooperation and political dialogue among the parties. Even though the Barcelona Process is not a forum in which a settlement can be reached, it provides the instruments for maintaining peace.

The Commission proposes the signing of a Euro-Mediterranean charter for peace and stability and closer regional integration through the European Neighbourhood Policy. This strategy is suited to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and may be reproduced to help resolve other conflicts, in particular the Western Sahara conflict that is a significant obstacle to the development of the integration process within the Arab Maghreb Union.

Civil society

The new Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures should promote the participation of civil society in the Barcelona Process. Additional mechanisms should strengthen this participation, in particular through the organisation of a Euro-Mediterranean civil forum. The results of the forum will be made operational through the Neighbourhood Policy and its financing instrument.

The Commission supports the Arab International Women’s Forum in its efforts to set up a network of women who are leaders in their areas of business.

Background

In this Communication, the Commission draws up the preparatory framework for the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Ministers in 2005. Most notable was the Extraordinary Conference in Barcelona celebrating the tenth anniversary of a strong partnership between the EU and the MNCs, based on the basic principles of the Partnership, namely dialogue and cooperation.

The Luxembourg Conference (‘Barcelona VII’) aims to make concrete progress in the areas described above. To this end, the Commission attaches to its recommendations a timetable of measures to be taken in the short and medium term to achieve an integrated Euro-Mediterranean area by 2010.

Related Acts

BARCELONA SUMMIT CELEBRATING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN PARTNERSHIP, 27-28 NOVEMBER 2005.

(pdf).
The Barcelona Summit saw the adoption of new objectives and a five-year work programme to improve the partnership’s impact on people’s lives and to make its results more visible.

Political and security partnership.
The EU and its partners remain committed to making the Euro-Mediterranean region an area of peace, security and prosperity. This commitment concerns both the resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and other issues such as strengthening the partnership, developing joint regional projects, sustainable development and consolidating the rule of law, democracy and human rights. Citizens and civil society should be more involved, particularly in the decision-making process. The EU will support the reforms on the basis of the shared principles and values and the priorities under the ENP action plans. For their part, the partners will primarily have to undertake to meet international election standards, further the human rights dialogues envisaged under the association agreements and implement the code of conduct on countering terrorism. Dialogue concerning the ESDP and security issues should also be stepped up so as to consolidate the partners’ cooperation on conflict and natural disaster prevention, crisis management and civil protection.
Sustainable socio-economic development and reforms. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership aims to improve employment and GDP levels and reduce poverty and wealth disparities. In order to achieve this, a business-friendly climate, particularly one which is favourable to small and medium-sized enterprises, must be created. The partners will establish a roadmap identifying the steps to be taken to create a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010. Trade in agricultural and fisheries products and trade in services should be progressively liberalised. It will also be necessary to speed up the signing of association agreements, promote regional agreements and bilateral free trade agreements and encourage the entry into force of the Agadir Agreement. Existing instruments such as the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Protocol will also have to be promoted. Cooperation also concerns industrial products, health, the environment, transport, energy and tourism. It is planned to open up Community programmes such as the Eureka programme on research and innovation to all the partners and to apply the methodology used in the EU regional policy.
Education and socio-cultural exchanges. Because of its crucial role in political, economic and social development, education should be improved and strengthened, so as to contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Objectives will be identified for moving towards quality education which is open to all and tailored to labour market needs. Achieving these objectives should involve increasing funding for education through EU aid programmes and national programmes, including the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), increasing the number of enrolments in an increased number of schools and extending programmes to fight illiteracy. Intercultural knowledge and understanding will benefit mainly from increased support for the work of the Anna Lindh Foundation, the involvement of civil society, measures to encourage mobility, etc.
Migration, social integration, justice and security. These issues will be handled using a comprehensive and integrated approach and increased cooperation. The means for achieving the objectives identified should essentially be meetings of Ministers and experts, frameworks encouraging exchanges of experience, dialogue with and assistance to countries of origin and transit and strengthened administrative and institutional capacities. Cooperation on illegal immigration should be stepped up by dealing with all the aspects involved (readmission agreements, the fight against people trafficking, capacity building). Cooperation between the legal/judicial professions on the one hand and the police and law enforcement authorities on the other should be strengthened by means of contacts, training and technical assistance on the basis of the existing instruments (Euromed Justice, Euromed Police, etc.).

(pdf).

(pdf).

OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS:

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the preparation of the Tampere Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Affairs Ministers Conference (27-28 November 2006) – The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Time to deliver

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 25 October 2006 on the preparation of the Tampere Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Affairs Ministers Conference (27-28 November 2006) – The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Time to deliver [COM(2006) 620 final – not published in the Official Journal].
With a view to the Tampere Conference, the Commission summarises the successes of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. It proposes key areas in which action is required as part of the implementation of the five-year work programme. These key areas are political and security dialogue, implementation of the code of conduct on countering terrorism, the establishment of a Euro-Med area for free trade and investment, energy and transport, the environment, education and social development, strengthening the role of women in society, information society, cultural dialogue and migration.
The Commission also proposes reviewing the working methods, so as to improve communication on the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the preparation of Euro-Med meetings and conferences by involving participants and giving them more responsibility.

Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

Acts

Decision 2006/356/EC, Decision 2005/690/EC, Decision 2004/635/EC, Decision 2002/357/EC, Decision 2000/384/EC, Decision 2000/204/EC, Decision 98/238/EC, concerning the conclusion of a Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and, respectively, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the State of Israel, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Tunisia.

Summary

The Euro-Mediterranean partnership between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the Southern Mediterranean began in 1995 by the Barcelona process. The political, economic and social partnership is based on the principles of reciprocity, solidarity and co-development.

Under this framework, the Association Agreements have been adopted between the EU, the Member States and the Mediterranean country partners. These bilateral agreements replace the first generation of agreements, i.e. the cooperation agreements of the 1970s.

Adherence to democratic principles and fundamental rights are an essential element of the association agreements.

Although they are bilateral agreements and provide for specific arrangements with each partner State, the association agreements share a similar structure. They are intended to promote the following:

  • regular dialogue on political and security matters, in order to promote mutual understanding, cooperation and joint initiatives;
  • economic, trade and financial cooperation, aimed in particular at gradual trade liberalisation, sustainable development of the region and investment;
  • social and cultural cooperation and on educational matters, in particular through intercultural dialogue, migration control, developing qualifications, promoting labour law and gender equality.

In addition, the agreements encourage intra-regional cooperation between the Mediterranean countries, as a factor for peace, stability and economic and social development.

Towards a free trade area

The association agreements provide for the gradual establishment of a Mediterranean free trade area in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This free trade area shall be established after a transitional period of twelve years following the entry into force of the agreements. However, free trade between the EU and Israel already exists.

The free movement of goods between the EU and the Mediterranean countries is to result from:

  • the gradual removal of customs duties;
  • the prohibition of quantitive restrictions on exports and imports, and any similar or discriminatory measures between the parties.

The rules will have particular relevance for imports of industrial products and trade in agricultural products, processed or otherwise, and fisheries products.

Safeguard measures may, however, be applied if they are in the public interest, or to protect economic sectors that are particularly vulnerable.

Regarding the right of establishment and the supply of services, the parties reaffirm their commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). In addition, the partners must promote the full liberalisation of the capital sector as soon as the necessary conditions are in place.

Lastly, a mechanism for regulating trade disputes shall be gradually established.

Institutional provisions

Institutional structures are set up under each association agreement. An Association Council, organised at ministerial level, takes decisions and makes recommendations so that fixed objectives can be attained, while an Association Committee manages the agreement and settles differences regarding its application and interpretation.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/356/EC, Lebanese Republic

1.4.2006

OJ L 143 of 30.5.2006

Decision 2005/690/EC, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

1.9.2005

OJ L 265 of 10.10.2005

Decision 2004/635/EC, Arab Republic of Egypt

1.6.2004

OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004

Decision 2002/357/EC, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

1.5.2002

OJ L 129 of 15.5.2002

Decision 2000/384/EC, State of Israel

1.6.2000

OJ L 147 of 21.6.2000

Decision 2000/204/EC, Kingdom of Morocco

1.3.2000

OJ L 138 of 9.6.2000

Decision 98/238/EC, Republic of Tunisia

1.3.1998

OJ L 97 of 30.3.1998

Related Acts

  • Algeria

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, of the other part [OJ L 265 of 10.10.2005].

  • Palestinian Authority

Euro-Mediterranean Interim Association Agreement on trade and cooperation between the European Community, of the one part, and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, of the other part, [OJ L 187 of 16.7.1997].
The Euro-Mediterranean Interim Association Agreement is intended to apply to the parties until a Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement is concluded. It is mainly concerned with non-political aspects of trade and cooperation between the parties.

  • Egypt

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, of the other part [OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004].

  • Jordan

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of the other part [OJ L 129 of 15.5.2002].

  • Israel

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part [OJ L 147 of 21.6.2000].

  • Lebanon

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Lebanon, of the other part [Official Journal L 143 of 30.5.2006].

  • Morocco

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part [OJ L 070, 18.3.2000].

  • Tunisia

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Tunisia, of the other part [OJ L 97 of 30.3.1998].

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Strategy for Iraq 2011-2013

Strategy for Iraq 2011-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for Iraq 2011-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Middle east

Strategy for Iraq 2011-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Iraq Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

The Commission presents the Strategy Paper and the National Indicative Programme which define the priorities for cooperation between the European Union and Iraq.

The cooperation between the partners aims to:

  • develop a secure and stable democracy where fundamental rights and freedoms are respected;
  • establish a market economy and open society with resources to promote equitable economic and social development;
  • promote the country’s political and economic integration into the wider region and the international economic system.

The strategy also supports the country in its progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Strategy 2007-2013

The joint action programming focuses on three interdependent priority areas:

  • strengthening institutions and good governance;
  • socio-economic recovery, through education and strengthening institutional capacity;
  • water management and agriculture.

In addition, the cooperation actions must take account of the following cross-cutting issues:

  • human capital and competence building;
  • human rights, gender equality and the protection of vulnerable groups;
  • environmental protection.

Implementation

The level of political stability and security in Iraq remains insufficient. Furthermore, the implementation of cooperation actions requires flexible methods to be established.

Funding for the strategy is provided by the financing instrument for development cooperation. Funding from thematic programmes may also be applied for, specifically for the protection of human rights, non-state actors and local authorities, migration, food security and the environment.

Lastly, actions must be carried out in coordination with the Commission, the Member States, and the international organisations involved in the reconstruction and development of the country.

Sweden and Italy play a particular role in the implementation of the strategy given the importance and complementarity of their bilateral cooperation with Iraq. The two States shall continue their action under the framework of this European strategy.

Context

The EU and Iraq are progressing towards the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. This Agreement will provide a complete political and legal framework for promoting the development of the country, its stability and integration into the international community.

In 2010, the partners adopted a Memorandum of Understanding on Energy in order to provide a framework for cooperation on matters of energy security, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and of scientific, technological and industrial cooperation.

Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen

Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Middle east

Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 98/189/EC of 23 February 1998 concerning the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen.

Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen.

Summary

The Agreement is based on respect of democratic principles and fundamental human rights and its objectives in the above fields are to:

  • promote and intensify trade and develop sustainable economic cooperation;
  • strengthen cooperation in fields related to economic progress;
  • contribute to Yemen’s efforts to improve the quality of life and standards of living of the most disadvantaged groups of the population;
  • take the requisite measures to protect the environment and ensure sustainable management of natural resources;
  • extend cooperation to the field of culture, communication and information to improve mutual understanding.

Fields of cooperation

In the field of trade cooperation, both Parties must bring their trade policies into line with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). They also agree to grant each other most-favoured-nation treatment except in relation to preferences accorded under a customs union, free-trade area or a preferential-treatment area. Bilateral trade will be developed and diversified. The Agreement also seeks to improve the terms of access for products and eliminate barriers to trade, provide technical assistance, exchange information and improve cooperation in the customs field.

The Parties undertake to consider temporary exemptions from duty, tax and other charges, and to consult each other on any trade-related dispute. Yemen must protect intellectual, industrial and commercial property rights and ensure effective application of the principle of unrestricted access to cargoes on a commercial and on a non-discriminatory basis for international maritime services.

In the field of development cooperation, the Community recognises that it could make a greater contribution in terms of size and impact and therefore undertakes to help Yemen reduce poverty by developing primary education and training, better working conditions, water supply, rural development and better health care. Cooperation must be guided by a clear cooperation strategy taking account of the geographical distribution of commitments and accompanied by a dialogue to define mutually agreed priorities and pursue effectiveness and sustainability.

To demonstrate commitment to economic cooperation a regular economic dialogue will cover all areas of macroeconomic policy, including budgetary policy, the balance of payments and monetary policy. Its aim will be to establish closer cooperation between the relevant authorities in order to:

  • develop a competitive economic environment facilitating the development of small and medium-sized businesses;
  • facilitate contacts and exchanges of information, conduct economic dialogue and improve mutual understanding;
  • improve cooperation on standards and regulations;
  • strengthen management training;
  • promote dialogue on energy policy, technology transfer and technological cooperation;
  • support Yemen’s efforts to modernise and restructure its industry;
  • promote the involvement of the private sector in cooperation programmes;
  • promote cooperation on financial services;
  • encourage cooperation on transport and transport management;
  • establish dialogue and, where possible, provide assistance for regulation and standardisation of telecommunications and the development of projects, particularly concerning the application of telematics in the fields of education, health, the environment, transport and e-commerce;
  • promote investment by creating a more favourable climate for investors.

Economic and other forms of cooperation may be extended to activities under cooperation or integration agreements with other countries in the same region to contribute to regional cooperation. Coordination with the Community’s decentralised cooperation programmes with the Mediterranean and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is planned to this end.

On agriculture and fisheries, the aim is to modernise and restructure the sector with a view to the implementation of a national food security strategy, the development of stable markets, integrated rural development, the development of the private sector, diversification of production, reduction of food dependency, and cooperation in the fields of health, veterinary and plant-health matters, technical assistance and training.

The Parties recognise that there is a close link between poverty and environmental damage and therefore agree to give top priority to environmental protection. This will involve setting up administrative, regulatory and information structures for rational management of the environment, developing sustainable and non-polluting energy sources, encouraging regional cooperation and coordination and exchanges of information and know-how.

The aim of cooperation in the fields of tourism, science and technology is to promote cooperation, exchanges of information and development.

The Agreement’s other objectives include combating drug abuse, including illicit production of and trade in drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances, combating money laundering and controlling chemical precursors.

In the social field, priority will be given to respect for basic social rights, focusing on measures to promote the effective equality of women and their fair involvement in the decision-making process, improving working conditions and social protection of mothers and children, improving the social protection system and health cover.

Human resources development will also be covered as an integral part of economic and social development. Efforts will be made to promote access for women to education, development of skills through closer cooperation on education and training and cooperation between universities and businesses.

Action will also be undertaken on information, culture and communications to improve mutual understanding and strengthen cultural ties. Cooperation will focus on reciprocal information programmes, conservation and restoration of monuments, education and training and cultural events.

Institutional aspects

A Joint Cooperation Committee has been set up to oversee the overall implementation of the Agreement. It will ensure the proper functioning of the Agreement, set its priorities and make recommendations. Regular contacts between the European and Yemeni parliaments are desired by both Parties.

The Agreement may be extended and replace incompatible or identical provisions. It does not affect the powers of the Member States to undertake bilateral activities. Its non-execution may mean measures will be taken against the other Party but this can be obviated by attempts to find a solution that least disrupts the functioning of the Agreement.

The officials and experts involved in implementing this Agreement will enjoy guarantees, facilities and legal privileges in accordance with international standards.

Information on EC-Yemen relations can be found on DG RELEX’s website.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Council Decision of 23 February 1998 concerning the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen
Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Yemen
1.7.1998 OJ L 72 of 11.3.1998

Related Acts

Country Strategy Paper for Yemen 2002-2006 (pdf )

Joint Declaration  on Political Dialogue between the European Union and the Republic of Yemen.

 

Coordination of social security systems

Coordination of social security systems

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Coordination of social security systems

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social protection

Coordination of social security systems

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The social security systems of the countries of the European Union (EU) are coordinated. However, social benefits and the conditions under which they are granted are determined at national level, depending on the traditions and culture of each country.

European law lays down rules and principles to guarantee the right of free movement of persons in the EU.

Persons concerned

This Regulation applies to all nationals of an EU country who are or who have been covered by the social security legislation of one of those countries, as well as to the members of their family and their survivors.

It also applies to third country nationals living legally in the EU and whose situation connects them to several Member States. The Regulation also applies to members of their families and their survivors.

According to the principle of equal treatment, nationals of an EU country and persons residing in that country without being nationals of it are equal in terms of the rights and obligations provided for by the national legislation.

The provisions of this Regulation apply to all the traditional branches of social security:

  • sickness,
  • maternity,
  • accidents at work,
  • occupational diseases,
  • invalidity benefits,
  • unemployment benefits,
  • family benefits,
  • retirement and pre-retirement benefits,
  • death grants.

The Regulation also recognizes the principle of the aggregation of periods, pursuant to which periods of insurance, employment or residence in an EU country are taken into account in all the other EU countries. This means that the acquisition of the right to benefits in one State must take account of periods of insurance, employment, self-employment or residence in another EU Member State.

Determination of the applicable legislation

The insured person is subject to the legislation of a single Member State only. The Member State concerned is the one in which he or she pursues a gainful activity.

Particular rules are provided for certain categories of workers, such as civil servants who are subject to the legislation of the Member State to which the administration employing them is subject, and workers who are employed or self-employed in several EU countries.

Benefits in kind (sickness, maternity and paternity)

Frontier workers are affiliated to the body of the country in which they work, while residing in another EU country and having access to health care in both States. Special provisions are provided concerning benefits in kind intended for members of their family.

Persons staying in an EU country other than their country of residence, in particular during holidays, must be able to receive necessary medical benefits during their stay. It is the legislation of the State in which they are staying which determines the financial conditions for the award of the benefits, but the costs are borne/reimbursed by the social security body of the country of origin. This right is certified by the European Health Insurance card, which every insured person may request from his/her social security body.

Members of the retired worker’s family are entitled to certain benefits in kind, even if they reside in a Member State other than that of the holder of the pension.

Retired frontier workers

This category of insured person can receive benefits in the last State in which they worked if it concerns the continuation of medical treatment which began in that State.

They, as well as their families, can continue to receive medical treatment in the last Member State in which they worked:

  • without restriction if they have pursued a frontier activity for two years during the five years preceding the retirement or invalidity;
  • provided the Member States concerned have opted for this.

Benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases

Persons staying or residing in a Member State other than that in which they are affiliated to social security nevertheless benefit from the scheme covering accidents at work and occupational diseases. These benefits are provided by the institution of the place of stay or residence in accordance with the legislation which is applicable there.

The institution of the State in which the worker is affiliated bears the costs of transporting him/her to his/her place of residence. The institution must have previously reached agreement on this form of transport, except in the case of frontier workers.

Death grants

When an insured person or member of his/her family dies in a Member State other than the competent Member State, death is deemed to have occurred in the competent Member State. Hence the competent institution must provide the death grants payable under the legislation it applies even if the person entitled resides in another Member State.

Invalidity benefits

As regards invalidity benefits, Member States may decide to determine the amount of the benefits on the basis of the duration of periods of insurance or residence (see Annex VI to the Regulation).

Old-age pensions

All Member States in which a person has been insured must pay an old-age pension when the insured person reaches the age of retirement. The calculation of the amount of the benefits takes into consideration all the periods completed in another Member State.

The Regulation also contains rules concerning the way in which the competent institutions calculate benefits and establishes rules to prevent overlapping.

If a worker is entitled to benefits in several EU countries, the total amount of the benefits must not be less than the minimum provided for in the legislation of his/her Member State of residence, if the State of residence has a minimum pension scheme. Otherwise, the institution of the Member State of residence must pay compensation.

Unemployment benefits

As regards unemployment benefits, the competent institution of a Member State must take into account the periods of insurance, employment or self-employment completed under the legislation of any other Member State as though they were completed under the legislation it applies.

An unemployed person may move to another Member State in order to seek work while retaining entitlement to benefits for three months. The competent services or institutions may extend this period up to a maximum of six months. If the unemployed person does not return on or before the expiry of this period he/she loses all entitlement to benefits.

Preretirement

Beneficiaries of statutory pre-retirement schemes may receive their benefits and be covered for their health care and family benefits in another European country. Based on the principle of equal treatment, they must have the same rights and obligations as other citizens of the country.

Since statutory pre-retirement schemes exist only in a very small number of Member States, this Regulation excludes the rule concerning the aggregation of periods for the acquisition of entitlement to pre-retirement benefits.

Family benefits

A person is entitled to family benefits in a competent Member State, including for members of his/her family residing in another Member State, as if they were residing in the former Member State.

In the case of overlapping benefits, family benefits are provided in line with the priority rules set out.

Special non-contributory cash benefits

Contrary to the general rule, these benefits are not exportable if they are listed in Annex X and if they fulfil certain criteria. Besides, these criteria apply to all Member States, with the result that similar benefits will be treated in the same way.

Coordination instruments in social security systems

This Regulation reinforces the principle of good administration. The institutions must respond to all queries within a reasonable period of time and must in this connection provide the persons concerned with any information required for exercising the rights conferred on them by this Regulation. Besides, in the event of difficulties in the interpretation or application of this Regulation, the institutions involved must contact one another in order to find a solution for the person concerned.

The Regulation provides for mechanisms designed to guarantee smooth functioning and enhanced cooperation between Member States and institutions in the field of social security, notably:

  • an Administrative Commission, responsible for handling any question of interpretation arising from the provisions of this Regulation or any accord or agreement concluded in the framework of the Regulation;
  • a Technical Commission within the Administrative Commission, responsible for assembling technical documents, studies and the associated activities;
  • an Audit Board which will establish the average costs for reimbursement of healthcare costs in Member States;
  • an Advisory Committee, responsible for preparing opinions and proposals for the Administrative Commission.

Context

Coordination of social security systems got under way in 1971 with the adoption of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71. This Regulation guaranteed equal treatment and social security benefits to all workers who are Member State nationals, regardless of their place of employment or residence.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004

20.5.2004

OJ L 314 of 7.6.2004

Amending Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 988/2009

30.10.2009

OJ L 284 of 30.10.2009

Regulation (EC) No 1231/2010

1.1.2010

OJ L 344 of 29.12.2010

Regulation (EU) No. 465/2012

28.6.2012

OJ L 149 of 8.6.2012

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purpose only.

Related Acts

Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems (Text with relevance for the EEA and for Switzerland) [Official Journal L 284 of 30.10.2009]
This Proposal details the implementation procedures which should ensure that benefits are granted quickly and efficiently, despite the wide range of national social security systems.

Renewed partnership with Latin America

Renewed partnership with Latin America

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Renewed partnership with Latin America

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Renewed partnership with Latin America

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 30 September 2009 – The European Union and Latin America: Global Players in Partnership [COM(2009) 495 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a new strategy for deepening cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Latin America. The priorities of the previous stronger partnership must be renewed in view of the regional and global issues facing the continent.

These issues include the effects of the international economic crisis, fluctuations in food prices, climate change and the fight against crime. This new commitment also aims to increase the partners’ membership of international organisations.

The Commission presents a series of recommendations to be considered during the 2010 EU-Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Summit.

Bi-regional dialogue

Dialogue with LAC countries must be further strengthened, at strategic, political and sectoral levels. To this end, the Commission’s recommendations are to:

  • adopt policy action priorities during the LAC Summits, ensuring they are consistent with those defined during the Ministerial Meetings;
  • step up political dialogue on global issues, such as economic questions, security, human rights, the environment, climate change, energy, research and innovation;
  • develop cooperation and dialogue on combating drugs and managing migration;
  • open up the dialogue to all stakeholders involved in the fields of knowledge and innovation.

Regional integration and interconnectivity

The strategy supports the regional integration of the countries of Latin America, as a factor for sustainable development and growth. This can be achieved through:

  • sub-regional integration processes, as in the case of the countries of Central America and the Andean Community;
  • institutional initiatives at continent level such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR (ES)).

In addition, the creation of the Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF) shall enable interconnections and infrastructures to be developed. This financing should also support the development of businesses and the social and environmental sectors.

Bilateral dialogue and cooperation

The strategy also provides for a deepening of relations between the EU and each country in Latin America, particularly in areas of common interest. The Commission’s recommendations are to:

  • harness the potential of existing cooperation agreements;
  • conclude free trade agreements, specifically as part of trade negotiations with Chile and Mexico;
  • support regional groupings between countries in Latin America.

Cooperation programmes

Cooperation actions are partly carried out under European development policies. Tackling poverty and sustainable development remain priority objectives. The strategy also encourages different types of cooperation.

In this regard, the Commission’s recommendations are to:

  • carry out actions which promote low-carbon, sustainable growth, employment and better income distribution and to mitigate the effects of the crisis;
  • assess the potential of cooperation instruments, such as the Financing Instrument for Development Cooperation (DCI) or the financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories (ICI);
  • encourage cooperation in the field of social cohesion, particularly through the EUROsociAL Programme, and in the fields of justice, freedom and security.

Related Acts

Madrid Declaration , Sixth EU-LAC Summit, Madrid, Spain, 18 May 2010.

Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Strategy for Chile 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Chile Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

This Paper defines the priorities for cooperation and dialogue between the European Union and Chile for the period 2007-2013.

This strategy aims to deepen the relationship established by the 2002 Association Agreement and to identify new areas of common interest to the partners.

Areas of cooperation

Cooperation on matters of social cohesion should meet the aims of sustainable development and should contribute to social, economic and environmental development. Despite the modernisation of Chilean society, social inequalities remain and public policies must be strengthened.

The EU can support social reforms in Chile through technical assistance measures and exchanges of experience and information. In this respect, the intervention priorities concern:

  • fairer social and fiscal redistribution;
  • access to employment, health care, education, social protection and justice;
  • reduced inequalities between gender, ethnic origin and regions;
  • promotion of social dialogue;
  • the integration of social and environmental projects.

Cooperation on matters of innovation and competitiveness is based on the Association Agreement and coordinated with the activities provided for by theResearch and Development Framework Programme.

Joint action shall encourage research and development, which contributes towards business productivity, employment and the competitiveness of the country in global trade. The strategy therefore proposes actions to:

  • bring Chilean regulations closer to those of the EU with regard to industrial products and European and international sanitary and phytosanitary standards;
  • establish exchanges of experience between enterprises and promote small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • promote scientific and technological transfer;
  • develop effective and sustainable energy policies;
  • promote the protection and diffusion of intellectual property rights;
  • place environmental protection at the centre of research strategies.

Cross-cutting actions

Furthermore, the joint strategy provides for cross-cutting actions to promote gender equality, environmental protection and combating discrimination against the indigenous population.