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Association Agreements

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An Association Agreement is an international treaty between the European Union or the European Economic Community (EEC) and a third country. In entering into an agreement, both parties establish a special kind of relationship and basis for cooperation. The content and objectives differ from agreement to agreement. Particularly close economic cooperation with the aim of establishing largely unrestricted trade between the participating countries and eliminating limitations on the movement of goods is a common key aspect of the mutual special status established through the agreement. However, agreements may also include cooperation on the issues of work and social affairs and regulations on political dialog.

EU Association Agreements

For Greece, the Association Agreement of 1961 was a precursor to EU accession in 1981. The agreement aimed at the country's economic rapprochement with the EU. The EEC signed an agreement with Turkey in 1963 (subsequently supplemented by various additional protocols and resolutions). The primary aim of the Association was and is the strengthening of trade and economic relations, it was also intended to prepare the way for Turkey's accession to the EU. The agreements with Malta and Cyprus were concluded in the early 1970s and initially aimed at allowing for a customs union. Looking back, it is clear that they facilitated the later accession of both countries.

Europe Agreements: After the upheavals in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, the EU concluded what are known as Europe Agreements with Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Objective was the creation of a free trade zone, also EU membership is sought for the partner states (accession association). The countries finally acceded in 2004 and 2007 respectively.

Agreements with ACP countries (countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific): objectives are the introduction of a common external tariff and action preferences with the EU as well as the promotion of the economic development of the partner states (development-based association).

European-Mediterranean partnership with Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, and Algeria: objective here is – as with the Europe Agreements – the establishment of a free trade zone, but without the prospect of accession.

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) with Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland: objectives are the promotion of free trade while at the same time adapting the legal system to reflect Community law (free trade association).

Eastern Partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus: objectives are the intensification of the political dialog and the establishment of free-trade agreements.

Source: touring artists editorial team, Welcome: Turkey

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