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Constitutional Background
The EU is the rapidly growing organization of the Common European Market, developed out of the EC by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. It comprises now (2002) 15 states and will probably be enlarged by 10 states in 2004:
 

The EU uses different kinds of agreements with non-memberstates:

  • Agreements About Trade and Cooperation (i.e., simple cooperation agreements)
  • Free Trade Agreements (e.g., 1960: EFTA, 1972: Switzerland)
  • Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (Russia)
  • Europe-Agreements

  • These are the most important agreements, providing for a transition period towards customs-free trade while also granting trade advantages over the general GATT standards.  Cooperating states set up trade and diplomatic co-operation and prepare full membership. (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania).
    History and News
    • 2010: Free Trade Zones with 11 of the 12 mediterranean countries are due according to the Declaration of Barcelona.
    • Oct 2002: EU announces that it expects ten countries to be able to conclude negotiations at the Dec 2002 summit and join in 2004 (Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia); an "objective" will be the entry of Bulgaria and Romania; Turkey got no date at all.
    • Dec 1999: Helsinki summit acknowledges 13 candidates for membership.
    • 21-22 June 1996: Florence summit is blocked by the British beef issue. 
    • 27 Nov 1995: Barcelona Meeting introduces plans for a free trade zone in the Mediterranean by 2010.

    © 1994 - 7. Sep. 2008 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.