The declaration also sets the ambitious target of a free trade zone by 2010 between the Union and the Mediterranean countries represented in Barcelona: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian autonomous territories, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta.
Countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs)
The collapse of communism led to a surge in the relations between the Union and most of the CEECs, including the signing of association agreements, the so-called 'Europe Agreements'. Currently, there are nine such agreements. Six are in force involving Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, while those with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are awaiting ratification (a tenth has been initialled with Slovenia).
These agreements give the signatories associate status and cover both political and economic relations. They establish regular and intensive political dialogue, progressive economic integration and financial assistance. They are of unlimited duration and allow the CEECs up to 10 years to remove economic and commercial barriers, while Union restrictions on the import of their industrial goods was removed by 1 January 1995 with some exemptions.
The EU is Russia's largest trading partner by far, accounting for close to 40% of the latter's foreign trade. When the Russian and EU national parliaments have finally ratified it, future political and economic relations will be governed by a partnership and cooperation agreement signed in 1994. This establishes a political dialogue at all levels, regulates the trade in nuclear fuels, allows free EU investment in Russia with full repatriation of profits, liberalizes the activities of foreign banks in Russia, removes all EU quotas on Russian exports apart from certain textile and steel products and allows temporary Russian quotas on some EU imports.
At their meeting in Madrid in December 1995, the European Council asserted that good relations between the EU and a democratic Russia 'are essential to stability in Europe'. The Heads of State or Government said the EU would:
contribute to Russia's democratic reforms;
support Russia's economic reforms, her integration into the international economy, the development of trade and investment and the necessary conditions for the future establishment of a free trade area between Russia and the EU;
take into account Russia's concerns about NATO enlargement;
support peaceful settlement of disputes in the CIS area.
TACIS: the EU's future relationship with Russia is being vitally shaped by the TACIS programme, designed to help her make the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy. TACIS projects involve, among other things, help in the restructuring of State enterprises and private sector development, reform of public administration, raising agricultural efficiency and supporting improvements in the safety of nuclear power plants.
The new independent States (NIS)
Relations with these republics of the former Soviet Union are increasingly regulated by partnership and cooperation agreements whose scope is political, economic, commercial and cultural. They aim to pave the way for the integration of these countries into the wider European economy. In the last two years such agreements have been signed with Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan,Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
The European free trade area (EFTA)
On 1 January 1994, the European Economic Area was born (EEA). Following enlargement of the EU on 1 January 1995 with the accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden, this joins together in one single market the EU's 15 members with three remaining members of EFTA, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (Switzerland is also in EFTA but has not signed the EEA Agreement).
Among other things, the EEA agreement grants the three partner countries the four freedoms of the single market - the free movement of goods, services, capital and people and requires them to adopt most EU policies on mergers, state aids, consumer protection, labour markets and the environment.
In 1995, China became the Union's fourth largest export market and its fourth largest supplier. Total bilateral trade reached around ECU 35 billion in 1994, with the EU's imports exceeding exports by around ECU 10 billion. China is the Union's largest supplier of textiles and clothing.
A framework trade and cooperation agreement was negotiated in 1995 to promote closer economic relations and exchanges of information and mutually beneficial investment. In addition, the EU is contributing to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization in support of the search for peace and stability in the region. Bilateral trade between the EU and Korea is in the region of ECU 15 billion.
Реферат опубликован: 5/08/2006