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The stabilisation and association process

The European Union wishes to initiate a stabilisation and association process with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo (under resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council) which constituted the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999. Accordingly, the European Union will develop new contractual relations with these countries: stabilisation and association agreements.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 26 May 1999 on the stabilisation and association process for countries of South-Eastern Europe [COM(1999) 235 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The communication contributes to the development of the Union’s common strategy for South-Eastern Europe. It will form the framework for relations between the European Union and the region.

The existing regional approach

Already in 1996 the regional approach established a framework for relations with the five countries of the region: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which become Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo (according to resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council). The objectives of the regional approach, laid down in 1996, were to support the implementation of the Dayton/Paris and Erdut peace agreements and to create an area of political stability and economic prosperity by:

  • establishing and maintaining democracy and the rule of law;
  • ensuring respect for minorities and human rights;
  • reviving economic activity.

The stabilisation and association process

The communication launches a new strengthened approach for the countries of South-Eastern Europe. This approach involves the establishment of a stabilisation and association process which entails:

  • the drafting of stabilisation and association agreements, with a view to accession to the European Union once the Copenhagen criteria are fulfilled;
  • the development of economic and trade relations with the region and within the region;
  • the development of the existing economic and financial aid;
  • aid for democratisation, civil society, education and the development of institutions;
  • cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs;
  • the development of political dialogue.

The communication also includes analyses of each country’s compliance with the criteria governing the stabilisation and association process. Using these analyses as a basis, the Commission stated that the negotiations on stabilisation and association agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia would begin as soon as these countries had fulfilled the necessary conditions. With regard to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – which has become Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo (under resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council), the Commission indicated that it was not even considering beginning negotiations due to the continuation of the conflict in Kosovo. However, it planned to submit a proposal on opening negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Commission was prepared to draw up a report, when appropriate, on the possibility of opening negotiations on a stabilisation and association agreement with Albania.

RELATED ACTS

BILATERAL RELATIONS

  • Albania

Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Albania, of the other part – Protocols – Declaration [OJ L 107 of 28.4.2009].

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

Proposal for a Council Decision of 8 April 2008 on the conclusion of the interim agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community, of the one part, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the other part [COM(2008) 182 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Interim agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community, of the one part, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the other part [Official Journal L 169 of 30.6.2008].

  • Croatia

Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Croatia, of the other part [Official Journal L 26 of 28.1.2005].

  • Macedonia

Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, of the other part [Official Journal L 84 of 20.3.2004].

  • Montenegro

Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Montenegro, of the other part OJ L 108, 29.4.2010.

EVALUATION

Report from the Commission of 30 March 2004 - The Stabilisation and Association process for South East Europe - Third Annual Report [COM(2004) 202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission of 26 March 2003 - The Stabilisation and Association process for South East Europe - Second Annual Report [COM(2003) 139 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission of 3 April 2002 - The Stabilisation and Association process for South East Europe – First Annual Report [COM(2002) 163 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Last updated: 07.06.2010
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