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 Introduction

 Following applications made by Austria, Sweden, Finland and Norway

 to join the European Communities, accession negotiations  with
 Austria, Sweden and Finland were opened officially on the 1 February

 1993 and with Norway on the 5 April 1993. The negotiations with the
 candidates were conducted in parallel, at various levels, in the

 framework of separate Conferences meeting at Ministerial or Deputies
 (Ambassadors) level. As the Treaty of European Union entered into

 force on 1.11.1993 they were formally transformed into negotiations
 for  accession to the European Union. The negotiations on an

 important number of chapters were facilitated by the existence of
 the Free Trade Agreements between the Community and the candidates,

 and the recent entry into force of the European Economic Area
 Agreement whereby the candidate countries were already committed to

 take  over in their national legislation most  of the acquis
 concerning the Single Market. A basic principle of the negotiations

 was the requirement that the candidate countries should accept  the
 actual and potential rights  and obligations attaching to the

 Community system, its legislation and its institutional framework -
 the  Community acquis -  subject (if  necessary) to technical

 adjustments and  exceptionally  to  temporary  (not  permanent)
 derogations and transitional arrangements.

 The negotiations were concluded at the political level with Austria,

 Sweden and Finland on the 1 March 1994 and with Norway, slightly
 later, on the 16 March owing to the need to negotiate further on

 some remaining issues, notably fisheries. Following this political
 agreement between the Union and the candidates on all points raised

 by them, the final outstanding chapter, Institutions, was settled by
 the Union at Ioannina on the  27 March 1994. The  Accession

 Conferences  then agreed on all negotiating chapters on the 30
 March. It was then necessary to put these political agreements into

 legal form for the establishment of the instruments of accession (a
 Treaty, an  Act  of  Accession  with Annexes  and  Protocols,

 declarations). Texts were being drafted as negotiations progressed,

 and eventually were agreed upon at the final session of the
 Accession Conferences at Deputy level on the 12 April 1994.

 What follows  is a  general  description of  the outcome  of

 negotiations, without being exhaustive, in the main chapters.

 Free movement of goods

 One of the major concerns of the applicant countries during the

 negotiations was to maintain a high level of health, safety and
 environmental standards after accession. It became clear, however,

 during detailed expert discussions that the scope of the difference
 between their own regulations and the EC provisions was relatively

 limited. For a number of exceptional, well justified cases, it was
 agreed that each acceding country could maintain its national rules

 for a transitional period of four years. The derogations, which vary
 in  coverage  between  the  four  countries,  relate  to  the

 classification, packaging and labelling of pesticides and certain
 other dangerous substances, the  marketing and use of certain

 chemical products (including cadmium, arsenic, pentachlorophenol)
 and the composition of fertilisers and batteries. The enforcement of

 the national rules during the transitional period must not be
 achieved by means of border control. During the transitional period

 the EC provisions will be reviewed according to normal procedures
 and at the end of the period the acquis will apply to the new Member

 States in the same way as to the present Member States.

 In the area of veterinary and phytosanitary provisions, a number of
 short transitional periods were agreed to allow extra examinations

 and scientific reviews to be carried out. For example, in the
 veterinary  field, there are  such provisions  in relation to

 salmonella, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and classical
 swine fever.

 A small number of adjustments to EC provisions were agreed for

 specific applicant countries in sectors such as motor vehicles
 (pollution limits), spirit drinks and returnable bottles.

 Secondary residences

 All four candidates have specific rules regarding the purchase of

 holiday houses  (secondary residences)  by foreigners.  In the
 negotiations it was agreed that they can maintain those rules for a

 transitional period of 5 years.

 Competition

 An important issue in this area was the future existence of the

 Nordic alcohol monopolies.   The three Nordic countries  have
 longstanding alcohol policies with strict controls on the sales of

 alcoholic beverages.  Their monopolies form an integral part of
 these policies. The Nordic monopolies extend over every stage of

 the commercialisation of alcoholic beverages: import, wholesale and
 retail. The case law of the European Court of Justice establishes,

 however, that import and wholesale monopolies run counter to the EC
 Treaty.   The three  Nordic countries  accepted to put their

 legislation in conformity with Community rules by the time of
 accession.  As regards retail monopolies, no jurisprudence of the

 European Court of Justice exists. After a careful examination the
 Commission informed the three Nordic countries that, at the present

 stage of Community law, they can maintain their retail monopolies as
 long as these do not discriminate against products from other Member

 States. 

 State aids being  Commission competence, there was no  formal
 negotiation on existing aids granted by applicant countries, but

 arrangements have been made for normal treatment of state aid cases
 under Treaty provisions after accession.

 Road transit - Austria

 The problem of transit through Austria by heavy lorries was one of
 the most important subjects in the negotiations with Austria -

 perhaps the most sensitive subject in Austrian public opinion.


 Heavy goods vehicles normally enjoy unrestricted passage through

 Member States of the Union, provided that they comply with the rules
 on weights, dimensions and so on.  However, in view of  the

 environmental threat to the Alpine passes, and the narrow valleys
 leading to them, the Community had concluded in 1992 a bilateral

 agreement with Austria to control the number of vehicles by means of
 an  "ecopoint" system of  transit licences.  In the accession

 negotiations, Austria requested a special derogation so that this
 agreement could be continued after membership.

 It was agreed, therefore, - and this was the last and most important

 problem to be solved in the negotiations with Austria - that the
 essential objective of the transit agreement will  be honoured,

 namely the reduction (by 60% by the end of the year 2003) of
 pollution from heavy lorries  in transit through  Austria. In

 addition, other measures to deal with the transit problem will be
 accelerated, including the creation of extra rail capacity, and a

 decision on the construction of a new tunnel under the Brenner pass.

 Statistics

 Finland and Austria are granted short transitional periods for the

 application of certain directives (Statistical Units Register for
 Austria and various surveys for Finland).

 Environment

 In respect of the conservation of natural habitats, wild fauna and
 flora, and wild birds, a number of adaptations are made to EC

 provisions, reflecting the specific environmental conditions and the
 different conservation status of certain animal and plant species in

 the acceding countries. For example, the Finnish, Norwegian and
 Swedish populations of the beaver ("castor fiber") are included in

 the species for which hunting is subject to management measures,
 while elsewhere in the Community this species is designated as in

 need of strict protection. After discussions with certain candidate
 countries at expert level, no derogations from the EC provisions

 were made for the hunting of lynx, polar bears or whales.

 Austria and Finland may keep their restrictions on the sulphur
 content of gasoils, and Austria its provisions for the benzene

 content of petrol, for a transitional period of four years, during
 which the EC provisions will be reviewed.

 Austria can maintain its provisions on the import, export and

 transit of waste for a transitional period of two years. Norway is
 granted a transitional period until 1997 for the application of EC

 provisions on pollution caused by waste from the titanium dioxide
 industry. Austria, Norway and Sweden may maintain their bans on the

 recycling  of  polychlorinated  byphenyls  and  polychlorinated
 terphenyls (PCBs/PCTs).

 Energy

 Discussions under this heading concentrated on the question to what
 extent different national energy policies in the candidate countries

 could be continued after accession.

 In particular, some of the implications of membership of Euratom
 caused concern among candidates, given that for instance Austria has

 by law rejected the use of nuclear energy, that Sweden intends to do
 so in a number of years and that Norway does not have any commercial

 nuclear installations.

 Furthermore, the Treaty transfers certain competencies from national
 authorities to the Euratom Supply Agency in the field of trade in

 nuclear materials and to the Commission as regards  safeguard
 measures concerning the use of these materials, all matters of a


 highly sensitive political nature in the countries concerned. To
 meet the concerns of the candidates on these and other points, the

 following was agreed upon:

 -  a Joint Declaration relating to Austria, Sweden and Norway noting

   that Member States are free to decide whether or not to produce
   nuclear energy according to their specific policy orientation;

 -  the recognition that Arts. 105 and 106 of the Euratom Treaty

   allow agreements and contracts concluded before accession to
   continue unchanged;

 -  a Joint Declaration concerning the fulfilment by Sweden of
   obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty;

 -  a transitional period of two years for Austria, Finland and

   Sweden to implement the "acquis" on basic safety standards for
   health protection against the danger of ionizing radiation.

 A separate question was the Norwegian demand concerning sovereignty

 over petroleum resources. This demand was met  by a Protocol
 recognizing this sovereignty within the limits of Community law.

 Finland was granted a transitional period of one year to implement

 the obligation to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and/or
 petroleum products.

 Agriculture

 Agriculture naturally involved detailed and difficult negotiations
 in view of accession, because it is the economic sector in which the

 acceding countries will have to make the biggest adjustments as a
 result of membership.

 Austria, Sweden, Finland and Norway each have a distinctive national

 system of support for agriculture, which - unlike the industrial
 sector - never figured in their mutual free trade under EFTA. The

 objectives of their national policies, similar to those of the
 Union's common agricultural policy, have been to support the incomes

 of farmers, maintain rural society, and ensure security of food
 supplies. They have particularly  difficult natural conditions,

 including in Austria a high proportion of Alpine regions, and in the
 three Nordic  countries remote Northern  territories with  low

 temperatures, limited daylight, and low population. In fact, all the
 acceding countries traditionally maintained agricultural price and

 support levels higher than those of the Union, although in recent
 years Sweden made reforms which brought its prices more into line

 with those of the Union.

 In the negotiations, therefore, the main problems to be resolved
 were:

 -  the transitional period for agricultural prices requested by

   Austria, Finland and Norway;
 -  the adaptation of the instruments of the common agricultural

   policy in such a way as to take account of the particular
   problems of the new members.

 The Union insisted that, in view of the single market, and the need

 to avoid border controls for trade between member states in the
 enlarged  Union, the  acceding  countries should  adopt common

 agricultural prices immediately on accession, without a progressive
 adaptation of prices (accompanied by charges on trade between

 members) as was the case in previous enlargements. The acceptance of
 this principle by Finland, Austria and Norway was a key stage in the

 final round of negotiations. It was accompanied by:

 -  agreement on the payment of national aids to farmers in those
   countries, to compensate for the reduction of prices; these aids,

   payable over a period of five years, will be degressive, and
   their cost to the national budgets will be offset by a special

   "agro-budgetary" contribution from the Community over four years.

 -  the introduction of a "safeguard clause", for rapid action by the
   European Commission in case of disruption of their markets for

   agriculture and food as a result of the opening of free trade
   with other members of the Union.

 In  addition to  these transitional  measures, many  technical

 adjustments were agreed to the Union's rules on  agricultural
 markets, structural policy, and so on, to permit the full and

 effective implementation of the common agricultural policy in the
 new member states. The "mountain and less-favoured areas" to be

 designated in the acceding countries will enable their agriculture
 to benefit from important income support for farms with handicaps of

 climate  and terrain.  Under special  arrangements for  Nordic
 agriculture, farms situated North of 62o N and in designated

 adjoining areas will be eligible for long-term national aids aimed
 at compensating farmers for lower productivity and higher costs due

 to their geographical location.

 Fisheries

 The fisheries issue, particularly with respect to Norway, was one of

 the more difficult and complex subjects of the negotiation. This was
 the result of the need, on the one hand to incorporate into the

 Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) a large fishing nation that had
 developed its own comprehensive approach to fisheries policy and, on

 the other hand to find solutions to a number of internal concerns
 of the Union in this sector. In this connection it has to be

 recognised that Norway has developed a sophisticated and high
 quality fisheries policy and that it was in the common interest to

 maintain certain aspects of it in order to safeguard the sustainable
 management of resources.

 On the assumption that new entrants cannot be better treated than

 existing Member States, on the key issue of access to waters it was
 necessary to agree that Norway, Sweden and Finland should be

 subject, where relevant, to a regime equivalent to that currently
 applied  to Spain and Portugal for a transitional period. In

 practice, this transitional regime will, overall, enable the new
 Member States and the present Union to maintain the status quo in

 the Baltic and the North Sea in their fishing relations until the
 Community establishes a CFP that is uniform for all Member States

 and until the adoption of a Community fishing permit system. In the
 Atlantic West of 4o W, Norway, which is the only acceding country to

 have fishing activities there, will be subject to limitations of its
 fishing efforts ( limitation on the number of boats allowed to fish

 at the same time ) for the same transitional period.

 As regards access to resources, traditional fishing activities over
 a representative period (in this case a 5 year reference period for

 practically all fisheries from 1989-1993) were used to establish the
 relative stability key on the basis of which TACs as fixed by

 Council will be shared out in the form of quotas for Members States'
 vessels. However, in this framework, and for a limited number of

 species ( mackerel, arctic cod), some flexibility was necessary for
 determining quota shares. In the negotiated result an important

 element was the agreement of  Norway to consolidate the fishing
 possibilities it had allocated to the Union in conjunction with the

 EEA Agreement as well as to grant certain additional fishing
 possibilities. For all three Nordic countries the fishing of herring

 for purposes other than human consumption is of major importance;
 consequently, the Union agreed to allow such fisheries to continue

 for a transitional period of three years, subject to certain
 economic and environmental conditions and to review the situation .

 It was recognised in the negotiations that, given the comprehensive

 nature of Norwegian management of its fisheries, particularly in its
 waters North of 62oN, some time would be necessary to achieve the

 full integration of this system into the Union's one. It was agreed,
 therefore, that Norway could establish TACs for all species except

 mackerel and manage its fishing agreement with Russia in close
 collaboration with the Union up to 1 July 1998. After this date the

 rules of the CFP would apply in full and take due account of
 Norway's management principles and record. Transitional periods were

 also accorded which would allow Norway to maintain certain control
 and technical measures in its waters, provided that they are applied

 on a non-discriminatory basis.

 In accepting the Community acquis, a major advantage for all the
 candidate countries is that they obtain free access to the Community

 market for their fish and fish products. In the case of Norway which
 is a significant exporter of such products and in view of the

 difficult situation now prevailing in the Community market, it was
 agreed that as a precautionary measure a trade monitoring system

 should be established for a four year transitional period for eight
 sensitive species in order to prevent serious market disturbances.

 Outside these four main policy areas other significant negotiating

 results were also achieved, notably the financing of smolt releases
 by the Community in the Baltic for the benefit of Sweden and

 possibly Finland and a derogation for Norway that would allow her to
 maintain current regulations as regards the ownership of Norwegian

 fishing vessels by non-nationals for a transitional period of three
 years. 

 For Norway there were also a number of legal and  political
 commitments made as regards the importance of relative stability as

 a central concept of the CFP, on the recognition of producers
 organisations, the supply needs of the Norwegian fish processing

 industry and the importance of the exclusive 12 mile limit for
 coastal communities.

 External trade and Customs Union

 External trade was one of the less difficult chapters of the
 negotiations.

 The acceding countries agreed to apply the common external tariff

 immediately on their accession, with some very limited exceptions
 for Finland and Norway, which may reduce some higher tariffs

 progressively over a period of 3 years, and will benefit from a
 duty-free quota for imports of styrene for 5 years.

 The new members will become parties, immediately on accession, to

 all the Union's international agreements with non-member countries,
 and will apply them according to the normal rules. However, in cases

 where it is necessary to adapt these agreements to take account of
 enlargement  (for example,  the textile  quotas) the necessary

 negotiations will be undertaken with the third countries before
 accession.

 In response to the request of Sweden, Finland and Norway to maintain

 their free trade arrangements with the Baltic States (Estonia,
 Latvia, Lithuania), the Union promised to do its best to ensure that

 the Union's new trade agreements with those countries, already
 proposed by the Commission, will be in force by the date of

 enlargement.

 In response to Austria's preoccupation with the risk of market
 disturbance by low-priced imports from Central and East European

 countries, the Union gave an assurance that the existing safeguard
 measures will, if appropriate, be used.

 Finally, detailed arrangements were made for the changeover by the

 new members from their existing customs systems to the common
 customs administration (rules of origin, etc.).

 Regional and Structural Policies

 The acceding countries attach great importance to continuing the
 main  elements of their  regional policies. Although they are

 relatively prosperous in relation to other members of the Union,
 they do have areas of low income and high unemployment; and

 particularly in Sweden, Finland and Norway, regional policy has also
 a strategic dimension, since there is a very low population density

 in many of the remote Northern regions.

 The main question for the negotiation was the wish of all the
 applicant countries to enjoy "Objective 1" status under Community

 Structural Funds for certain of their regions. In the light of the
 economic criteria  for designation of  "Objective 1"  regions,

 agreement was reached without difficulty on a region of Austria
 (Burgenland). In the case of Norway, Sweden and Finland, it was

 decided instead to create a new "Objective 6", permitting the
 designation of regions with very low population density in those

 countries.

 In addition, decisions will be taken in good time before enlargement
 on the regions to be designated under Objectives 2 (industrial

 decline) and 5b (rural development) and to permit the effective
 application of Objectives 3 and 4 by the Social Fund.

 Industrial Policy

 As the Union's industrial policy  is not implemented  through
 legislation but concentrates on coordinating national policies and

 improving cooperation, this chapter did not cause specific problems.

 Taxation

 The main negotiating issue in the field of taxation concerned the

 request by the Nordic countries to limit the volumes of alcoholic
 beverages and tobacco products that travellers can freely take

 across their border. Within the present Community travellers can
 purchase alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in another Member

 State without incurring extra taxes or duties when taking them home
 for consumption (e.g. up to 90 litres of wine, 110 litres of beer,

 10 litres of spirits and 800 cigarettes): these quantitative levels
 are set not as absolute limits, but as an indication of normal

 quantities for personal consumption. The Union has agreed, however,
 that the Nordic countries can maintain until 31 December 1996 lower

 quantitative levels as absolute ceilings, namely 1 litre of spirits
 or 3 litres of medium strong drinks, 5 litres of wine, 15 litres of

 beer and 300 cigarettes or the equivalent in other tobacco products.
 This derogation will be reviewed by the end of 1996.

 In the field of VAT the candidates received, on their request, the

 same derogations from the 6th VAT Directive as present Member
 States. In addition, Norway was granted a five year transitional

 period during which it may maintain its Investment Tax. Sweden
 received a one year transitional period exempting cinema tickets

 from VAT and Austria received a transitional period of two years to
 bring its VAT system in the public health sector in line with the

 6th VAT Directive.

 In the field of excise duties the candidates were granted, where
 necessary, the same derogations from the Union's rules on excise

 duties as present Member States. In addition, Sweden was granted a
 transitional period of one year for the introduction of an ad

 valorem element in  its excise  duties on  cigarettes and  a
 transitional period of four years to reach the required minimum

 excise incidence of 57% under Council Directive 92/79/EEC. It can
 also continue to apply, for a transitional period of three years, a

 a reduced excise duty rate for beer with an alcohol content of not
 more than 3.5% volume, provided that such rate respects the Union's

 minimum rate prescribed in Directive 92/84/EEC. By way of derogation
 from Council Directive 92/81/EEC, Norway may continue, for a period

 of four years, to subject mineral oils supplied for use as fuel for
 passenger transport within Norwegian waters to excise duty.

 Chapters Relating to New Policies of the Union Introduced by the
 Maastricht Treaty

 As regards the chapters relating to

 -economic and monetary policy
 -common foreign and security policy

 -justice and home affairs

 the candidate countries accepted without difficulty the underlying
 principles and political objective on which these new policy areas

 of the Union are based as well as the associated acquis. This means
 that from the date of accession all candidates are  to participate

 in the Union's " second and third pillar " ( CFSP and J&HA ), and
 that they  will contribute, on the  basis of the  provisions

 established in the Maastricht Treaty,  to the achievement of
 Economic and Monetary Union.

 Other

 (a)     Sami people

 A Protocol was concluded with Sweden, Finland and Norway with the

 purpose of recognising Samis' exclusive rights (as existing at
 present or as they may develop) over reindeer herding in traditional

 settlement areas. The Protocol also provides for its possible
 extension to cover additional exclusive rights of the Sami people.

 (b)     Aland Islands


 The Aland Islands enjoy international status based on a decision of
 the League of Nations of 1921. This means that the Accession Act

 cannot be applied without the Finnish Government asking for the
 consent of the inhabitants. To solve this legal problem  the

 following was agreed:

 -  the EC, ECSC and Euratom Treaties have been amended in such a way

   that they will not apply to Aland unless the Government of
   Finland gives notice by a  declaration when ratifying the

   Accession Act;

 -  a Protocol is inserted in the Accession Act containing the
   conditions under which the Treaties apply to Aland in the event

   that the Alanders opt for membership of the EU. This Protocol
   maintains the existing  restrictions on the right  to buy

   properties and to exercise a profession in Aland for those not
   having Aland regional citizenship. Also the territory of Aland

   will be excluded from the fiscal territory of the Union to allow
   the continuation after 1999 of duty-free sales on ferry boats

   passing through Aland;

 -  lastly, a declaration in the Accession Act will state that the
   Aland Islands' demand for a derogation on the right to vote and

   to stand as a candidate in municipal elections in Aland will be
   dealt with within 6 months after accession in the context of the

   EU directives on municipal voting based on Art. 8B of the TEU.

 (c)     Svalbard

 The Svalbard archipelago, belonging to Norway, will not be included
 in the territory of the Union. A Protocol has been agreed with

 specific provisions on competition, customs and fiscal arrangements
 as well as provisions on the responsibilities of Norway and the

 Union concerning fisheries in the waters up to 200 miles around
 Svalbard. The Protocol does not prejudice the positions of the

 Contracting Parties in respect of the application of the 1920 Paris
 Treaty on Svalbard.

 (d)     Snus

 The sale of "snus" (moist snuff) is prohibited in the Union.

 However, both Sweden and Norway received a derogation allowing sales
 of this tobacco product to continue in their country.

 Financial provisions and budget

 This chapter did not cause major problems insofar as the candidates

 accepted the full "acquis" and will participate fully in the
 financing and expenditure of the Union budgets.  The following

 transitional arrangements were, nevertheless, agreed:

 -  budgetary compensations (to account for transitional problems
   related to the initial stage of adjustment to Community policies;

   see also above , under Agriculture);

 -  take-over by the Community budget of commitments made by the
   candidates in the framework of the EEA .

 The budgetary compensations amount to 2966 MECU for the 1995-1998

 period for all candidates together, the take-over of EEA commitments
 amounts to 630 MECU over the same period.

 Institutions

 The appropriate adjustments to the Institutions of the Union were
 made on the basis of existing institutional provisions in the Treaty

 on the Union. Consequently, in the European Parliament the total of
 members will be increased by 74 to 641 (Sweden 22, Austria 21,

 Finland 16 and Norway 19). In the Council the current weighing of
 Member States' votes is maintained, in addition Sweden and Austria

 will have four votes each and Finland and Norway three votes each.
 The qualified majority is fixed at 64, which maintains the current

 balance. The Commission is to be increased from 17 to 21, with one
 additional Member to be designated by each new Member State.

 Likewise for the Court of Justice, each new member will appoint one
 judge. Other Community Institutions and bodies such as the Court of

 Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the
 Regions and the European Investment Bank will also have their

 composition mechanically adjusted to take account of the relative
 weight of each new member country.

 ***

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