Presentation on theme: "Overview of the European Union activities External Relations."— Presentation transcript:
Overview of the European Union activities External Relations
A definition and an explanation The term External Relations covers all aspects of the EU’s foreign affairs except for trade, handled as a separate policy area, and links with developing countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) which have been based on the Lomé Convention (now the Cotonou Agreement) for more than 30 years.
Relations with the United States Despite its periodic tensions, the transatlantic relationship is at the heart of the EU’s external relations. The flow of trade between the EU and the United States is running at nearly €1 billion a day. Both share common values and, in many instances, common interests. The way the EU and the US have handled joint issues involving competition law or the recognition of each other’s technical standards has served as a model for the Union’s relationships with others, including Japan and Canada.
Russia, eastern Europe & central Asia Although not candidates to join the European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and the republics of the southern Caucasus and central Asia, are building individual relationships with the EU. These are based on a series of partnership and cooperation agreements on trade, cooperation in science, energy, transport, the environment and other sectors, as well as a political dialogue and joint action to combat crime, drugs and money laundering. The most important of these agreements is with Russia. It goes further than the others covering four key areas: economic affairs, cooperation on research, education and culture as well as internal and external security issues. The EU wants to include energy cooperation in its next partnership and cooperation agreement with Russia.
The Balkans In the 15 years from 1991 to 2006, the EU provided €10 billion of assistance to the countries of former Yugoslavia and Albania. EU policy is focused on a series of stabilization and association agreements as the beginning of a process that will one day bring the countries of the western Balkans to a position where they will be ready for EU membership. In the meantime, Croatia began entry negotiations for EU membership in October 2005. FYROM has also been formally accepted as a candidate for membership, but no timetable has been set so far for starting entry negotiations.
Regional groups Besides bilateral relations, the European Union is intensifying relations with international organisations (including the UN, Nato and the Council of Europe) and regional groupings around the world. With the latter, the Union promotes trade and investment flows between it and the regions concerned, particularly in Latin America and Asia. With its Asian partners, the EU has moved away from a strategy based on trade and aid to what it calls enhanced partnerships, reflecting a better balance between the economic, political, social and cultural elements of their relations.